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Female administrator's discrimination claim is dismissed

The Berrien Springs school system sought to effect budget cuts by combining the jobs of Transportation Supervisor and Building and Grounds Supervisor.  Sandra Swartz, an unmarried woman who was older than the Building Supervisor, held the former job at the time.  She was initially made the assistant to the Building Supervisor, who was promoted to the new consolidated position, and after a year she was terminated.  She filed suit alleging that she was a victim of discrimination.  She pointed to remarks made by school administrators referring to the fact that she was eligible for retirement and that she was "not the head of a household" as evidence of age and gender discrimination.

The trial court and the Court of Appeals rejected Swartz's claims, holding that the school system 's efforts to cut budget were legitimate, that it reasonably considered the male Building Supervisor better qualified to hold the consolidated position and that Swartz was not illegally terminated.  It held that the remarks regarding retirement and supporting a household were no longer specific to a particular gender and not adequate to support a discrimination claim where there were legitimate, legal bases for the school system's decision.
Thompson O’Neil, P.C.
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Traverse City, Michigan 49684
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