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Trenton's CFO sues city over lack of pay raises

Friday, April 1, 2016   (0 Comments)
Share | 04/01/2016

The city's comptroller has filed a lawsuit against the city over mandated pay raises she says were given to other employees, but not her. "The mayor has no authority to selectively apply the ordinance to the benefit of some employees and to withhold it from others," the suit reads. Janet Schoenhaar has served as the city's comptroller, director of the Division of Accounts and Control and the chief financial officer since September 2010. 

The lawsuit, filed in Mercer County Superior Court earlier this month, said that under a 2008 ordinance, salaries and benefits were adjusted for all, including nonunion and management employees like her. Schoenhaar claims she was entitled to receive four annual pay increases until she reached the maximum salary level set for her position, but since 2012, under former Mayor Tony Mack and current Mayor Eric Jackson, has not received any. The sum total amounted to $26,003. State pension data lists her current salary at $115,588.

hen she questioned officials in the Jackson administration, she claims she was told that the city's Memorandum of Understanding with the state Department of Community Affairs forbade them to grant pay increases for nonunion employees in any form, including longevity or step increases. The MOU, the suit says, required that the city also take measures to revise ordinances and policies to conform to its prohibition of pay increases for nonunion employees.

"However the City of Trenton failed to take any measures to amend Ordinance 08-32 and proceeded to selectively enforce it, granting pay increases to non-union, managerial workers other than the plaintiff without any apparent objection by the Department of Community Affairs," it reads. She is seeking compensatory damages and attorneys' fees.


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