NEW YORK, N.Y. – The former CEO of Tuesday Morning has filed a discrimination lawsuit against the discount retailer, saying she was fired just months after revealing she had breast cancer.
The lawsuit by Kathleen Mason follows a discrimination filing with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission this summer. Mason’s lawyer, Rogge Dunn, says she was fired during a phone call last June, even though she had overseen the company’s growth during her tenure.
Dunn has said that Mason informed the board of her cancer so they wouldn’t be alarmed if she began losing her hair or growing gaunt as a result of treatment. But he has said the board’s attitude toward her began to change soon after, with members contacting her subordinates directly. At one point when Mason was wearing a wig, Dunn said one board member made a sarcastic comment about how nice her hair looked.
Dunn said Friday that Mason’s health is “good” and that she is “fighting through it.” He noted that she has been performing her other duties on boards.
Tuesday Morning Corp., which sells closeout housewares and home decor, stood by its ousting of Mason on Friday. The company said in a statement that Mason’s allegations are “without merit” and that it intends to “vigorously contest” any allegation to the contrary.
In announcing her termination in June, the Dallas-based company had said it was time to transition to a new executive who would “guide the company through its next stage.”
The company, which has about 850 stores across the country, had recently reported a wider quarterly loss with fewer customers visiting stores and spending less per visit.
The lawsuit was filed Thursday in Dallas County Court.