Former Employee Sues Lynchburg School Board

Lynchburg, VA - A former Lynchburg City Schools maintenance worker is suing the school board, claiming racial discrimination.

Ralph Hayes was promoted once during his 13 years of employment with the school system, according to the lawsuit he filed in federal court. Hayes claims he was passed over for other promotions, because he is African-American.

On Thursday, the school board asked the judge to dismiss the lawsuit. While the board awaits the judge's ruling, the board's attorney says he's preparing the board's defense. The case is set for trial March 4.

Hayes alleges in the lawsuit that he was denied two promotions, in 2007 and 2009, and that in both cases white men who were less qualified got those jobs.

Hayes says he complained about not being promoted and because he believed he was being paid less than his white co-workers who did similar jobs.

Hayes says he and four other African-Americans were wrongfully terminated from their department in 2012.

The school board's attorney would not disclose what evidence he plans to present if the case goes to trial. A school system spokeswoman says the board does not comment on pending litigation.