State Court of Appeals rules employees’ lawsuit against DeKalb County School District can go forward

The Georgia Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that a lawsuit filed against the DeKalb County School District by two employees can go forward.

The suit filed in 2011 by a teacher and a psychologist claims the county breached its contract with them and all employees that have worked for the district since 1979 when the district in 2009 suspended contributions to a tax-sheltered annuity that supplemented the employees’ state pensions.

Last year DeKalb Superior Court Judge Clarence Seeliger ruled in favor of the employees, saying the school system was not immune to the lawsuit, as its lawyers claimed. The district appealed. Now DeKalb has 10 days to notify the court that it plans to appeal this latest ruling.

The plaintiffs are demanding the restoration of all payments and back payments. One of their lawyers, John Salter of The Barnes Law Group in Marietta, said they will seek class- action status if the case makes it through this appeal. Salter estimates DeKalb owes its employees at least $50 million.