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ALLEGHENY HOUSING REHABILITATION CORP. v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (03/29/85)

decided: March 29, 1985.

ALLEGHENY HOUSING REHABILITATION CORP., PETITIONER
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, PENNSYLVANIA HUMAN RELATIONS COMMISSION, RESPONDENT



Appeal from the Order of the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission in case of Faith F. Hodge v. Allegheny Housing Rehabilitation Corporation, No. E-14987.

COUNSEL

Wendell G. Freeland, with him, John A. Meyer, Freeland & Kronz, for petitioner.

Michael L. Foreman, Assistant General Counsel, with him, Elisabeth S. Shuster, General Counsel, for respondent.

Judges Craig and Palladino and Senior Judge Barbieri, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Senior Judge Barbieri. Judge Williams, Jr., did not participate in the decision in this case.

Author: Barbieri

[ 88 Pa. Commw. Page 445]

Allegheny Housing Rehabilitation Corporation (AHRCO)*fn1 appeals here a final order of the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission (HRC) which adopted the findings of fact, conclusions of law and opinion of the Hearing Commissioner who concluded that AHRCO violated Section 5 of the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act (Act)*fn2 prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sex when it discharged Faith L. Hodge (Complainant) from its employ.

Faith Hodge initiated this action by filing a complaint with the HRC on or about November 16, 1978, alleging that on or about October 31, 1978, her employer violated Section 5 of the Act by discharging her from the position of Security Manager because of her sex, female, and replacing her with one or more male security officers. The HRC investigated the allegations set forth in Hodge's complaint and in December, 1981, found probable cause to credit the allegations of the complaint. A public hearing was held before Commissioner Elizabeth M. Scott, both parties having agreed to a hearing before a single Commissioner.

[ 88 Pa. Commw. Page 446]

The following are the relevant facts as found by Commissioner Scott and adopted by the HRC. Complainant, a resident of Second East Hills Park, applied for and received a position as security officer at Second East Hills Park; her duties included patrolling the Second East Hills Park area, responding to tenants' calls and submitting routine reports. Shortly after she went to work as a security officer in August, 1978, Complainant's duties were increased to include supervisory responsibilities. The resident manager at Second East Hills Park advised Complainant she had been promoted to Security Manager. The duties of the Security Force Supervisor, as outlined in AHRCO's Security Force Policy, are essentially the same as those performed by Complainant as Security Manager.

Complainant was never advised that her work was unsatisfactory; nevertheless, Complainant was advised by letter dated November 2, 1978 that she was being terminated from her position as Security Manager because of a realignment of the security force. Following Complainant's termination, more security officers, all male, worked more hours at Second East Hills Park than worked at the time of her termination.

The Commissioner, and subsequently the HRC, held that Complainant had met her burden of proving that she was terminated from her position for reasons not having to do with her performance and that she was replaced by one or more males and that AHRCO's explanation for the termination was pretextual.*fn3 The HRC, therefore, concluded that AHRCO

[ 88 Pa. Commw. Page 447]

    discriminated against Complainant on the basis of her sex when it discharged her from her position as Security Manager, ...


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