Teneeshia Marshall sends demand letter to Mayor Poe
June 28, 2021
BY JENNIFER CABRERA
Teneeshia Marshall, former Equal Employment Director for the City of Gainesville, has sent a demand letter to Gainesville Mayor Lauren Poe, copying the other six city commissioners. Marshall is represented by Lindsay Greene of DSK Law, out of Orlando
The letter says the hope is “to reach an amicable resolution, with regard to the many claims that we intend to bring on behalf of Ms. Marshall.” The letter says she was denied her severance pay and compensation for her retirement benefits of $59,745.31, “which is a breach of the Employment Agreement.”
However, the Gainesville City Commission has already approved an amended contract that provides a lump sum payment in the exact amount cited in the demand letter. The draft amendment contract also included severance pay, but City Attorney Nicolle Shalley “told the commission that Marshall did not wish to give up the right to sue the City in exchange for the severance pay.”
The letter claims that her original Employment Agreement provides for 17 weeks’ severance pay and “Any other reading of the Agreement, and any attempts to require Ms. Marshall to execute a release as a condition of receiving her severance pay, is unreasonable and absent all merit.”
The letter further states that Marshall “was subjected to retaliation by the City Manager, Lee Feldman, and at least one member of the City Commission, Commissioner Adrian Hayes-Santos, due to her having objected to unlawful conduct, such as unlawful discrimination and retaliation of City employees… [T]he conditions of her work environment were rendered so unbearable that she had no option but to resign.” The letter provides notice of Marshall’s intention to bring an action for retaliation “including a claim for constructive discharge.”
In a paragraph demanding preservation of all communications, Diane Wilson is also mentioned. Wilson filed a complaint of gender discrimination against Feldman and later filed a complaint of retaliation; the City Commission declined to fire Feldman after an investigation found that he had retaliated against Wilson. Instead, the commission recommended a “professional development program” for Feldman.
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