Former Wayne State student sues university, Salvation Army

Dec 8, 2010

A new lawsuit claims the Salvation Army and Wayne State University discriminated against a student because she was pregnant and unmarried.Tina Valresi was a graduate student in Wayne State’s social work program. She had to finish an internship with the Salvation Army to complete her degree.

Lawyer Deborah Gordon says as soon as Valresi’s supervisors at the Salvation Army found out she was pregnant, her work atmosphere became “hostile.”

She says the Salvation Army then gave her an “unsatisfactory” review, causing her to be dismissed from her graduate program. Gordon says the Salvation Army was “punishing” Valresi for being pregnant.

“They could have just been honest and said at the very beginning this is not acceptable. We want Wayne to put you elsewhere. Instead they kept her on and then failed her as a punishment.”

Gordon says Valresi only filed the lawsuit after trying unsuccessfully to resolve things with Wayne State.

Neither the Salvation Army nor Wayne State could be reached for comment.