Former Chesterfield School spokesperson sues for age discrimination

By Ryan Nobles - bio | email

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - For more than 20 years she helped to shape the public image of the Chesterfield School System.

Debra Marlow the district's former Director of Community Relations, will wage a very public battle with her former employer in Federal Court.  Marlow was transferred from her position, against her wishes in 2008. She believes the district unfairly removed from her job because of her age.

Marlow was the public face of the Chesterfield School District.  She served as a spokesperson in the media, and an advocate for the district in the halls of government.

Marlow believes she did her job well and in a ten page complaint points out that she "consistently received excellent performance evaluations"

But despite the reviews, Marlow was transferred to a comparable position, but one she didn't want.

But that job was cut, and the only option she was provided was a lower profile position that paid almost $20 thousand less.

According to her complaint, when Marlow asked Superintendent Marcus Newsome to demote her assistant Tim Bullis instead of her, Newsome replied: "I want 21st century communications skills and Tim is better at that."

Marlow believes that was a veiled shot at her age and evidence that the district purposely pushed her out because they felt she was too old.

Marlow retired in order to protect her pension. She is asking for an unspecified amount of cash, including compensatory & liquidated damages, back pay and her old job back.

The jury trial is scheduled for 9:30 Wednesday morning in Federal Court.

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