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Former city school employee wins verdict against district
by Jebb Johnston
Jun 11, 2014 | 417 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
ABERDEEN — A jury awarded a former maintenance worker and bus driver $100,000 in damages in a dispute over his termination by the Corinth School District.

The verdict went in favor of Alfred L. Newcomb during a two-day trial that began Monday in U.S. District Court in Aberdeen.

The lawsuit, filed in September 2012, alleged that the school district violated the Family and Medical Leave Act by terminating his employment after he suffered a shoulder injury that required him to miss work. The school district argued that Newcomb was terminated “in good faith for legitimate business reasons which did not violate the Family Medical Leave Act,” according to court records.

Newcomb, who performed vehicle maintenance and some general maintenance and also drove a bus, was assisting a coworker on a personal building project on Aug. 2, 2010, when the two fell backwards from 17 feet of scaffolding. Newcomb had surgery the following month and received a termination letter upon returning home. The letter stated that Newcomb’s position was being eliminated as part of a reduction in force because of the elementary school merger and financial considerations.

Newcomb, who had been employed by the school district since 2005, filed a charge of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on March 12, 2011, claiming that he had been discriminated against because of a perceived disability. He received a right-to-sue letter from the EEOC in August 2011 but failed to file suit as required within 90 days.

He then filed a suit alleging that the school district failed to notify him of his entitlement to family and medical leave following the expiration of his accrued time.

Newcomb was represented by Jim Waide and Rachel Pierce Waide of Waide & Associates. The school district was represented by Todd Photopulos and W. Mackin Johnson of Butler Snow LLP.

U.S. District Judge Sharion Aycock heard the case.
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