BRENTWOOD -- Liberty Union High School District recently settled a lawsuit brought by a teacher who said administrators were harassing her and discriminating against her.
The complaint was dismissed March 19 after the district and plaintiff June Hardy agreed to a $260,000 settlement.
The fact there was a lawsuit at all made the case somewhat unusual, said Walnut Creek attorney Clyde Butts, who represented Hardy.
"You don't see (teachers suing school districts) that often," he said.
Hardy, 60, sued the district and four administrators in September 2011 for compensatory damages, alleging they violated state law by failing to make reasonable accommodations for her physical limitations and creating a hostile work environment.
Named in the suit were former Superintendent Jerry Glenn, current Superintendent Eric Volta, Assistant Superintendent of Administrative Services Gene Clare and Independence High School Principal Colleen Sanchez.
Hardy, who currently is on state disability, is set to retire in June after 25 years with the district.
She accused administrators of making life difficult for her following a heart attack, giving the English teacher a negative performance review for the first time ever, transferring her from Freedom High School against her wishes, reprimanding her for asking others to help her carry objects after she underwent knee surgery and ultimately demoting her to a position outside the classroom.
The lawsuit also argued that Hardy was falsely arrested after an administrator told police she had hit a car in the school's parking lot and left.
Witnesses testified Hardy hadn't damaged any vehicles and a field sobriety test as well as a toxicology report showed that Hardy wasn't under the influence of alcohol. No charges were filed against her.
Reached for comment, Volta declined to say much, noting Hardy is still an employee.
He refuted the lawsuit's assertion that his agency had violated any laws.
"The district has done everything by the book in regards to everything about this case, everything about this employee," Volta said.
"The district had no issue moving forward to trial, but had a jury awarded June Hardy one dollar we would have been responsible for all of (her) attorney's fees," he said of Liberty Union's decision to settle the case out of court.
As for the settlement amount, the $66,000 that came directly from the district was money it already had budgeted for Hardy's salary in 2014-15, Volta said.
The district's insurer paid the balance.
Contact Rowena Coetsee at 925-779-7141. Follow her at Twitter.com/RowenaCoetsee.