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Viagra For Teachers Lawsuit in Michigan Rises Again.

Back on March 10, 2011, we wrote about how the state of Michigan was being sued by a teacher’s union for failing to provide Viagra under the teacher’s drug plan.

As we said at the time, the teacher’s union dropped the lawsuit after much publicity.

The MacIver Institute is now reporting that the action to have Viagra covered under the teacher’s prescription plans is back, albeit in a different, quieter, less publicized form.

In December of last year MPS employee Henry Sampson filed a complaint with the Equal Rights Division of the State of Wisconsin’s Department of Workforce Development, arguing that excluding coverage for the gender-specific diagnosis of erectile dysfunction violated the Wisconsin Fair Employment Act (WFEA).

Sampson is not exactly a pauper.

The 49-year-old Sampson is a teacher at MPS who, according to the WIOpenGov.org online database, saw his compensation package rise by more than $9,000 this past year. Sampson made $72,913 in 2010. Along with a benefits package valued at $46,411 his total annual compensation is $119,324.

And the result of the preliminary investigation?

On May 4th, the Equal Rights Division found that there was probable cause to believe the Milwaukee Board of School Directors violated the WFEA and discriminated against Sampson on the basis of his sex.

“The Equal Rights Division found reason to believe there is sufficient information to hold an administrative hearing,” the Department of Work Development wrote in their determination letter.

The letter and arguments presented within are a model of twisted logic and thinking.

The plaintiff, one Henry Sampson, says that he was denied a drug to cure his erectile dysfunction on the basis of his gender. We won’t get into the part where by definition, erection dysfunction is gender specific because apparently that did not matter to the “investigator” into this claim.

Sampson basically argued that because the condition is gender specific, the law requires the school district to provide the drug. In other words failing to provide a drug used only by men discriminated against men.

And here all this time we thought that discrimination based on gender was, in part, giving a benefit but not the other.

Incredibly, the investigator bought Sampson’s position and now the DWD has scheduled a hearing in front of a judge on the matter to make a final determination.

The stakes in this decision are high. The school district says that in the last year it provided Viagra, it cost the school district more than $200,000. The same district was forced to lay off 400 teachers due to budget constraints.

This seems to be another case where the rhetoric of “what about the kids?” doesn’t match up to the actual actions of the teachers. Frankly, it is normal and human nature to look out for oneself, and that is fine.

Hiding behind kids to promote yourself is despicable.



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