Patsy Edmonds Smith v. City of Galax

Judge Jones oversaw Patsy Edmonds Smith v. the City of Galax on April 14, 2011.  Smith alleged that she was fired after 19 years of employment as a dispatcher for the Galax Police Department because she’s a 58-year-old divorced woman. The judge favored both for, and against, Smith.

Originally, she filed a complaint under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, which the city was granted in dismissing.  However, Judge Jones gave Smith the opportunity to file an Amended Complaint with more facts displaying her discrimination.  This court case saw Smith’s new complaint, and the city’s wish to dismiss this as well.

After hearing both arguments, Judge Jones ruled that because Smith’s replacement at her old employment was a woman as well, there was no discrimination based on gender.  However, he found that Smith was indeed fired because she was approaching the opportunity to gain retirement benefits, and that an employee before her was fired for the same reason.  With that knowledge, Judge Jones denied the city’s motion to dismiss.

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