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Former school district janitor files complaint

A former Lake Oswego School District custodian has filed a complaint of unlawful practice against the district, claiming he was wrongly terminated because of a disability.

Brian C. Hosea, 38, Oregon City, filed the complaint with the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries' Civil Rights Division Oct. 11.

The district does not feel it discriminated against Hosea and plans to fully cooperate with BOLI, said Kristen Winn, director of human resources.

'We deny all of his allegations,' she said.

According to his complaint, the district hired Hosea to work as a custodian at Lake Oswego High School on May 5, 1995.

In 2005, he was diagnosed with diabetes and informed the district of that diagnosis. Hosea alleges that in the same month, the district doubled the work area he was responsible for in the new LOHS building.

The stress of the extra work coupled with a divorce caused Hosea to have high blood sugar and feel ill, he said.

Eventually, the district placed him on a 90-day 'plan of assistance,' a disciplinary action, because of his disability, the complaint said.

'They set me up to fail,' Hosea said.

Hosea said he then requested 'reasonable accommodations' including an assistant to help him finish his work or a transfer to a different position.

According to the complaint, the district failed to provide those 'reasonable accommodations' and fired Hosea on Feb. 10, 2007.

The district then assigned two custodians to the work area Hosea was responsible for, he said.

'They said … I was doing an inconsistent job within my area,' he said, 'To me it says I had too much area and needed some help.'

Hosea now works for Penske Truck Leasing in its customer service department.

'It put my health and put my two boys I take care of in jeopardy,' Hosea said. 'I had to run up a credit line to survive … I don't feel I was treated fairly nor do I think they cared if they put me in harm's way. I could have lost everything.'

BOLI is now investigating the claim. If substantial evidence of discrimination is found, a 'Substantial Evidence Determination' is issued. If no violation is found, BOLI dismisses the case and Hosea will have 90 days to file a civil suit.