Former employee sues High Tech High Bayshore 

A former administrative assistant for High Tech High Bayshore is suing the charter school and its San Diego-based parent company, claiming that she was fired illegally while on maternity leave.

The lawsuit, filed by Tia Amador in California Superior Court this month, claims that during a two-month maternity leave last spring, High Tech High Bayshore terminated her employment, despite having approved her absence. Her lawsuit also claims that school officials told her that her position had been eliminated due to budget cuts, that they did not offer her another position and that they began advertising her position one week after she was fired.

Joe Feldman, director of High Tech High Bayshore, a charter school, would not comment on the lawsuit. Officials with High Tech High and their attorney, Christopher Mead, did not return phone calls for comment.

"I filed the complaint because I worked very hard for this company," Amador said. "You can’t treat people like that."

High Tech High Bayshore opened in 2003, initially as the charter San Carlos High School in the San Carlos School District. The school was renamed in 2005, when it earned a one-year charter from the San Mateo County Office of Education, and nonprofit High Tech High formally took over operations in 2006, when it earned a statewide charter for all of its high schools.

Amador began working at the school in August of 2005, went on leave April 6, 2006 and was due to return June 19, according to her attorney, Drexel Bradshaw. She now works as an office manager for Oakland Aviation High School, a new charter school in the East Bay.

High Tech High and High Tech High Bayshore have two weeks to respond to Amador’s lawsuit, according to Bradshaw.

Amador’s lawsuit is yet another blow for the beleaguered high school, which learned in February that it would be closing at the end of the 2006-07 school year, citing low enrollment and financial losses.

High Tech High has since sold the school’s campus at 890 Broadway to the Sequoia High School District for $8.6 million. Sequoia officials last week offered the site to Summit Preparatory High School, another charter school in Redwood City.

Parents of High Tech High Bayshore students continue to raise money to save the school from closure, and have been shopping for space in buildings in Redwood City and San Carlos that could house the school, according to parent Leslie Ender.

bwinegarner@examiner.com

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