West Virginia Record

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Woman sues American Public University System for discrimination

Federal Court

By Kyla Asbury | Feb 14, 2020

Discrimination 16

MARTINSBURG — A lawsuit filed against American Public University System has been transferred into U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia from Pennsylvania.

The case was previously in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania at Pittsburgh. It was transferred to West Virginia federal court on Feb. 5.

Karen Paullet is a professor at the American Public University System (APUS) and filed the complaint alleging claims of discrimination based upon race, color, gender and ethnicity. She also made claims of retaliation.

Paullet was hired on a part-time basis by the defendant as part-time faculty and taught approximately 225 students per year at a rate of $135 per student that was enrolled in her courses, according to the suit.

After about two years, Paullet was promoted to full-time and taught approximately 475 students per year. During her initial years, she was given the responsibility to develop five courses for the university and she also wrote cyber harassment and bullying policies for the university, according to the suit.

Paullet claims she was extended a promotion in 2017 to be the Cyber Security Program director, but it required her to leave her other job at Robert Morris University, so she declined the position that that time.

After that, the plaintiff was given new reporting requirements and she was deprived of an opportunity as a program director when it became available, according to the suit.

Paullet claims tension then began between her and Ken Williams, who always talked down to her and spoke to her as if she was a new employee with no skills.

The plaintiff claims Williams also made changes to her courses and set her up to fail. She was later demoted and lost her full-time status.

Paullet is seeking compensatory and punitive damages. She is represented by Dennis M. Moskal of the Law Office of Dennis M. Moskal in Pittsburgh.

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia Case number: 3:20-cv-00020

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