Algonquin settled discrimination case for $100,000; confidential agreement signed in March

Above: Local media is reporting on the confidential settlement reached in March by school officials over an Algonquin employee fired in 2010 (photo by Susan Fitzgerald)

Southborough Wicked Local is updating that a racial discrimination case by a former ARHS janitor has been settled for $100,000. A confidential agreement was signed by school officials last month.

In February, SWL reported that the district had agreed to settle with Manuel Quintanilla over charges filed in 2010.

The amount was undisclosed at the time. A public records made by Metrowest Daily News* is now filling in that blank.

Whether the settlement will be paid by the district or insurer is still undisclosed. No payout is listed in the Regional school budget approved by Southborough Town Meeting this week.

SWL reports:

The settlement payment includes $25,000 to compensate Quintanilla for lost wages and $34,338 to cover his attorneys’ fees, according to a copy of the agreement, which was obtained by the Daily News through a public records request. It provides an additional $40,662 in damages for emotional distress, which will be payable jointly to Quintanilla and his lawyer. . .

The move to settle was prompted by the approach of a 3-day hearing in front of the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination. 

In 2013, MCAD enough in favor of the complainant to force the school into talks. Those talks had apparently stalled out, then resumed a few weeks before the scheduled hearing.

The district told MCAD, that Quintanilla was fired for cause after multiple warnings and incidents of insubordination, poor performance and more. The district also pointed to other hispanic employees, including Quintanilla’s replacement, as showing they weren’t racially motivated.

Quintanilla’s lawyer called charges related to his client’s firing “trumped up”. He claimed co-workers weren’t disciplined for far more serious offenses.

The school still denies allegations. SWL reports:

A confidentiality clause included in the agreement forbids Quintanilla from disclosing the terms of the deal to anyone other than his immediate family, accountants, financial advisors and attorneys. If anyone else asks about it, the settlement directs him to respond only: “The matter was resolved.”

The school district did not admit any liability by executing the settlement. It denies “all allegations of unlawful and/or wrongful conduct” included in Quintanilla’s discrimination complaint.

For SWL’s coverage of the settlement, click here.

*Southborough Wicked Local is owned by the owners or Metrowest Daily News (and I generally share the articles posted by SWL, because those are free to all readers. MWDN has a cap on the number of stories viewed per month by non-subscribers.

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