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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Ex-Librarian Sues City College, Claims They Wouldn't Accommodate His ADHD

Posted By on Thu, Dec 10, 2009 at 8:30 AM

But can we get that in writing?
  • But can we get that in writing?
A former City College librarian recently sued his onetime place of business claiming his colleagues callously refused to accommodate his disability -- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, a counter-intuitive malady for a librarian. Also, he claims higher ups conspired to scuttle the promotion he deserved because he is a white man.

Peter Hein is not the first white man represented by lawyer Richard Hoyer -- but he is the first librarian with ADHD. While the disability may seem as debilitating to a librarian as palsy to a race car driver, a number of San Francisco-area librarians contacted by SF Weekly said there's no reason someone with ADHD couldn't flourish in a library. Hoyer, meanwhile, claims all his client needed was for his colleagues and higher-ups to send him important messages in writing -- Hein has difficulty processing spoken information as a result of the ADHD. But, continues the lawyer, the librarian's colleagues steadfastly refused to do so in a workplace Hein claims was nasty and even "racist."

Hein's suit claims his colleagues and higher-ups were both insensitive and vindictive -- "Nobody in CCSF administration took Mr. Hein's disabling condition seriously, as directives were rarely written out as requested. This hopelessly complicated Mr. Hein's efforts to comply with the ever-shifting policies and attitudes of CCSF administration." On the vindictive side, the suit states that others' disdain for Hein personally and dismissal of his ADHD led to retaliatory measures.

Hein maintains that CCSF officials deliberately altered the requirements for a promotion to mandate a certificate Hein did not possess. The lawsuit states this was a personal attack against Hein, who was unpopular -- and white.

"Mr Hein was also excluded from consideration because he is a white male," the suit boldly states. "Dean Rita Jones has, on numerous occasions, displayed her biases against Caucasians and she has given preferential treatment to African Americans on staff." Hein's lawsuit maintains that his being passed over for that promotion was a "retaliatory and racist denial."

City College has, until later this month to respond to Hein's suit. At that time, CCSF officials  will have to do something Hein and his attorney claim they refused to before -- make their plans known in writing.

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


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