By the edhat staff
A former Santa Barbara Unified School District employee filed a lawsuit against the district last month alleging disability harassment and retaliation.
Todd Ryckman, the former chief educational technology officer, filed on June 13 with his attorneys from the Rancho Cucamonga-based Myers Law Group.
The complaint for damages include disability discrimination, failure to accommodate a disability, failure to engage in the interactive process, violation of the California Family Rights Act, a hostile work environment, and more. The suit demads a jury trial.
Ryckman was employed by the district from 1997 to October of 2021 and worked as the Chief Educational Technology Officer since July 2012. The complaint states he suffered from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and anxiety and informed Superintendent Dr. Hilda Maldonado of his illnesses.
The lawsuit states Maldonado criticized Ryckman for using available vacation time and during one meeting stated, “I don’t want to hear it, everyone has problems.”
The suit details multiple meetings and interactions that Ryckman felt were harassing and out of retaliation. In October he resigned citing constructive termination, a California law referring to difficult working conditions that make an employee feel forced to resign.
In 2019, Ryckman was accused of harassment himself by two former employees. Although after separate investigations, Ryckman was fully cleared of all accusations, reports The Independent.