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Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Scottsboro City Council Regular Session, Council Member Smith's Report and Request June 25, 2018 UPDATE - June 27, 2018 What is Work Place Harrassment, Hostile Work Environment as Defined by the Equal Opportunity Commission UPDATE: July 9, 2018 Verbal Warning Documentation from Mayor Shelton Regarding Confrontation

Scottsboro City Hall (photo by G. Morgan)

Council Member Keith Smith discusses Martintown Landfill, bestows accolades on CDG Engineering, engineers for the landfill, and ask Mayor Shelton to "bring back" Mr. Eddie Blizzard, Solid Waste Director and Street Department Superintendent. (photo by G. Morgan)

The Martintown Landfill new permitting is due by July 18, 2018, CDG Engineering assists in that process.

Mr Smith alleged the Mayor had created hostile work conditions for Mr. Blizzard. Smith further claimed that Mr. Blizzard had been placed on Medical Leave due to a heart condition. Mayor Robin Shelton had no comment on the Sick Leave status of Mr. Blizzard. 

It is important to point out that the day to day operations of the City of Scottsboro and the Supervision of the Employees is the responsibility of the Mayor of Scottsboro. As to any story such as this, there are two or more sides to the story. Mr. Smith also indicated Mr. Blizzard had received a reprimand from the Mayor. 

There have been no formal complaints brought forward to the Scottsboro City Council as a body politic as a complaint for action.

(Result of Records Request)

Mayor Shelton (photo by G. Morgan)

Mayor Shelton's Verbal Warning Documentation
(Click on image for an expanded view)
Mr. Eddie Blizzard speaking before the Scottsboro City Council (photo by G. Morgan)

There are two items which stands out in this document: 1) Provoking comments documented, quote - Mayor stated - "I apologized for cursing him," 2)  an assault upon the Mayor by a Department Head, Quote from Mayor: "Blizzard said then we will just settle this right now, reached in and grabbed my necktie and started pulling."

Mr. Blizzard refused to sign the warning. H.R. Director Erin Stiles signed, Police Chief Ralph Dawe signed and the Mayor signed.

What is a hostile work environment? The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, EEOC, defines Creating a Hostile Work Environment as Harassment. The definition as to Federal Guidelines of a Hostile Work Environment are described at this link: https://www.eeoc.gov/laws/types/harassment.cfm

More info on workplace harassment from employment attorneys: ". . . for harassment under a hostile work environment theory, you must show that you were subjected to offensive, unwelcome conduct that was so severe or pervasive that it affected the terms and conditions of your employment. Getting yelled at all day long could be enough to meet this part of the test. However, you must also prove that the harassment was based on a protected characteristic, such as your race or gender. 

Legally speaking, harassment is a form of discrimination. It is illegal only if it is based on one of the characteristics protected by federal or state antidiscrimination laws. Under federal law, these characteristics include race, color, national origin, gender, pregnancy, religion, disability, age (over 40), and genetic information. State law often protects additional traits, such as gender identity, marital status, and sexual orientation. https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/my-boss-yells-me-can-i-sue-hostile-work-environment.html
Jackson County Sentinel's article regarding Mr. Smith's report to the City Council:   http://jcsentinel.com/news/article_1e807af8-7bd8-11e8-bce6-ab68a6f54946.html

Video excerpt of this segment.

                      (Click on image for an expanded view.)

Issue concerning approval of Change Order for Downtown Streetscape Phase 2 Project. This cost overrun was not approved, the issue died due to a lack of a second on the motion. Apparently there was a difference between last weeks costs as discussed in the June 18, 2018 Council Work Session, $18,340.00 and this week's cost of $26,346.67. 

Regular Session Video

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