Center employee claims wrongful dismissal

August 15, 2014

My name is Theresa Shaffer, trip coordinator for the Cape Henlopen Senior Center, at least I was until Leslie Boehlert fired me. I worked at the center for about three and a half years before Leslie came aboard. I loved my job, and never had any problems up until that time.

Leslie arrived Jan. 2, 2013, and that’s when things changed, not only for me but all in the center. My job consisted of planning the center’s trips at least two months in advance. Leslie never asked me what my job was or how I did it.

She started with wanting to take out the calendar in our newsletter, something the seniors depend on. From the outset, Leslie demanded that the trip calendar be on her desk by the end of that first week, even as I attempted to explain that it takes me a month to get it together or it would not be right.

Again, I never had a problem before her arrival, and never had a complaint. I was told many members liked the trips and having me as their driver.

Leslie found fault with everything I did in front of volunteers and the members. Since I was the only staff person in the center on Thursday, it ended up being my word against hers. Although this treatment was being experienced by the other staff members and volunteers, to the degree that the four staff persons have filed with the labor board.

In my mediation with the DDOL, Delaware Department of Labor, in March, Pat Canan, the president of the center’s board, Leslie Boehlert, director of the center, and Richard, now vice president of the center, were told not to fire me. It was in mediation; agreement papers were signed by all in attendance.

In April 2014 I was fired and no one has come up with an answer as to why. Some have stated at board meetings it was the way I dressed, my weight, etc. I know they have no valid reason, and so do the staff, volunteers, and so many of the members.

Leslie needs to be removed and the president of the board needs to step down or this center will not continue to be the center we all love and feel at home in.

Theresa Shaffer

past trip coordinator


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