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ALBERT EINSTEIN MEDICAL CENTER v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (01/22/85)

decided: January 22, 1985.

ALBERT EINSTEIN MEDICAL CENTER, NORTHERN DIVISION, PETITIONER
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, PENNSYLVANIA HUMAN RELATIONS COMMISSION, RESPONDENT. VERLETTE ORE, PETITIONER V. COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, PENNSYLVANIA HUMAN RELATIONS COMMISSION, RESPONDENT



Appeals from the Order of the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission in the case of Verlette Ore v. Albert Einstein Medical Center, Northern Division, No. E-19935.

COUNSEL

Howard R. Flaxman, Fox, Rothschild, O'Brien & Frankel, for petitioner, Albert Einstein Medical Center, Northern Division.

William H. Ewing, with him, Claire Rocco, Hangley, Connolly, Epstein, Chicco, Foxman & Ewing, for petitioner, Verlette Ore.

Ellen K. Barry, Assistant General Counsel, with her, Elisabeth S. Shuster, General Counsel, for respondent.

Judges Rogers, Colins and Senior Judge Kalish, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Colins.

Author: Colins

[ 87 Pa. Commw. Page 146]

On February 6, 1981, Verlette Ore was terminated from her employment as a patient care coordinator at Albert Einstein Medical Center Northern Division, Philadelphia (AEMC). She filed a complaint with the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission (Commission) alleging discrimination by her employer on the basis of race. The Commission found for Ore but halved her damages citing as its reason a failure to mitigate.

In their cross appeals, Ore and AEMC both challenge the sufficiency of the evidence upon which the Commission based its decision. Ore alleges that AEMC did not meet its burden of proving that she failed to mitigate her damages. She contends that the evidence supports a finding that she had exercised reasonable diligence in seeking employment but was not offered the few positions for which she had applied.

AEMC argues that Ore failed to prove discrimination. It contends that the Commission found discrimination by mischaracterizing as comparable two situations in which Caucasian employees had not been terminated.

We must affirm the adjudication of an administrative agency unless the agency violated constitutional rights, made findings of fact not supported by substantial evidence or committed an error of law. Harmony Volunteer Fire Company v. Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission, 73 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 596, 459

[ 87 Pa. Commw. Page 147]

A.2d 439 (1983). Moreover, questions of credibility and the weight of the evidence are for the Commission to decide. Harrisburg School District v. Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission, 77 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 594, 466 A.2d 760 (1983).

The Commission was well within its broad power when it chose not to accept Ore's job search activities as a full faith attempt at mitigation. The record clearly ...


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