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Gulf Beaches librarians allege bias among the bookshelves

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in Firing,Human Resources

Jan Horah, a former director of the Gulf Beaches Public Library, and Harriet Thompkins, a former assistant director and reference librarian, have threatened lawsuits challenging their terminations. The women, who are black, claim they were terminated abruptly in November in violation of their contracts.

Horah was fired after the library board discovered an extra $300,000 in the library’s cash reserves, a fact Horah’s attorney said was “proof of her competence, not grounds for a humiliating and immediate dismissal,” the St. Petersburg Times reported. The library cited excessive absences for her dismissal.

Thompkins accused the library of racial bias. Her attorney, Craig Berman, noted that the firing of “two top officials, both of whom happen to be black,” and who were “replaced with white subordinates” would raise substantial questions for a jury. Both women seek settlements out of court.

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