CHARLESTON -- A bus operator is suing the West Virginia State Board of Education after she claims her employment was wrongfully suspended.

The Wayne County Board of Education was also named as a defendant in the suit.

Delores K. Clark was a bus operator for many years and suffered from depression, according to a complaint filed June 8 in Kanawha Circuit Court.

Clark claims in September 2008 she began to feel very tired and "not quite right," and as a result of these feelings, reported off work for a number of days.

While voluntarily off work Clark had an episode whereby she attempted suicide by overdosing on pills, according to the suit.

Clark claims she felt very depressed and had herself admitted to a hospital for psychological treatment, there there for one week, and reported the incident to her employer.

When Clark was discharged from the hospital, she was released to return to go to work by her treating physician, according to the suit.

Clark claims she first attempted to return to work on Oct. 8, 2008, however, her employer would not permit her to do so.

The Wayne County Board of Education never provided Clark with written notification or an opportunity for a hearing before she was suspended from work, according to the suit.

Clark claims the state Board of Education suspended her certification to operate a school bus on Oct. 14, 2008, based on concerns expressed by the Wayne County Board of Education that Clark was not mentally able to perform her duties.

The defendants collectively decided that Clark would not return to work until there was a second opinion regarding whether she could return to work safely, even though Clark had a return to work authorization from her treating physician, according to the suit.

Clark claims she was not allowed to return to work until May 21, 2009.

The defendants' actions violated West Virginia rules and regulations, according to the suit.

Clark is seeking compensatory damages. She is being represented by Andrew J. Katz.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Tod J. Kaufman.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 12-C-1066

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