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TRANS WORLD AIRLINES v. CITY PHILADELPHIA (07/19/79)

decided: July 19, 1979.

TRANS WORLD AIRLINES, INC., APPELLANT
v.
CITY OF PHILADELPHIA, COMMISSION OF HUMAN RELATIONS, APPELLEE



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County in case of Trans World Airlines, Inc. v. City of Philadelphia, Commission on Human Relations, No. 4226 February Term, 1976.

COUNSEL

Robert M. Landis, with him Toni M. Keller, and Dechert, Price & Rhoads, for appellant.

Ralph E. Johnston, Assistant City Solicitor, with him Theodore H. Lunine, Deputy City Solicitor, and Sheldon L. Albert, City Solicitor, for appellee.

President Judge Bowman and Judges Crumlish, Jr., Wilkinson, Jr., Rogers, Blatt, Craig and MacPhail. Judges Mencer and DiSalle did not participate. Opinion by Judge Blatt.

Author: Blatt

[ 44 Pa. Commw. Page 343]

Trans World Airlines, Inc. (appellant) appeals from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County which affirmed an adjudication of the Commission on Human Relations of the City of Philadelphia (Commission). The Commission found the appellant guilty of sex discrimination under Section 9-1103 of the Philadelphia Code (Code), but the appellant contends (1) that its employment practice of treating maternity leave different from other medical leave did not constitute sex discrimination and that (2) its due process rights were violated when the Commission announced its policy on discriminatory maternity leave practices before it actually heard this case. The facts are not in dispute.

Eileen Dougherty (complainant) took a maternity leave on June 15, 1973 from her employment with the appellant. Following a normal pregnancy, she gave birth to her child on July 12, 1973, and returned to work on October 12, 1973. The appellant paid her $350 in medical benefits, but she received no other compensation for the period of her leave. She complained to the Commission, and as a result, charges of sex discrimination were then filed against the appellant and a hearing was scheduled. The evidence taken at a hearing before the Commission established: (1) that accrued sick leave pay and disability income benefits were not available to the appellant's employees on maternity leave, although they were available to employees on medical leave; (2) that accrued vacation, holiday, and birthday leave were not available to employees on maternity leave, although these were also available to employees on medical leave; and (3) that the appellant had prepared and circulated to its employees a printed notice setting forth these conditions of employment.*fn1 The Commission

[ 44 Pa. Commw. Page 344]

    found the appellant in violation of Section 9-1103 of the Code, which provides in relevant part:

(A) It shall be an unlawful employment practice:

(1) For any employer to refuse to hire, or discriminate against any person because of race, color, sex, religion, national origin or ancestry with respect to tenure, promotions, terms, conditions or privileges of employment or with respect to any matter directly or indirectly related to employment.

(3) For any employer, employment agency or labor organization prior to employment or admission to membership to:

(c) cause to be printed, published, or circulated any notice or advertisement relating to employment or membership indicating any preference, limitation[,] specification or discrimination based upon ...


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