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EEOC finds no age, race discrimination in tax employee's firing

Terminated city employee filed suit

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The U.S. Equal Employment Oppor­tunity Commission has ruled against former tag office director Nancy Mims, who told the federal agency it was her age and race, not a department restructuring, that caused Tax Commissioner Steven Kendrick to let her go.

Mims  Special
Special
Mims


The EEOC notice of dismissal, ob­tained from the Augusta Law Depart­ment, said that based on its investigation, EEOC was unable to conclude Kendrick was in violation of federal laws. Mims is white; Kendrick is black.

Mims said she was not surprised EEOC made no finding of discrimination becuase of the limited information the federal agency had.

‘‘They've looked at what I sent them, and that was it,’’ she said Friday.

Before the EEOC ruling arrived Thursday at the city law office, however, Mims had pursued another direction in her claims again Kendrick. She filed a lawsuit last week in Superior Court claiming Kendrick broke personnel policies when he informed her on March 11 that she was losing her job because of downsizing.

‘‘I know what he did is not right, and I know the reasons that he did it,’’ Mims, an employee since 1984, said Friday. ‘‘He wanted my salary, and he split it (among) the people that he wanted to.’’

Takiyah Douse, who succeeded Mims, holds an MBA and later received a salary bump to $9,000 more than Mims was making. Several others in the department also received promotions and raises in changes that Kendrick called a departmental reorganization.

Mims said she had seen others be demoted and wished Kendrick had simply moved her to another position where she could work the three more years she needed to receive her full retirement.

Kendrick maintains that all his staffers are at-will employees who can be terminated for any reason.

Kendrick has also said that although total salaries actually increased in his department, the reorganization that eliminated Mims’ job created greater efficiency and increased collections.

In Mims' suit, attorney Mike Brown asks for proof of the cost savings.

The complaint, which asks for restitution of lost wages and benefits in addition to damages, or that Mims be reinstated, claims Kendrick broke policy by calling Mims’ termination a reduction-in-force to deny her typical due process afforded city employees.

“They used a procedure or device they knew was a sham or fraud,” Brown said.

The transition has been tough for Mims. Her husband, who had been covered under Mims’ city health insurance, recently had a stroke, and the couple has had to rely on a community health clinic for care.

“Over time, it just wipes you out,” she said.

Mims was let go around the time Augusta adopted a personnel manual that spells out explicit procedures for reductions-in-force and other actions, but it was not in effect over tax commission employees then.

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dickworth1
954
Points
dickworth1 12/17/11 - 01:53 am
0
0
First of all, the eeoc is a
Unpublished

First of all, the eeoc is a joke just like the rest of the federal government departments. We already know that Augusta government is a joke so why would anyone be surprised by whatever a government
agency, local, state, or federal concludes. We as citizens already know
our local government is based on black and white issues and until the
racial issues are left out of governing decisions you will always have problems.

southern2
7905
Points
southern2 12/17/11 - 06:57 am
0
0
Unfortunate for Mims.

Unfortunate for Mims.

david jennings
625
Points
david jennings 12/17/11 - 07:24 am
0
0
I wish Ms. Mims luck. It

I wish Ms. Mims luck. It doesn't seem right or fair to be eliminated after more than 25yr. at a job, sounds like she should have been moved to another position.

wondersnevercease
9218
Points
wondersnevercease 12/17/11 - 08:07 am
0
0
Sad that Mims lost her job
Unpublished

Sad that Mims lost her job ...hey Mr. Kendrick...where's the money ??????......did Mims lose (and that's a loose term)that money in the safe?...seems the Wrong person was fired....can't imagine why.

Truth Matters
8097
Points
Truth Matters 12/17/11 - 08:25 am
0
0
I wish Mrs. Mims well. It is

I wish Mrs. Mims well. It is tough losing one’s job and facing such medical obstacles at the same time. This happened to my sister when she had a stroke. Having said that, how many of you were sympathetic with public sector employees being dismissed from their jobs in other states? As Mrs. Mims’ case highlights, these are real people with families, connections in their community and who provide a service.

avidreader
3567
Points
avidreader 12/17/11 - 08:53 am
0
0
Good luck to Mrs. Mims. I

Good luck to Mrs. Mims. I know that all stories have two sides, but my gut-feeling tells me that this woman has a ligitimate complaint. I hope she maintains her vigor in getting to the bottom of the matter.

