Two town employees fired for gossiping about their boss have lost an appeal to get their jobs back.

Four women were fired in April after a closed-door vote of the Town Council. Two administrative assistants appealed their firings earlier this month, but Jessica Skorupski and Joanne Drewniak learned late Friday night that the council had rejected their bid to be reinstated.

"I was not surprised at all. I didn't think they would give us our jobs back," Skorupski said Saturday. "Their minds were made up even before we had the hearing."

According to a lawyer's fact-finding report, the women lost their jobs because one of them referred to the town administrator in derogatory terms, and because they discussed a rumor that he was having an affair with another female employee.

The women say they neither started nor spread the rumor, merely questioned why another employee seemed to be getting preferential treatment. No one has said there is any truth to the rumor.

The town's lawyer, Debra Weiss Ford, did not return calls seeking comment Friday. Town Council Chairman George Longfellow declined to comment, saying the council would respond later.

Skorupski said she and the others will pursue the matter in court while they look for new jobs.