Southborough Wicked Local reports that the Northborough-Southborough Regional School District is settling in a complaint brought by a former Algonquin janitor.
According to the article, the matter dates back to 2010 when a complaint of racial discrimination was lodged against then-Superintendent Charles Gobron.
In 2013, the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination forced the parties into talks which failed. The charges were soon due for a 3-day hearing, prompting resumed talks.
The district claims that Manuel J. Quintanilla was fired for cause after multiple warnings and incidents of insubordination, poor performance and more. SWL writes:
In its response to [the ], the school district denied it discriminated against Quintanilla, writing that he was one of three Hispanic custodians, including two others who were Brazilian, and that he was replaced by a “Hispanic (Portuguese) employee.”
Quintanilla’s attorney claims that charges were “trumped-up”:
“We have extensive disciplinary records with respect to other workers,” [David J.] Fried said, “which to my mind showed that (the other workers) committed offenses far more serious than those that were alleged against my client, and that they were not disciplined at all.”
An MCAD commissioner apparently found the janitor’s claims credible enough to move forward with talks and a hearing:
MCAD’s investigating commissioner on June 26, 2013, found probable cause to credit the allegations, triggering a mandatory conciliation conference — a step that precedes a future hearing in hopes of resolving the case through a settlement.
Fried said efforts to negotiate an agreement initially failed, but the two sides resumed talks two or three weeks ago. He said the district faced the prospect of paying out a significant financial award if it lost the case; MCAD can order payment of lost wages and salary, attorney’s fees and damages for emotional distress.
For more details, see the full story here.