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Aug. 3, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --
Kathleen Mason, the former President and CEO of
Dallas-based closeout retailer Tuesday Morning Corp. (NASDAQ: TUES), has filed charges of disability discrimination against her former employer with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
In the filing, Ms. Mason says she was removed from her leadership role in June after disclosing to the Tuesday Morning board that she was battling breast cancer. Ms. Mason led the company to 12 consecutive years of profitability before her firing.
"Current quarterly estimates were down at the company, but this is a woman who had proven to be a more-than-effective leader and prepared the company to weather the current economic downturn," says attorney
Rogge Dunn of
Clouse Dunn LLP, who represents Ms. Mason.
Mr. Dunn notes that Tuesday Morning had been profitable every year Ms. Mason led the company, and that the company has no long-term debt. During Ms. Mason's tenure, private equity investors led by
Madison Dearborn saw an initial investment of approximately
$117 million grow in value to more than
$700 million, says Mr. Dunn.
"Given her record, this is someone any company would want leading them through these challenging times. But instead, the board's attitude toward Kathleen changed after it learned of her breast cancer diagnosis and treatment," he says. "But those who know Kathleen know that she would never allow her health to become a corporate liability."
The severance package offered to Ms. Mason emphasized medical benefits and included a 10-year consultancy clause, after which an 18-month non-compete clause would begin, in effect locking her out of working elsewhere for nearly 12 years.
"The board made it clear she was not being fired 'for cause' and the company wanted to retain her expertise for another 11½ years. One has to question why she was removed from her job," says Mr. Dunn.