Tentative trial date set for discrimination suit against Tobar
A federal lawsuit against Grady County Administrator Carlos Tobar is progressing and county commissioners on Tuesday night voted to approve payment of $2,735.10 in legal fees for Tobar’s defense.
The legal fees were for services rendered through May 25 and according to federal court documents, a jury trial has tentatively been set for April 3, 2017 at 8:30 a.m. before U.S. District Judge W. Louis Sands in Albany.
A federal court is being asked to determine if actions by Tobar violated the civil rights of Blair Bracewell, a former county accounting clerk in the Grady County Board of Commissioners’ office from July 25, 2012 through April 29, 2014. Ms. Bracewell filed a charge of discrimination with the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) on Oct. 24, 2014 citing allegations of discrimination based on sex, religion, and disability.
Following an investigation into the allegations by the EEOC, a right-to-sue letter was issued and a suit was filed in the Middle District of Georgia in Albany by attorney James Garrity on Feb. 4, 2016 on behalf of Ms. Bracewell.
In the EEOC complaint and the federal lawsuit, Ms. Bracewell alleges that Tobar treated her differently after learning she was pregnant out of wedlock.
Ms. Bracewell’s suit states that on March 12, 2014 Tobar authorized a $1 per hour raise for her and approximately two weeks later she notified the administrator that she was expecting a child.
According to the suit, after Tobar learned of the pregnancy he allegedly required Ms. Bracewell to work additional hours without being paid overtime to make up for lost time going to doctor’s appointments and to use her available sick time.
The former accounting clerk also alleges that Tobar “pushed his religious beliefs” on her and “many times” made comments about Ms. Bracewell living with her boyfriend without being married.
After learning that she was pregnant, Ms. Bracewell alleges that Tobar questioned her on several occasions about whether she was going to get married since she was pregnant.
Tobar terminated Ms. Bracewell on April 28, 2014, just one month after granting her a $1 per hour raise.
Grady County’s liability insurance through the Association County Commissioners of Georgia has retained Thomasville attorney Raleigh W. Rollins to represent the county in the federal suit.