Intern sues National Public Radio in DC.
Catherine Nugent a former intern for NPR recently filed a lawsuit in DC Superior Court claiming that radio network misrepresented the internship and did not give her the tools she needed to communicate with her supervisors. Ok, so right now you may be thinking “tools to communicate with supervisors”? Yes, you see, Nugent is deaf and cannot speak.
Nugent is student at Gallaudet University in Washington DC, the university that specializes in educating the deaf and hard of hearing. Nugent’s suit states that in June of 2013, NPR offered her a 10 week paid marketing internship, designed for deaf students. The suit states that during the first 2 weeks of the internship Nugent asked for an interpreter or interpreting software but the request was never fulfilled. Nugent was unable to communicate with her colleagues or supervisors which made the working environment difficult and left her feeling isolated. Nugent’s lawyer, Linda Corria, states, “an employer is required to ensure an employ is able to work and not be treated differently from other staff who do not happen to be deaf. It’s pretty basic stuff, and it is astonishing that NPR doesn’t get it.”
Nugent’s lawsuit also claims that NPR misrepresented the marketing internship. Nugent claims that she was under the impression she was going to learn about marketing, however she was assigned to teach sign-language classes to her colleagues.
NPR radio network has denied that it misrepresented the internship or failed to accommodate Nugent’s needs. Nugent’s lawyer has requested a jury trial and is seeking unspecified compensatory damages for all of the alleged violations of the D.C. Human Rights Act.