Sanitary Board settles lawsuits for $170,000
HUNTINGTON -- The Huntington Sanitary Board has settled lawsuits with two former employees for $170,000.
The lawsuits were filed separately in 2010 in Cabell Circuit Court. One of the lawsuits alleged racial discrimination, and the other accused the Sanitary Board of wrongful termination.
Wayne Friday, who is black, applied for the foreman's position at the Sanitary Board's wastewater treatment plant in September 2008 and again in December 2009. Both times, the Sanitary Board hired a white employee with fewer qualifications, according to the lawsuit. In the latter instance, Friday had the necessary qualifications for the position but was passed over for a white employee who could not obtain the certifications needed for the job within the required time frame, according to the lawsuit.
Friday also alleged in the lawsuit that Sanitary Board management did not take any action when he was subjected to derogatory comments about his race by other employees.
Friday reached a settlement with the Sanitary Board and city of Huntington, a co-defendant in the lawsuit, for $150,000, according to information obtained by The West Virginia Record. The Sanitary Board's share was $142,500.
Hanley claimed in his lawsuit that he was fired from his job at the wastewater treatment plant in August 2008 because then-Sanitary Board member Jim Ashworth accused him of vandalizing Ashworth's car. Although Hanley was never charged with the crime or arrested, he was led to believe at the time of his firing that a warrant was being issued for his arrest, according to the lawsuit.
Hanley also alleged in his lawsuit that several whistle-blowing actions on his part led to his termination. The Sanitary Board agreed to pay Hanley and his wife, a co-plaintiff in the suit, $20,000 as well as pay for mediator costs, according to information obtained by The West Virginia Record.