Graduate student sues Fordham over demand for mental health records for re-admission

Associated Press

A graduate student has sued Fordham University, seeking $5 million in damages and saying the college violated her civil rights by demanding her entire record of mental health treatment as a condition for re-admission.

The federal lawsuit by Emily Pierce also names the U.S. Education Department's Office of Civil Rights, saying the agency has been investigating her discrimination complaint for two years but has gone silent.

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Pierce, now 34, was studying at the Graduate School of Social Services in 2011 and 2012, then took two medical leaves. She alleges her federal complaint filing resulted in retaliation by Fordham, a Jesuit school in the Bronx.

A university spokesman says Fordham followed well-established re-entry procedures in Pierce's case.

The Office of Civil Rights says it tries to resolve complaints within 180 days, but some take longer due to their complexity.