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2011-05-25 / News Briefs

Former Chesterfield employee appeals dismissed lawsuit

A former county employee filed a legal brief this past week, appealing the February dismissal of her sexual discrimination claim against Chesterfield County to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.

When Karla Gerner’s position as director of human resource management was eliminated in December 2009 because of budget cuts, she was offered a two-month severance package. Gerner filed a $1.1 million lawsuit against the county last December, claiming she wasn’t offered the same severance package as similarly situated male coworkers, who had received severance for six months or more.

In February, U.S. District Court Judge Henry Hudson ruled that since Gerner wasn’t under an employment contract with the county, she wasn’t entitled to severance, so her argument over the length of severance was irrelevant. In an email last week, Gerner’s attorney, Mark Dix, stated, “We believe the decision cannot be reconciled with Supreme Court precedent or the cases [Hudson] stated he was relying upon.”

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