A former associate professor at Georgia Military College who suffers from chronic illnesses, is suing the college for wrongful termination, saying he was fired last year after refusing to return to in-person teaching, Macon’s Telegraph reported.
Joshua Fields taught biology, primarily at the college’s Augusta campus from 2013 until he was fired last February. Fields suffers from what the lawsuit describes as “serious medical conditions,” including Crohn’s disease and kidney failure, which “compromise his immune system” and “put him at higher risk for serious illness. . if he contracted COVID-19”.
The lawsuit, filed in federal court, argues that the college violated the Americans with Disabilities Act. The lawsuit notes that from March 2020 to August 2020, Fields taught classes remotely from home when the college limited in-person instruction.
In August of that year, the college began requiring faculty to return to on-campus teaching, the lawsuit says, and Fields advised the college that he believed it would be against the advice of his doctor. He asked to be allowed to continue teaching classes remotely until the end of 2020, when it might be “safe for him” to return to campus. The college responded “superficially that it did not intend to grant a COVID-19 accommodation. GMC was aware, however, that Dr. Fields was not requesting a COVID-19 accommodation, but an accommodation. reasonable for the disabilities he has that put him at greater risk … if he were to contract COVID-19.
The college did not respond to a request for comment.