Three former employees file lawsuit against MSSU


JOPLIN, Mo. — Three former Missouri Southern employees have filed a lawsuit against the university’s Board of Governors, alleging whistleblower retaliation and breach of contract.

Sara Staples of Joplin, Peyton Kessler of Oswego, and Coeta Ogle of Carl Junction previously worked in the university’s nursing program.

The three say that in spring of this year, they complained of and reported several issues in the school of nursing including: inadequate staffing, inadequate teacher to student ratio, and unfair treatment of faculty.

Those issues were discussed at a March Board of Governors meeting. The three say they continued to bring up issues within the department, until they were all fired on July 28th.
They’re now seeking damages for lost salary, emotional pain, suffering, inconvenience, loss of enjoyment of life, and mental anguish.

In August, Missouri Southern announced it was putting its nursing program on hold for the Spring semester. That move was prompted by 2019 board pass rates, which didn’t meet state requirements.

This prevents the university from accepting new students this Spring. We reached out to Missouri Southern on Monday about the lawsuit, the university issued a statement saying,
“MSSU won’t comment on any pending litigation. However, we know how important our nursing program is to this university, as well as the Four State Area – and we are unequivocally dedicated and committed to ensuring it is of exceptional quality and will provide students with an outstanding educational experience.”

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