DENVER (CBS4)– A teacher at CU Denver is suing the university after, she says, it barred her from campus over a rumor that she had COVID-19. Executive Director of National History Day Colorado, Celeste Archer, was a week away from the program’s annual showcase at CU Denver when her boss forwarded her an email from the Department of Occupational Health saying she couldn’t return to work until she was cleared for COVID-19.
Archer says she immediately called to say there had been a mistake.
“I’m vaccinated. I’ve taken every precaution… I don’t know what you’re talking about. She said that somebody said they heard that you had tested positive for COVID, had it, or showing symptoms and I said, ‘Do you hear what you just said? Somebody said that they heard? So this is based on hearsay.'”
In a statement, CU Denver says “We followed our safety protocols and responded with good intent… In less than two hours, we sorted out any misunderstandings and invited the employee back to campus.”
Archer says, had the university investigated the report in the first place, it would have learned she wasn’t even in the state on the dates the person allegedly came in contact with her. But she says there was no due process.
“The first person who should have been called, is me.”
Attorney Will Trachman with Mountain States Legal Foundation is suing the university on Archer’s behalf.
“There’s no COVID-19 exception to the due process clause… no matter how long Celeste Archer was barred from campus, the due process that she received before hand was nothing.”
An historian, Archer can’t help but think history is repeating itself and that COVID-19 is the new scarlet letter, “This is a global tragedy and we’re letting this person manipulate that tragedy for own purpose? No, we can’t do that.”
A veteran teacher with 25 years of experience, Archer says, what happened to her can happen to anyone. She wants the university to change its policy to ensure due process and to release the name of the person who filed the false report, and hold that person accountable.