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911 director appeals termination and asks for back pay

A fired county 911 director has filed an appeal for her termination and is demanding back pay. The claimant has stated she was a victim of wrongful termination and harassment by administrators on the job in events leading up to her being let go. Some county officials agree her termination was illegal.

The administrators claim she was fired on an at-will basis. Coworkers of the 911 director have suggested her firing was illegal. The commission vote to let her go was three to nothing. Their decision was based on the employee's posting of incriminating information on Facebook regarding recently hired public employees who were sex offenders.

One county commissioner has come to the woman's defense, saying she was responsible for the 911 center, which was one of the top 911 ones in the state. The commission said the woman's work quality was beyond reproach. The employee was accused of using her job to receive and disseminate private information. The decision to fire her was discussed at a public meeting. Opponents of the termination state there is no company policy on posting information on social media, and the employee committed no violations.

One county official suggested the actions of the commission violated the Freedom of Speech amendment. Some coworkers feel the termination was based on retaliation since the victim's husband was part of a committee to remove one of the chairpersons accused of harassment.

ABC news in New York reported that the accused woman has not spoken on camera but is adamant in her claims of verbal abuse and harassment against the officials. She has threatened to reveal recordings providing evidence of the taunts if she is forced to show her hand in the future.

Reporters have stated the accused officials have either not responded to calls or have denied any wrongdoing. The claimant confirms she knew nothing about the special meeting called to vote on her termination until after the fact. The attorney general is reviewing accusations against one of the commissioners; however, coworkers are currently passing around a petition to bring him back to work.

Harassment on the job is a serious offense, as is wrongful termination or other retaliatory actions on the job. There are legal avenues available for those who feel they have been the victim of such actions, as well as possible compensation through civil court.

walb.com, "Worth 911 Chief wants job, back pay" Devin Knight, Oct. 01, 2013

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