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Former Newington employee alleges wrongful termination

Union Leader Correspondent

April 09. 2014 7:59PM

BRENTWOOD — A former administrative assistant for the town of Newington filed a lawsuit against the town alleging she was wrongfully terminated after she briefly left her job for a hip replacement then asked for more help at work.

Beatrice Marconi of Greenland filed a lawsuit in Rockingham County Superior Court, seeking unspecified damages from the town claiming she was terminated last March and denied a hearing before selectmen to appeal her firing.

Marconi claims that while working for the town as a salaried employee, her job often required a 55- to 60-hour work week that included attending night meetings.

Marconi’s lawyer, John Sherman, said in court papers Marconi took a 12-week leave for hip replacement surgery in May 2012, and her condition required ongoing physical therapy, according to the lawsuit.

Prior to the surgery, Marconi was expected to be at town hall from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. each day, “even though the town allowed other full time salaried employees to arrive for work late or leave early,” according to the lawsuit.

“Although the selectmen knew that Marconi had returned to working in excess of 50 hours a week and had to complete her physical therapy, the selectmen advised her that she could not complete physical therapy appointments during the workday,” according to the lawsuit.

“This was problematic because Ms. Marconi, a salaried employee, worked into the early evening hours,” Sherman said in court papers.

The lawsuit alleges that other salaried employees were allowed to complete medical and therapy appointments during the workday.

Marconi was also subjected to taking on more work duties when a morning receptionist retired in October 2012, the lawsuit claims. Marconi asked selectmen for help, but the added duties required her to put in more than 60 hours per week and bring work home, Sherman said in the complaint.

Marconi allegedly told the Board of Selectmen in January 2013 that the increased workload was affecting her health.

She sought medical treatment and was placed on medical leave by her physician last February.

Sherman said that his client was terminated on March 8, the same day she applied for short-term disability benefits, the lawsuit says.

The town has not yet responded to the lawsuit.

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