WICHITA, Kan. ― A former Wichita State University administrative assistant filed a federal lawsuit accusing the university of discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Vicki Huntoon said in the lawsuit that she was fired from the university because of her generalized anxiety disorder after two doctors diagnosed the disorder and she requested to work in a quieter department multiple times.
Anxiety had been previously diagnosed for Huntoon as a mental illness that was “triggered by noisy environments with a lot of activity,” according to the lawsuit. Huntoon was transferred in 2013 to what was then the Office of Multicultural Affairs, which the lawsuit said had a “higher level of student activity and background noise than Huntoon was subjected to at any of her previous positions.”
Huntoon’s work performance declined, and the suit said the only accommodation she was allowed was telephone therapy. The lawsuit said after WSU required a second opinion of her diagnosis by a university-selected doctor, the doctor’s transfer recommendation was denied.
University spokesman Lou Heldman said that school officials were not yet aware of the lawsuit, according to the Wichita Eagle.
Huntoon is currently not seeking punitive damages. The lawsuit seeks costs, interest and attorneys’ fees, and also opens the possibility of reinstating employment for Huntoon.