CCS employee pay dispute lawsuit to continue

Published 8:41 am Friday, February 10, 2023

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By JOYANNA LOVE | Managing Editor

The Alabama Supreme Court has determined the pay dispute lawsuit by Chilton County Schools employees Christie Payne and Shellie Smith against former CCS Superintendent Jason Griffin in his official capacity will continue.

The state Supreme Court rejected Griffin’s motion for the case to be dismissed, according to information released by the Alabama Education Association ahead of a press conference scheduled for Feb. 10.

A previous motion to dismiss the case had been denied by Judge Sibley Reynolds in October 2022.

The Alabama Education Association is assisting the employees and has stated it is also looking into potential other instances when employees were paid incorrectly.

Both Payne and Smith had been sent letters signed by Griffin stating that the employees had been paid at the incorrect rate when they changed positions. Each had been paid for years of service, rather than the starting pay for their new position.

According to court documents, Payne was told she owes $23,465.40 stemming from a position change in 2016, and Smith was told she owes $32,948 stemming from a position change in 2018.

Griffin’s legal team has stated that the letters were in line with school board policy and state law calling for repayment of overpaid wages.

The lawsuit is against Griffin and not the Chilton County Board of Education because there was never a board vote on the record to send the letters.