Carbondale employee sues town
October 19, 2006
A Carbondale utility department employee has filed a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, accusing the town of age discrimination.Rich Poulin, 63, has worked for the town since 1999 and claims he has been the subject of age discrimination by his boss, utility director Ed Fortner.Poulin said in the complaint that he has been the subject of harassment and derogatory remarks since February. He said the discrimination is in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 and that Fortner does not make derogatory remarks to any of the younger workers.Poulin spoke out against Fortner in a case earlier this year in which ex-town employee Tom McClelland charged the town and his supervisor, Fortner, with wrongful termination. At the time of his firing, McClelland had accused Fortner of improperly using town equipment to dispose of a deer carcass that Fortner had poached. But Town Manager Tom Baker ruled McClelland’s dismissal was the result of poor work performance.McClelland has filed a lawsuit against the town on the matter, which is pending.Town Attorney Mark Hamilton said the town disputes Poulin’s claim and the town is responding to the charge.