Former UCSF employee files 3rd discrimination lawsuit against UC regents

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Audrey McNamara/File

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Former UC San Francisco employee Todd Senigar filed his third discrimination lawsuit against the UC Board of Regents on Monday.

The complaint alleges that Senigar faced retaliation from agents or employees of the regents after speaking out about discrimination that he allegedly faced at UCSF. The complaint also alleges that Senigar has been denied adequate disability compensation since his termination from UCSF in 2011.

In 2009, Senigar filed his first lawsuit against the regents, alleging that he faced racial discrimination at UCSF. A jury trial ruled in favor of the regents in September 2011. In October 2011, Senigar’s employment at UCSF was terminated, and in 2012 he filed a second lawsuit against the regents, alleging that he was terminated because of his first discrimination lawsuit. He also alleged in this complaint that he was discriminated against on the basis of a work-related disability. The lawsuit was ruled in his favor, and the regents paid Senigar $50,001.

The most recent lawsuit alleges that since 2012, Senigar has faced further retaliation from agents of the regents. According to the complaint, Senigar worked at Children’s Hospital Oakland after his termination from UCSF. The complaint states that in 2012, the hospital and UCSF discussed a possible merger, and that around this time period, Senigar’s superiors at the hospital allegedly began to treat him differently. Senigar’s supervisor at CHO allegedly confirmed that “the sudden hostile work environment stemmed from communications with the UC,” the complaint states.

In October 2012, Senigar was “suddenly terminated” from the hospital, according to the complaint.

The complaint also alleges that Senigar’s application for UC Retirement Plan disability benefits was withheld from him for seven months after he was terminated from UCSF, and that he was denied full benefits after his disability was approved. The university also allegedly based Senigar’s disability benefits on a $78,000 salary instead of the $92, 500 salary he reportedly earned at UCSF, according to the complaint.

UC spokesperson Ricardo Vazquez said in an email that he could not comment on the specifics of the pending litigation.

“The University is committed to maintaining a workplace free from discrimination, harassment and intimidation of any kind,” Vazquez said in his email.

Senigar declined to comment on the case.

Contact Olivia Nouriani at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @olivianouriani.

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