November 2, 2022
(ATLANTA) – Sergeant Robert Lopez is suing Georgia College and State University (GCSU) alleging they violated the Americans with Disability Act by firing him while he was recovering from an injury he sustained on the job.
Lopez began working for GCSU’s Department of Public Safety in September 2020, according to the school’s website. The federal complaint, filed on October 10 in the Northern District of Georgia, states that Lopez injured his knee while on patrol. He went to the hospital, saw an orthopedist, and was told he would need surgery to repair his knee. He put in for a leave of absence at the end of March 2021, which was denied by GCSU in June. He alleges that the college told him to return to work on June 18, before his doctor recommended that he return to work, or he would be fired. At the end of the month, he was terminated.
“As a result of Defendant’s retaliatory actions against Plaintiff, he has suffered lost compensation and benefits, emotional distress, inconvenience, humiliation, and other indignities,” the lawsuit states adding that, “Others outside the Plaintiff’s protected class were treated differently.”
Asked for comment on the case, GCSU Legal Affairs Manager Mary Sanders, said, “The university does not comment on personnel matters.”