U.S. Department of Labor investigation into allegations began Tuesday
By RON AIKEN
In a story only Quorum has reported on, Richland School District One whistleblower Machelle Thompson, the former Head of Classification Employment until her termination on Feb. 10 by Superintendent Craig Witherspoon, has expanded her $11 million lawsuit against the district for wrongful termination by adding Witherspoon’s name as a defendant, court papers obtained by Quorum show.
With the district currently under investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor for claims made by Thompson that the district’s human resource chief (Sanita Savage Cousar), legal counsel (Susan Williams) and superintendent did not correct or acknowledge information proving that approximately 45 district employees whose job duties and hours entitled them to claim overtime were not allowed to because they were incorrectly categorized.
Thompson, whose appeal of her termination was heard last week by Witherspoon himself and denied, is seeking an appeal before the Richland One School Board, a right guaranteed in the district’s policy on grievance protocol.
“The board and its constituents, the taxpayers, need to hear how the District’s leadership ignores and violates policies and laws, even when it affects substantial money earned and not paid for the many hours of overtime required work, at least in 40 cases,” Thompson wrote in a release accompanying the amended suit. “Abraham Lincoln was supposed to free all of the slaves — apparently there are some District One employees he missed.”
Read the lawsuit in in its entirety here:
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