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Dismissed psychologist cannot sue the Department of Corrections

Vaughn Guild was employed by the Department of Corrections to provide counseling to ogroups of sexual offenders and assaultive inmates. He was disciplined for failing to comply with a mandate that a "therapy termination report" for each of the 13 inmates in a group session be filed within five days of the completion of group therapy.  He maintained that the time limit was unreasonable and that it was merely a pretext for his firing.

When he was first dismissed, he filed a grievance and the parties underwent arbitration that ultimately resulted in a compromise settlement.  Before Guild could return to work, however, the defendant "discovered" that Guild had been "falsifying documents" related to treatment, by filing allegedly inappropriate amendments to his reports that could have resulted in negative consequences for treated inmates. On that basis, the DOC fired Guild again, and he sued.

The Court held that Guild could not establish that he was a victim of age discrimination because the chart where he compared his report completion with other psychologists' time compliance did not adequately document the age of the psychologists with whom he was comparing his performance.  While by age, Guild was in a "protected class," he did not establish that the other time-challenged, but undisciplined psychologists were not, apparently.

With regard to his disability discrimination claim, the court held that Guild's testimony establishing the DOC's notice of his sleep disorder was too vague to support a claim, particularly given his "admission" that he didn't consider himself disabled.

Thompson O’Neil, P.C.
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Traverse City, Michigan 49684
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