JRC2024
10520
Points
JRC2024 12/17/11 - 09:01 am
0
0
If it was a reduction then

If it was a reduction then why give raises to others in the department. That doesn't make the department cost less.

seenitB4
98457
Points
seenitB4 12/17/11 - 09:19 am
0
0
Something smells here.......

Something smells here.......

Riverman1
94212
Points
Riverman1 12/17/11 - 09:27 am
0
0
"Kendrick maintains that all

"Kendrick maintains that all his staffers are at-will employees who can be terminated for any reason."

Well, that's certainly not true. He's going to be in court a lot if he believes that.

Sweet son
11727
Points
Sweet son 12/17/11 - 12:42 pm
0
0
@dickworth1, I am with you

@dickworth1, I am with you and your appraisal of the "EEOC." Call me racist or anything else you want but the whole situation, seenitb4 and I agree, smells bad! If the flavors had been reversed Ms. Mims would have retained her job. Also who gives a rat's patoot whether Douse "holds" an MBA. Her MBA is little more than a piece of paper and in the current economy Kendrick, Fred and others had no right giving a raise of this magnitude! GIVE THIS LADY A JOB UNTIL SHE RETIRES! Also I hope her attorney has other ideas for legal action against the county!

tomcasey
-2
Points
tomcasey 12/17/11 - 02:30 pm
0
0
Something is rotten in

Something is rotten in Augusta on this one. Not the EEOC ruling but the way in which she was terminated and what happened in the organization after her departure.

My advice Ms. Mims is get an attorney (a hungry one at that and non- local) and sue the city county government.

I forgot their are so many upstanding employees in the office of the local government that this one particular department was somehow robbed of $25,000.00 and no one knew or has a clue who did it.

dichotomy
37610
Points
dichotomy 12/17/11 - 04:35 pm
0
0
"Something smells

"Something smells here......"

Yep, this smells as bad as the missing $25K. I venture to say that if Mims had been black she would not have been dismissed and her salary spread around like pirate booty. Instead, we would probably have had $50K come up missing. We need to put Kendricks out at the first opportunity. He's crooked as a barrel of fishhooks.

rmwhitley
5547
Points
rmwhitley 12/17/11 - 05:50 pm
0
0
I do not trust anyone or
Unpublished

I do not trust anyone or thing associated with "affirmative action". I believe had the roles been reversed, the eeoc would have ruled the other way. Blacks are given "carte blanche".

painfully honest
6
Points
painfully honest 12/17/11 - 10:28 pm
0
0
I thought you guys were all
Unpublished

I thought you guys were all for smaller government. How do you know that she wasn't on of the sub-par employees in the department. This type of lay-off activity happens everyday. why sould she get special treatment? You elected Kendrick to do a job, let him do it. You guys know mothing about the situation.

Pandalover
0
Points
Pandalover 12/18/11 - 11:51 pm
0
0
The Augusta City Goverment is

The Augusta City Goverment is not a good place to work unless you are related to someone or sleeping with someone otherwise don't expect to be treated fairly. They downsize and re-organize the poor workers just barely making it and want to change their job titles and duties so they can work you in the ground so they don't have to hire anybody or pay them anymore so only the already overpaid pencil pushers can give each other nice fat raises and hire everyone an Assistant all the while saying they can't afford to hire anyone so they can work them like pack mules and make everyone quit or retire. The workers get so sick of constant mistreatment because the ultimate goal is to contract everyone out so they don't have to pay any benefits and can hire cheap labor. Look how many times these people have had lawsuits against them! I hope this lady gets the best lawyer she can get! They are wrong! I hope she can find a better place to work also. It may be a blessing in disguise.

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