Newspaper Settles With Employee With Stage IV Cancer Who Was Terminated

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The Chattanooga Publishing Company, parent company of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, has settled with an employee who was terminated after she came down with stage IV breast cancer.

The settlement with Debra Dunn came as preparations were being made for trial. The amount of the settlement was not given.

A Knoxville mediator helped work out the settlement terms.

The mediation came after Federal Judge Curtis Collier, in a 26-page ruling, found that Ms. Dunn had a valid claim.

Ms. Dunn joined the newspaper in September 2010 as the administrative assistant to chief financial officer Russell Lively. She was diagnosed with cancer the next spring, but continued to do her duties on a flexible schedule.

The suit says Ms. Dunn notified Mr. Lively on Aug. 18, 2011, that she would be needing surgery. It says she was fired 30 minutes later.

Judge Collier said Ms. Dunn "apologized for her health-related absences but noted 'obviously she had no control over getting cancer.' He said Mr. Lively responded that she "could not stay on as his assistant, adding, 'I can't have times when I don't have somebody here to do the work that I need done. You've got to deal with your cancer and that's what you should do is just deal with that right now.'"

The suit says Mr. Lively said he was expecting a promotion and needed someone who could help him full time.


Association Of Fundraising Professionals' Southeastern Chapter To Hold Membership Meeting May 27

The Southeastern Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) will hold its monthly membership meeting on  Wednesday, May 27  at the Mountain City Club, located at 729 Chestnut Street, from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m .   This month’s guest speaker is Lynne Wester, Founder and Principal of Donor Relations Guru. Ms. Wester is a frequent conference ... (click for more)

GDOL To Help Automation Personnel Recruit Workers In Dalton Next Week

The Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) will help staffing company Automation Personnel fill 60 jobs for companies with textile plants in Murray and Whitfield counties. The recruitment will be held on  Wednesday, May 27 , from  9 a.m. to 12 noon  at the GDOL’s Dalton Career Center, 1406 Chattanooga Ave. The company is recruiting extrusion, ... (click for more)

Flora Tydings Selected As Chattanooga State’s Next President

Flora Tydings is expected to be named the next president to lead Chattanooga State Community College pending approval by the Tennessee Board of Regents at a special called meeting next Wednesday. The board will meet at 9:30 a.m. CDT at the TBR System Office in Nashville. Included on the agenda is TBR Chancellor John Morgan’s recommendation for Dr. Tydings to replace Interim President ... (click for more)

Garcia Charged With Armed Robbery Of Red Bank Dollar Store

Red Bank Police have charged 25-year-old Derek Matthew Garcia with the armed robbery of the Dollar General Store at 4707 Dayton Blvd. Police Chief Tim Christol said the robbery occurred last Friday at approximately 12:30 p.m. when Garcia entered the store armed with a knife and demanded the clerk give him all the money from the cash register. He was arrested Thursday ... (click for more)

Don't Make A Mockery Of Memorial Day - And Response

We're told Memorial Day is the day to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice in order that we, as Americans and others around the world, might live free, unshackled (invisible or otherwise) and without oppression. But how is that so when so many in America continue to be denied those freedoms? Others whose family and friends made the ultimate sacrifice? Their surviving families ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Chincoteague Mourns ‘Dude’

In the span of a person’s life, there are some things that simply can’t be explained to be totally understood. And of all the spectacles I have ever personally witnessed, one of the best is that day in late July when they “pen the ponies” at Chincoteague Island, Va. I’m serious. Over 50,000 people watch every year as volunteer “Saltwater Cowboys” swim the wild ponies to the mainland ... (click for more)