Lawsuit alleges Oakton teacher fired because of his age

 
 
Updated 3/12/2016 5:06 PM

A 68-year-old former adjunct instructor at Oakton Community College is suing the school for age discrimination after he wasn't rehired last year.

Daniel Filipek of Mount Prospect was one of about 80 part-time employees, including 50 adjuncts, dismissed at the end of the spring 2015 semester from the Des Plaines-based school. The decision by then-President Peg Lee came in response to a 2013 state law that imposes penalties on public colleges that employ part-time instructors who have retired from full-time teaching jobs at other institutions.

 

Oakton was fined $166,000 in 2014 after state officials said three instructors exceeded teaching limits imposed by the law, aimed at clamping down on "double dipping."

Instructors like Filipek who were working part-time at Oakton were also receiving pensions through the State University Retirement System.

Filipek's lawsuit, filed in federal court last week, said the fired Oakton part-timers are all age 40 or older, and thus members of a "protected class."

Filipek, a business instructor who worked at Oakton from 1998 until last July, previously filed age discrimination complaints with the Illinois Department of Human Rights and U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The state ruled Jan. 12 there was "not substantial evidence" to support Filipek's allegations, giving him 90 days to appeal through a lawsuit.

Filipek is seeking compensatory damages and reinstatement.

Oakton spokesman Paul Palian said the school doesn't comment on pending litigation.

Filipek's attorney didn't respond to a request for comment.

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