Appeal to the Court of Common Pleas of Dauphin County in case of John P. Gabriele v. Boeing Co., Vertol Division from the decision of the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission, Complaint Docket No. E-3255. Appeal transferred September 1, 1970, to the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania.
A. Bernard Hirsch, for appellant.
Robert M. Landis, with him Bernard A. Ryan, and Dechert, Price and Rhodes, for appellee.
President Judge Bowman, and Judges Crumlish, Jr., Kramer, Wilkinson, Jr., Manderino, Mencer and Barbieri. Opinion by President Judge Bowman.
This is an appeal from a final order of the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission dismissing a complaint by John P. Gabriele, the appellant here, that he had been discharged from employment because of his Italian ancestry.
Section 5(a) of the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act of October 27, 1955, P.L. 744, as amended, 43 P.S. 955, declares it to be an unlawful discriminatory act to discharge from employment an employee because of his ancestry ". . . if the individual is the best able and most competent to perform the services required".
The history of appellant's employment with Boeing Company, Vertol Division (Boeing), and the events leading up to his discharge are not seriously disputed. As found by the Commission in its Findings of Fact supported by uncontradicted evidence, it appears that appellant was first employed by Boeing in November, 1960 as a sheet metal worker.
Two years later, Gabriele was promoted to the position of supervisor in the weld shop at Boeing, and approximately one year later was promoted to be supervisor in the Blue Streak Area, Experimental Department. He was then transferred to the paint shop where he worked in the trim and drill area in fabricating sheet-metal parts for at least six months, was re-transferred to the experimental department and then back to the trim and drill area. This was his assignment until
June, 1966 when he resigned at Boeing to work for Radio Corporation of America. He worked as a supervisor at their Mountain Top, Pennsylvania plant for about a year and a half, when he was laid off as "surplus". He was rehired by Boeing as a supervisor in the Machine Shop at Morton, Pennsylvania, where he worked until October of 1967 when he was assigned to field duty in California. He returned on December 4, 1967 to work under the foremanship of James Melton and was assigned in January, 1968 to the production line for the repair of combat-damaged helicopters. Gabriele was then assigned to field duty in North Carolina, returning in the spring of 1968 to the Morton, Pennsylvania plant where he was assigned to work as a supervisor, again under James Melton, foreman.
On February 6, 1969, Gabriele was earning a salary of $10,000.00 per year and supervised approximately 17 employees in the on-site modification at Boeing.
On that date, Gabriele was given a written report ("Employee Performance Summary"), in which his performance was rated "unsatisfactory" by James Melton, his supervisor. He was ...