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DALLASTOWN AREA SCHOOL DISTRICT v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (06/01/83)

decided: June 1, 1983.

DALLASTOWN AREA SCHOOL DISTRICT, PETITIONER
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, PENNSYLVANIA HUMAN RELATIONS COMMISSION, RESPONDENT



Appeal from the Order of the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission in the case of Randi B. McCullough v. Dallastown Area School District, Docket No. E-15236.

COUNSEL

Daniel W. Shoemaker, with him William H. Poole, Jr., Shoemaker & Ness, for petitioner.

Michael Hardiman, Assistant General Counsel, for respondent.

Judges Blatt, MacPhail and Doyle, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Doyle.

Author: Doyle

[ 74 Pa. Commw. Page 561]

This matter is before us on a Petition for Review of an order of the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission (Commission) which found discrimination by the Dallastown Area School District (District) in its treatment of Randi McCullough, a teacher employed by the District. We affirm the order of the Commission.

On September 18, 1978, McCullough informed the District that she was pregnant, expecting delivery on or about March 14, 1979, and requested the use of thirty days accumulated sick leave beginning March 1,

[ 74 Pa. Commw. Page 5621979]

with unpaid maternity leave to follow. In accordance with the collective bargaining agreement then in effect, McCullough provided the District with a physician's certification that after February 28, 1979, she would be unable to perform her duties as a teacher. The District granted McCullough unpaid maternity leave beginning March 1, 1979, and refused to grant her sick leave.

McCullough filed a complaint with the Commission claiming that the refusal to allow her to use the thirty days accumulated sick leave in conjunction with an unpaid maternity leave constituted discrimination. After a hearing, the Commission found that the District policy regarding maternity leave was discriminatory and ordered McCullough compensated for her thirty days accumulated sick leave. Appeal to this Court followed.

Our review is limited to a determination of whether the Commission order is in accordance with the law, and whether the findings of fact which support the order are supported by substantial evidence. Leechburg Area School District v. Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission, 19 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 614, 339 A.2d 850 (1975); J. Howard Brandt, Inc. v. Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission, 15 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 123, 324 A.2d 840 (1974). The District alleges error of law in the Commission's determination that its maternity leave policy is discriminatory.

The District argues that the terms of the collective bargaining agreement, which provide for maternity leave of up to one year seven months, constitute a liberal, bargained-for policy that treats pregnant teachers with great consideration. The District urges that while the agreement requires that other unpaid leaves of absence be approved by the District, maternity ...


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