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A court clerk is accusing San Francisco Superior Court and three of its employees of discriminating against her because of her physical disabilities. Maria Gonzalez-Malik filed suit in Alameda County Superior Court on Sept. 5 against the San Francisco court, Chief Executive Officer Gordon Park-Li, Human Resources Director Cheryl Martin, and Pat Hammermaster, court manager of the civil courtroom clerks. Gonzalez-Malik, an Alameda County resident who began working for the S.F. courts in 1990, was diagnosed with lymphoma and went on medical leave in 1997, according to court documents. A subsequent brain infection caused paralysis on her right side and impaired her mobility and speech. She returned to work in July 2001, but her suit claims she was “forced to take a medical leave of absence without pay” in March 2002 because of discrimination. By discriminating and failing to reasonably accommodate her disability, she claims the court violated parts of California Government Code § 12940. The court provided a special computer mouse, keyboard and pillow to accommodate her condition, but refused to grant her a flexible work schedule or parking privileges within a block of work, according to her suit. The clerk also alleges Hammermaster and Martin “engaged in a campaign of harassment” that included instructing co-workers not to help her and castigating her “in hostile and condescending tones” about job performance. Martin, Park-Li and Hammermaster declined comment, as did Michael Wilbur, a lawyer with Cook & Roos, the firm representing the court in Gonzalez-Malik v. Superior Court, RG03115280. Gonzalez-Malik’s attorney, Vincent Harrington Jr. of Oakland’s Weinberg, Roger & Rosenfeld, could not be reached for comment. The clerk is seeking lost pay, injunctive relief, compensatory damages for mental anguish, humiliation and mental suffering and attorneys fees.

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