The Mascenic Regional School District paid $5,000 last month to settle an age discrimination complaint from a former employee, according to a public records request.
Former administrative assistant Rose Thibault agreed to waive a claim under the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act in exchange for the payment, according to a complaint filed Jan. 19 with the New Hampshire Human Rights Commission. The settlement agreement was released by the school district through an attorney after the Ledger-Transcript made a right-to-know request to see the district’s legal fees over the last three school years.
The settlement was made out of court. The state’s Human Rights Commission would not provide the original complaint filed by Thibault.
Thibault, a Greenville resident, was 74 when her position was removed from the budget.
Thibeault’s title was superintendent administrative assistant, according to public record. After 14 years of employment — which spanned four superintendents — she was earning about $19 per hour. It was a 40-hour-per-week position that was cut to 30 hours per week before being eliminated.
The superintendent secretary salary expenditure in the 2014-15 year was $84,174.09. Two people were assisting the superintendent at the time. The one in 2015-16 (after Thibault’s separation from the district) was paid $46,344.38. In the upcoming year’s budget, $36,680.95 is proposed.
Thibault declined comment when reached by phone Monday.
In its proposed budget for the 2017-18 school year, which will be voted on by Greenville and New Ipswich residents on March 14, the district allocates $64,000 for legal services and $30,726 for property and liability insurance. The $5,000 for the settlement would have been paid by insurance.
The legal line in the budget is broken up three ways: $21,300 for Highbridge Hill Elementary School, $21,300 for Boynton Middle School, and $21,400 for Mascenic Regional High School.
The budgeted sum for the current school year was identical, $64,000, but total expenditures are not yet available. That is an increase from 2015-16 (during which $54,900 was budgeted and $27,730.15 was spent) and from 2014-15, when $50,005.67 was spent.
“It’s an employee issue,” school board chair Jeff Salmonson said. “I won’t be able to discuss an employee or employment issue.”