Santa, Mall Reach Agreement in Firing Dispute

Parties hope for final agreement soon

The man who has long played Santa Claus at Tysons Corner Center has come to an "agreement in principle" with mall officials that will allow him to return to his job this holiday season.

The mall recently informed Michael Graham that he wouldn't be coming back because they hired a new photography company that wanted a less expensive Santa. Graham had been earning $175 per hour.

Graham hired a lawyer to demand his job back and a down payment that was due Oct. 1.

News of the dispute sparked hundreds of calls, an online petition and threats to boycott the mall.

Graham and mall officials hope to have a final agreement in the coming days, according to a joint statement released by the parties Thursday.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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