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Mom sues Autism Speaks after job offer is rescinded

Simone Greggs with her son, Jeremiah.
Simone Greggs with her son, Jeremiah.
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A woman, who has a son with autism, is suing an autism advocacy group, Autism Speaks, after it rescinded her job offer.

She says she was blind-sided when they pulled the job, with no good reason.

The lawsuit alleges discrimination and breach of contract. It does not specify any dollar amount and Simone Greggs says she doesn't even want the job anymore. At this point, she says it's all a matter of principle.

"I feel that they discriminated against me for asking for what I would consider reasonable accommodations for my son," Greggs says.

In March, Greggs applied for a walk events manager position at Autism Speaks. She had the credentials, she says, and in April was offered the $50,000 per year job.

"I was ecstatic," Greggs says. "I received the offer letter, I signed it, I sent it back."

But her son, Jeremiah, gets out of his special school early on Wednesdays.

So Greggs asked to get off early that one day.

She said she'd be happy to come in early to make up the hours or would even be willing to take a pay cut.

But then her mother offered to babysit, so Greggs told her new boss it was resolved.

She said the last words from the executive director were, "Terrific. See you on the 14th."

Then she got a surprise phone call that they were going to rescind the offer.

Greggs, who was laid off from her last job 18 months ago, said she felt blindsided.

Autism Speaks declined to speak to us on camera, but issued a statement saying it "denies the allegations and intends to defend itself," adding "we are committed to being an equal opportunity employer. We deeply value the contributions of our employees who have children with autism."

Greggs finds it all bitterly ironic.

"They say their mission is advocacy, awareness," she says. "Here I am, a mother with a child who has autism...and you can't give me accommodation? Pretty profound."

Greggs said they also accused her of filing her paperwork late, though she says she was granted an extension. Autism Speaks has filed a motion to dismiss the case.

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No court date has been set yet.

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