LAFOLLETTE, TN (WLAF) – Suspended City of La Follette employee Jimmy Marlow and his attorney Ameesh Kherani believe the veteran heavy equipment operator is being unfairly treated. On Friday afternoon, Kherani made public Marlow’s eight page response to scheduled termination proceedings by the City of La Follette. A line item of termination of public works employee Jimmy Marlow is in the administration section of the agenda for this afternoon’s city workshop.

The city claims in an employee disciplinary report dated Oct. 11, 2021, that Marlow falsely reported his work time on his time card. The employee disciplinary report signed by Casey Boshears, public works director, and Stan Foust, city administrator/human resources director, is a suspension notice to Marlow. Marlow, a nearly 15 year employee, has been suspended without pay since report was issued.

Kherani alleges the suspension is in “blatant violation of the City of La Follette’s personnel policy.”

The city’s personnel policy indicates that employees who are not performing at the expected level are to be given time to improve when its appropriate. In some cases, “severe initial disciplinary action” maybe warranted. Overall, the city has four avenues of action: oral reprimand, written reprimand, suspension and dismissal.

Marlow “has not been reprimanded until the present proceeding, has never received an oral reprimand, written reprimand or any other adversarial proceedings,” his attorney is arguing. Marlow has received excellent work evaluations as well, the letter said.

Also being debated is the completion of timecards. Marlow, who lacks a high school diploma, was expected to complete his own time card, after it always being completed by a city employee. When these employees were on leave, Marlow, with no training on completing the time card was expected to do so, his attorney said. As a result, Marlow “inadvertently completed a mistaken timesheet.” Kherani contends the city should have offered Marlow training before asking that he complete the timesheet.

Kherani further alleges the city didn’t orally reprimand or issue a written reprimand, but directly jumped to “suspension,” which violates the city’s policy manual. Marlow is adamantly contesting any proceedings of termination or suspension.

Marlow said the city has failed to meet its burden to suspend and/or terminate him.

Kherani belives the true motivation for Marlow’s suspension could be that Marlow is 52-years-old.

The attorney said the city intends to replace Marlow with someone substantially younger.

Marlow is asking for the proceedings to be dismissed and he be reinstated to current position with full pay. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 10/25/2021-6AM)