John Suayan, Galveston Bureau May 29, 2013, 1:43pm

GALVESTON - A school accused of firing an employee for reporting alleged theft has fired back at the woman's claims.

The College of the Mainland in Texas City submitted its formal response to Hitchcock resident Annette Anderson's wrongful termination lawsuit on April 12.

Anderson sued COM in March, asserting the act in question stemmed from when she reported equipment supposedly stolen from a storage area in October 2012.

She then used her benefits under the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 only to lose her job upon her return, the original petition says.

It asserts the purported firing was in violation of the Whistleblower’s Act, adding the respondent prevented Anderson from filing an internal grievance in accordance to the law.

In its defense, COM argues that the plaintiff has failed to timely exhaust her administrative remedies as well as failed to mitigate her damages.

The college further shows Anderson's allegations are barred by limitations, stating it would have taken the action against the complainant that forms the basis of her suit based on other information, observations and evidence unrelated to her allegation she reported a violation of law in according to the Texas Government Code.

"The college affirmatively asserts that any actions taken with respect to the plaintiff were taken in good faith," the rebuttal says.

Attorney Clay T. Grover of Rogers, Morris & Grover, L.L.P. in Houston is representing the respondent.

Case No. 13-CV-411

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