Age discrimination claim against township dismissed

By Tony Wittkowski | Business Reporter | The Herald-Palladium

BENTON TOWNSHIP – The age discrimination claim filed against Benton Township by one of its trustees has been dismissed.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission dismissed Trustee Cathy Yates’ claim, stating they have no jurisdiction since she is an elected official.

Superintendent Elden Piontek said the township received confirmation of the claim’s dismissal May 29.

“We are not going to do anything now, but we are not surprised it was dismissed,” he said. “The EEOC is closing the file because they have no jurisdiction. (Yates) was elected by the people. It’s not like a regular employee who is hired by a company.”

Yates filed a charge of age discrimination May 8, alleging township officials did not consider her for the role of supervisor because of her age. Yates is 65 years old.

Yates had said she was never asked about her abilities or considered as a possible successor to Nora Jefferson, who resigned in January for personal reasons.

Former trustee Kevin White was later appointed as supervisor Feb. 11.

Calls made to Yates were not returned in time for publication. Yates is in her first term as trustee and had previously said she planned to continue to represent her district.

There have been no discussions on the discrimination claim between Yates and the township. Piontek said the township’s attorney had advised them to not reach out. However, the other board members have been informed.

Contact Tony Wittkowski at twittkowski@thehp.com or (269) 932-0358. Follow him on Twitter @tonywittkowski.

(Author’s Note: This article was originally published on June 2, 2015)

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