duties similar to those of male officers, but that they were restricted in duty, rank and pay by the Department's discriminatory policies. These are the same circumstances which gave rise to this court's Feb. 17, 1982 Findings of continued discriminatory practices. 532 F. Supp. 106.
There is no distinction to be drawn between those female officers who were actively employed by the Department at the time of the hearing and those who had retired earlier. All had been subjected to the same discriminatory practices which had cost each female officer advancement and equal pay. Each of these women was excluded from firearms training. Each woman was excluded from permanent assignment to any division of the Investigations Branch except the Missing Persons Section, although these policewomen were often temporarily assigned to other units for various duties not limited to sex related functions, which duties were capably performed. Each of these women was excluded from promotion to a graded detective position although each completed the required 90 days of service in the Investigations Branch. Each of these women was excluded from the benefits of the 1975 abolition of the patrolman/policewoman hiring classifications and placed in a new employment classification of policewomen. All of the discriminatory practices were the result of Department policy, uniform in its application to this Department-created class of women. See, 532 F. Supp. 106 (W.D. Pa. 1982); Affidavits of Daniels, Conn, O'Connor, Long and Jak. Because defendant has had the opportunity to litigate the discriminatory nature of its policies and their application and impact on the female officers of the Department, the inclusion in the back pay award of these retired officers does not now prejudice the defendant.
Alternatively, the defendant urges the court to compute back pay awards from a date six (6) years prior to each individual's entrance into the case. The theory is that each individual only became party to the suit when she became directly involved in the proceedings by her testimony, submission of an affidavit or identification in a pleading. Because the Commonwealth's parens patriae status protects the interests of all its citizens and because the issue of discrimination against an identifiable group of individuals, though not certified as a class, has been present in this lawsuit from its inception, we will not base the remedy on such a fortuitous and irrelevant factor as when an individual's name became part of the record.
There remains the question of whether Captain Theresa Rocco, commander of the Missing Persons Section, is barred from any recovery of back pay by a release executed by her on March 24, 1980, in consideration of a favorable resolution of a grievance complaint. We conclude it does.
Captain Rocco had pursued claims of sex discrimination regarding her pay scale through grievance procedures and arbitration. Pursuant to a Memorandum of Understanding dated March 24, 1980, Captain Rocco and the City of Pittsburgh arrived at a settlement. The City agreed to adjust Captain Rocco's salary to match that of male police captains, retroactive to January 1, 1980. In return, Captain Rocco executed a release purporting to discharge the city from "all rights, claims and actions which Releasor and her . . . successors now have relating to any claim of discrimination on the basis of Releasor's sex or failure by the Releasee to pay the Releasor at the captain's rate of pay prior to 1980." At issue is the intended scope of this release.
A signed release is binding unless executed through fraud, duress, accident or mutual mistake. Three Rivers Motors Ford Co. v. Ford Motor Co., 522 F.2d 885 (3d Cir. 1975). There appears to be no fraud, duress or accident here. Plaintiff contends that the parties did not intend that Captain Rocco release all her rights to a sex discrimination claim for back wages, and therefor the release should be read narrowly. The plaintiff argues that the parties only intended the release to apply to the then pending arbitration proceedings, without prejudice to the raising of the same substantive issues in another form of action.
While the parties' intent governs the effect of the release, the manifestation of intent is to be found first on the face of the release. Evans v. Marks, 421 Pa. 146, 218 A.2d 802 (1966). The language of this release is clear and unambiguous. It plainly manifests the intent of the parties to terminate all further litigation of the substantive issues which gave rise to the grievance. The words, "all rights, claims and actions" could not be broader. The document specifically identifies and releases any claim of back wages based on sex discrimination. It is evident that Captain Rocco intended to release her claims in consideration of a favorable resolution of her grievances and that the release was not limited to the arbitration proceedings, but extended to their substance without regard to the form of proceeding.
For the reasons set forth above and in the Opinion of Feb. 17, 1982, Officers Bedore, Blacksmith, Quinn, Saunders and Smith, and retired Officers Conn, Daniels, O'Connor, Jak, and Long, having been the subjects of discriminatory employment practices, are awarded appropriate back pay and interest.
In accordance with the foregoing Opinion, the City of Pittsburgh is DIRECTED to include Theresa Conn, Melvina Daniels, Eileen O'Connor, Margaret Jak, and Helen Long in the award of back pay ordered by this court in a previous opinion and order of February 17, 1982. The City of Pittsburgh shall submit its computation of back pay from February 5, 1969 until the present or date of retirement, whichever is applicable, with 6% interest, for each of the individuals identified by this court as entitled thereto, on or before November 1, 1982.
It is further ORDERED that the claim of Theresa Rocco is DENIED for the reasons set forth in the foregoing Opinion.
SO ORDERED this 21st day of September, 1982.