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Arizona teacher fired for breast cancer treatment allowed to return to work

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PHOENIX — An Arizona teacher who was fired because she was unable to work while battling breast cancer was reinstated by Gov. Doug Ducey on Friday.

Tarah Ausburn, a teacher at Adobe Mountain School, told the Arizona Republic that she was fired this week after she failed to return to work and her unpaid medical leave expired this week. She was fighting a staph infection she contracted while receiving treatment for breast cancer.

Her health insurance was also revoked when she was fired.

Ducey spokesman Daniel Scarpinato said the governor reviewed the firing and determined Ausburn should be allowed to continue to teaching.

“Our office has contacted her personally to notify her that her job has been reinstated,” Scarpinato said in an email.

Ducey also ordered that Ausburn receive full pay — she makes $57,000 annually — and that she be permitted to stay away from work until she is healthy.

Scarpinato told the newspaper that an investigation into Ausburn’s firing is also underway.

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