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Dec 07 2018

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More lawsuits against SBCISD Uncovered: Pedraza’s Lawsuit in Federal Court

By J. NOEL ESPINOZA
Special to the NEWS

The number of lawsuits uncovered against the San Benito Consolidated Independent School District (SBCISD) keep growing as suits by two former employees join the litigation list.
Robert Pedraza, a former custodian with 12 years of service, claims he was replaced by a younger, less qualified employee. Pedraza, who was 64 years of age at the time of his dismissal, said there were three other younger and less qualified employees who took his post after his termination.
The lawsuit, filed in Cameron County Feb. 13, 2018, states the district has and continues to take part in a pattern and practice of age discrimination against its older workforce.
Pedraza, who was on leave under the Family Medical Leave Act when his termination occurred, thinks the district used the excuse of his medical leave expiring as a reason to fire him.
“Defendant’s calculations that plaintiff’s FMLA leave had expired on June 24, 2016, was false and restricted,” reads the court case. “(It) interfered and was retaliatory for plaintiff qualifying under FMLA. (It) showed pretext against plaintiff that resulted in his termination based upon his age.”
When asked whether Pedraza had reached a settlement with SBCISD, John Shergold, the lawyer representing him, says he didn’t want to make any statements on pending litigation.
“I can’t comment on the Pedraza matter,” Shergold said. “I can tell you that’s pending in federal court. As far as any settlement, I’m not allowed to comment on that.”
A second lawsuit filed by Jose Homar Villarreal on Nov. 1, 2017, claims he was fired after he reported being threatened by Transportation Director Erica Flores. Villarreal, who, at the time, was the assistant transportation director, had been with the district since March 1984.
According to the lawsuit, Flores had been only eight months with the district when she recommended terminating Villarreal.
Villarreal said in court documents that the same day he reported the incident, he was suspended from his duties by former Superintendent Dr. Adrian Vega.

 

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.sbnewspaper.com/2018/12/07/more-lawsuits-against-sbcisd-uncovered-pedrazas-lawsuit-in-federal-court/

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