Dayton board upholds decision to fire city employee for not following mask mandate

·2 min read

A Dayton city worker fired for refusing to abide by the city’s COVID-19 mask policy has had his dismissal upheld.

The independent Dayton City Service Board ruled the city was justified last year.

Kyle Seaquist was a construction electrician in the city’s aviation department.

He was hired in 2015 but then fired in 2021 after he refused to comply with the mask mandate.

“The city is never happy to terminate an employee,” Norma Dickens, attorney for the city of Dayton said.

Dickens is the attorney that had to represent Dayton’s side at a civil service board hearing for appealing the firing of Seaquist.

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She said Seaquist told his coworkers he did not plan to abide by the city’s proposed masked mandates well before they went into place.

He asked for an exemption hearing to avoid wearing a mask at work but city officials claim he failed to cooperate during the hearing.

“He was given a direct order to put a mask on prior to exemption hearing, two times he didn’t follow direct orders,” Dickens said.

Civil service board records show Seaquist arrived without a mask, then didn’t comply when told to get a mask.

When someone at the hearing provided him a mask, he wore it around his chin, not covering his mouth or nose.

Seaquist was sent home and the hearing didnt happen.

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City records show that he then did not show up or could not report to work from Aug. 24 2021 through Oct. 21 2021.

The city dismissed him at that point.

“So he was discharged for being AWOL and for being insubordinate,” Dickens said.

Seaquist did appeal to board to restore his job.

News Center 7′s Mike Campbell went through the documents of that hearing.

They stated the mask mandate exceptions were available based on physical, medical or religious reasons.

The records state that Seaquist said only that he was a Christian and his objection was based on the Bible and his beliefs.

The board ruled that he did not provide enough proof.

Seaquist’s firing was upheld.

“It really could have been avoided if he’d just chosen to wear the mask, in his case, in the few spots his job required it,” Dickens said.

The civil service board decision mean’s Seaquist will not be retuning to his job at the Dayton International Airport.

It is not know if he will pursue any further legal alternatives that are open to him.