The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

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April 4, 2013

Another claim pending against Raleigh County assessor

BECKLEY — Although Raleigh County Commissioners approved a settlement agreement Tuesday to an age and gender discrimination claim against Assessor Drema Evans and the Assessor’s Office, there is another claim still pending with the West Virginia Human Rights Commission.

Retired Assessor’s Office employee Eileen Maschal filed her claim in August 2012 against the commission, the assessor and her office, said Johnnie Brown, a Charleston-based attorney who is involved in the matter because he represents Travelers Insurance, Raleigh County’s coverage provider.

Maschal, who was 62 at the time she made the complaint, alleges she did not receive merit pay increases like younger male employees in the office. Maschal filed the claim approximately four months after her co-worker Barbara Vira made the same allegations with the Human Rights Commission. Commissioners have agreed to settle Vira’s claim; however they did not admit liability.

An amended claim was filed by Maschal in September 2012 and on Oct. 1 the Human Rights Commission determined there was probable cause to move forward. A public hearing has been scheduled for 9 a.m. Aug. 13 in Raleigh County. A specific location for the hearing has not been determined, though; and, Brown said the parties could settle before that date and therefore the hearing would not take place. He explained the claim is currently going through discovery and will have to go through mediation.

Brown also said Maschal retired during the summer of 2012 and after her retirement she continued to work part-time in the Assessor’s Office until a full-time employee could be hired.

The final settlement paperwork for Vira’s claim is expected to be filed with the Human Rights Commission within the next two weeks. The county’s insurance company has agreed to pay the majority of the $22,000 settlement for Vira’s claim, while the county will be required to pay the taxes. Brown said he is not certain about the exact dollar amount Raleigh County will have to pay because it will have to be calculated.

— E-mail: chiggins@register-herald.com

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