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JACKSON BOARD OF ED OFFERS $20,000 TO SETTLE DISCRIMINATION LAWSUIT FILED BY EMPLOYEE TERMINATED OVER A GASTROINTESTINAL DISABILITY




Back in May 2023, Jackson Township's Board of Education was slammed with a lawsuit which alleges discrimination violations.


The lawsuit was filed in New Jersey Superior Court in Ocean County, by a now terminated employee who alleges he was repeatedly harassed, and ultimately terminated by his supervisors over a disability that required him to use the restroom frequently.


The employee is represented by Cherry Hill Attorney Kathleen Redpath-Perez, Esq.


According to the Complaint, which names as defendants the Board of Education as well as several supervisors within, the employee has a heart problem and suffers from gastrointestinal symptoms, of which he properly informed the District.


From the start of Plaintiff’s employment, Jesse Kalapos, the lead and Plaintiff’s direct supervisor, who was aware of his disability, would harass Plaintiff on the account of his disability and would humiliate him in front of others and behind his back regarding his need for a medical accommodation. Specifically, Kalapos would shame him about why he needed to use the bathroom.


Kalapos would also comment in front of Plaintiff’s co-workers that Plaintiff was always in the bathroom. This caused Plaintiff severe embarrassment and humiliation.


The full details of the lawsuit can be seen here on FAA News.


The Board of Education is now attempting to offer a $20,000 settlement and/or get a judge to agree to dismiss the case!


Shortly after being served the lawsuit, the Board - represented by Cherry Hill Attorney Matthew J. Behr Esq. - propounded Interrogatories, Request for Production of Documents, and a Notice of Deposition for the deposition of the plaintiff, which was to be held in August.


Subsequently, the parties agreed to go to mediation with retired Judge Baldwin. Mediation occurred on November 8, 2023. It did not result in any settlement.


Subsequently, on November 13, 2023, the Board's attorney wrote to the plaintiff that as mediation was not successful, their discovery demands (which were not yet answered) were being renewed, and answers needed to be served within 14 days.


On December 13, 2023, after receiving no response from the plaintiff, the Board offered to settle the lawsuit for $20,000 plus Plaintiff’s reasonable counsel fees, costs and expenses. The Board gave the plaintiff until 14 days prior to trial, or 90 days from now, whichever comes first, to accept this offer or it will be withdrawn.


Just a mere days later, the Board cranked things up by filing a motion to dismiss the entire case due to the Plaintiff's failure to respond to their discovery demands!


The Board's motion is returnable next Friday, Friday, January 5, 2024. The plaintiff has not yet responded to either the settlement offer or the motion.


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