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Fired city worker files bias complaint against Lawrence

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A former Lawrence city employee has filed a discrimination complaint against the city, saying he was fired for refusing an order to return to work while caring for his terminally ill wife, even as four other city employees facing criminal charges were kept on indefinite paid leave. Tom Sapienza, who is white, said in the complaint filed last week with the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination that he was fired in November after being denied a request for 90 days of unpaid leave. He said that at the same time, three Latino and one black city employee continued to collect paychecks and benefits, including one charged with child rape.

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