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Math Teacher Sues Jefferson City Public Schools for Racial and Age Discrimination

— January 23, 2019

Naveed Malik, a math teacher for Jefferson City Public Schools, is suing the district for racial and age discrimination. He also alleges he was subjected to a hostile work environment and retaliation.

Jefferson City Public Schools is in hot water after a math teacher at Simonsen 9th Grade Center filed a lawsuit alleging he’s been subjected to discrimination due to his national origin, race, skin color, and age. Additionally, the suit claims he experienced retaliation and a hostile work environment and was allegedly frequently “passed over in his career by younger teachers with less experience.” The teacher, Naveed Malik, is a native of Columbia and filed his suit against the district in Cole County Circuit Court earlier this month. He also filed a charge of discrimination “in April 2018 with the Missouri Commission on Human Rights.”

Jefferson City, Missouri
Jefferson City, Missouri; image courtesy of Sarah Minor, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service via Wikimedia Commons,

Since beginning his career at the district in 2001, Malik has worked as a math teacher. Throughout his career, he alleges in his suit that “he’s been treated differently in the terms and conditions of (his) employment.” For example, he claims he’s been “excluded from math department group activities, professional development meetings, and events that white, American-born colleagues were included a.” Additionally, he was allegedly “demoted to teaching courses that are generally taught by newer, less-tenured teachers…and was passed over for the chance to become head teacher of the math department despite having more experience than the person who got the position.”

In an amended charge of discrimination filed in July 2018, Malik wrote, “I have been continually called into the office for ridiculous, pretextual reasons. I have had to continually defend myself to administrators.”

In October 2018, Malik received his “right-to-sue notice from the state Human Rights Commission” and filed his lawsuit shortly after. He decided to file the suit after his concerns he voiced with administrators, “including then-JCPS Superintendent Brian Mitchell and current Superintendent Larry Linthacum,” went unnoticed and unchanged.

In filing the suit, Malik hopes to be awarded damages. For example, under his charge of hostile work environment and retaliation based on national origin, race, and color, and discrimination based on national origin, race, and color, he is asking a “jury to award him all actual damages for all harms and losses suffered in the form of lost compensation and benefits, for all non-economic damages such as career disruption, pain and suffering, mental anguish, anxiety and emotional distress.

In addition, he also claims he is entitled to “punitive damages in an amount to be determined by a jury,” and wants similar damages for the second count of “hostile work environment and retaliation based on age and discrimination based on age.” The damages would also cover “attorneys’ fees, costs, and expenses.”

Malik’s suit isn’t the first filed against the school district. In fact, it’s the fourth that JCPS is now facing.


JCPS teacher files discrimination lawsuit

Teacher sues Jefferson City Public Schools

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