The City of Mebane filed a request to dismiss some elements of a discrimination lawsuit from a long-time planning administrator against the city and several administrators.
The city has not responded to the allegations of race and sex discrimination made by Montrena Hadley, a 17-year administrator in the city’s Planning Department and a black woman. While not admitting to any of Hadley’s allegations, the city is, so far, asking for dismissal of only a few of her claims against it and against City Manager David Cheek, Assistant City Manager Chris Rollins and Human Resources Director Esther Bennett.
Hadley claims she was passed her over for promotions in favor of white men with sometimes less education.
Representing herself, Hadley sued in Alamance County Superior Court and now has filed that suit in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina.
The city claims Hadley can’t claim what is called “disparate impact” discrimination — practices that aren’t intentional discrimination but have a greater impact on minority employees and women than on white men, which Hadley did not allege in her complaint, and generally requires statistical evidence of the practice’s impact, which Hadley did not include.
While the complaint includes references to “policies, practices and patterns of conduct in employment decisions,” the only specific in her complaint, according to the city, were extra questions Rollins asked her in a job interview that she alleges were not asked of other candidates and were chosen to be difficult for her.
Hadley also didn’t make the disparate-impact claim in her original Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaint, meaning she did not “exhaust administrative remedies” required in these suits, according to the city.
The city also claims Hadley cannot sue her supervisors and other administrators individually since Title VII gives the right to sue only employers.
The city also wants a due-process claim under the state constitution dismissed, saying the constitution protects against a city arbitrarily denying rights under a process established by its own rules, but not the “property” claim Hadley made that she was entitled to a promotion.
Reporter Isaac Groves can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 336-506-3045. Follow him on Twitter at @tnigroves.