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Boulder non-profit faces two employment discrimination lawsuits

In two separate lawsuits, a former employee of a Boulder-based non-profit organization has accused the group of wrongful termination and violating the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The non-profit group at issue is Imagine!, a private organization founded in 1963 to assist Colorado residents who live with disabilities.

The former employee, a Broomfield resident, worked for Imagine! as a staff investigator -- a position mandated by Colorado law to investigate claims of mistreatment of people with disabilities. The former employee says he was fired due to his failure to comply with directions from superiors to retract a report he filed.

The report concluded that the negligence of a contracting company working for Imagine! may have resulted in an Imagine! client's death. These findings were also filed with the Boulder County Coroner's Office and the Colorado State Police.

When the former employee refused to retract his report after being told to do so, he was placed on unpaid leave. He was subsequently fired in October of 2011.

Prior to the wrongful termination suit, the ex-employee also filed a federal lawsuit alleging that the non-profit, by firing him, was in violation the Americans with Disabilities Act. The man was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder in 2000, thus qualifying him as disabled.

Both lawsuits are currently pending, and Colorado residents with employment discrimination concerns will want to see how the case pans out. When an employer violates employment laws or fires an employee in retaliation for failure to comply with an unlawful direction, that employer can, and should, be held accountable.

Source: Times Call, "Ex-Imagine! employee says he was fired for reporting negligence in 2011 death," Mitchell Byars, May 2, 2012

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