Faculty Member With Lung Damage From COVID Sues NJ College for Right to Work Remotely

A program manager for Essex County College  is claiming in a lawsuit that he was denied a work-from-home extension despite suffering permanent breathing problems from COVID.

Michael Corbitt, a program manager with the community college's Aspire Initiative program, said he caught COVID early in the pandemic, around March 13, 2020, and was hospitalized for 30 days.

He suffered severe lung damage that resulted in "ongoing breathing issues," according to the lawsuit he filed against the school's board of trustees.

Corbitt was approved to work from home between June 4 and July 30 after being advised by his doctor that he would not be able to wear a mask without becoming "short of breath, light-headed and fatigued," according to the lawsuit. When Corbitt returned to his doctor on July 23, the doctor said his condition was improving, but he was still short of breath, light-headed and fatigued.

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