LABELLE, FL. -- Mark Reith, an employee of the City of LaBelle has filed against the City of LaBelle claiming age discrimination and contains allegations of two assaults against him by his superior, Joe Thomas. The complaint was filed with the U.S. Federal District Court in Fort Myers on April 18, 2011.
Reith alleges that he was hired by the city to run the water plant in February 2009, having been recruited by Mike Boyle. But, he says after three months Joe Thomas was hired, pointing out that Thomas was five years younger, and that Boyle put Thomas ahead of Reith, making Thomas head of the water plant and also the sewer plant.
Reith claims Thomas "flew into a rage" on September 14, 2009 and threw Reith to the ground, and Reith was hospitalized. Reith says he reported the issue to Ms. White at the city's human resources department, who said "There's nothing I can do."
On April 5th, 2010 Thomas was found guilty of misdemeanor battery. Reith was absent from the job for six months on medical leave. After returning to work, he says the city took no action against Thomas, and then says a second assault occurred.
Reith claims he has been retaliated against, mistreated and harassed by the city and wants to recover damages and attorney's fees.
Reith did file a claim to the EEOC, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which was later dismissed for failing to state a claim that would come under the appropriate statutes.