Judge throws out claims against NEMCC

By Patsy R. Brumfield/NEMS Daily Journal

BOONEVILLE – A federal judge Monday dismissed former instructor Rick Hawkins’ sex-bias lawsuit against Northeast Mississippi Community College.
Hawkins sued the Booneville school and two officials last August, contending they did not hire him for a full-time job because he is male.
U.S. District Judge Sharion Aycock granted the defendants’ motion that Hawkins failed to show any evidence of his claim.
“The ultimate burden rests on (Hawkins) to prove the employment decision was the result of a discriminatory practice,” Aycock wrote in her case opinion. He “failed to put forth any evidence of a discriminatory intent or motive on the part of the defendants.”
In fact, she noted, Hawkins admitted in a sworn statement that he did not have any factual evidence to back up his theory of gender bias.
Hawkins was hired in 1993 as an electrical technology instructor. He holds a master’s degree in math and a doctorate in electrical engineering.
In his complaint, he said he had sought a full-time teaching job since 2005, only to see three women hired for those jobs, which assumed much of the work he did.
Aycock said NEMCC showed good reasons, not gender biased, for hiring other people and for turning over his teaching to full-time faculty.
NEMCC said the changes occurred to address inadequate faculty credentials under review by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

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