On April 21 a former employee sued the University of Texas School of Law in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas in Austin. In the complaint in Chrystie T. Nguyen v. University of Texas School of Law, Nguyen alleges her former employer subjected her to racially discriminatory disparate treatment compared to non-Asian-American co-workers when it terminated her in January 2010 for alleged poor performance. In her complaint, Nguyen alleges she started working at UT law school in the dean’s office in June 2006, then she transferred to the law school’s continuing legal education department when she learned that telecommuting opportunities were available there. She alleges it was in the law school’s CLE department that, over a six-month period, a pattern of harassment, disparate treatment, unsubstantiated disciplinary actions and false allegations of poor performance began to be asserted against her, resulting in her termination in January 2010. In the complaint, she also alleges the school retaliated against her after she filed charges of discrimination, claiming her attempts to obtain replacement employment have been harmed. She seeks injunctive relief preventing the school from discriminating against her for five years; damages to compensate for loss of income, benefits, career opportunity, career investments and other things; and attorney’s fees. UT law school spokeswoman Kirston Fortune refers inquiries to Leo Barnes, associate vice president for legal affairs at the University of Texas. Barnes did not return a call seeking comment immediately. Nguyen’s attorney, Austin solo and UT law grad Robert Notzon, says he has not spoken directly to UT law school officials about the allegations.
-- Miriam Rozen