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MANDIA v. ARCO CHEM. CO.

September 30, 1985

RICHARD J. MANDIA
v.
ARCO CHEMICAL COMPANY



The opinion of the court was delivered by: WEBER

 AND NOW, September 30, 1985, in accordance with the foregoing Opinion, JUDGMENT is hereby ENTERED for the DEFENDANT.

 WEBER, D. J. September 30, 1985

 Plaintiff filed an action against Defendant under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. ┬ž 2000e, specifically under Section 2000e-3(a) relating to unlawful discrimination in employment against an employee who has opposed discrimination in employment, or against an employee who has assisted or participated in any manner in an investigation or proceeding under Title VII.

 Plaintiff's Complaint in para. 17 alleges that his termination:

 
. . . was solely the result of Mason-Mandia's filing of the EEOC claim against ARCO, as well as the result of Mandia's expressed opinion in support of his wife's claim, . . .

 (Mason-Mandia refers to plaintiff's wife).

 The statute creates and the cases recognize two types of retaliation discharges under Section 2000e-3(a); the opposition clause, because "he has opposed any practice made an unlawful employment practice by this Title," i.e. see Great American Federal Savings and Loan v. Novotny, 442 U.S. 366, 99 S. Ct. 2345, 60 L. Ed. 2d 957 (1979), and the second, the participation clause, "because he made a charge, testified, assisted . . . or participated in any manner in any investigation, proceeding or hearing under this Title."

 The plaintiff has failed to carry the burden of proving that he is within the protected activity of the statute by opposing any unlawful employment practices. One of the functions of his job was to guard against, investigate, and report any such practices. He was well familiar with the concept of sexual harassment, he wrote the employee manual, he conducted a seminar on the topic, he was familiar with the EEOC procedure and was familiar with what an EEOC charge would produce. While he complained of employment practices within the company's plant at Beaver Valley, there is no evidence that he raised any question of sexual harassment.

 The wife's EEOC complaint against ARCO Chemical was filed November 3, 1982 and alleged sexual harassment by her supervisor at the ARCO Chemical Co. Beaver Valley Plant. Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination prohibited in employment by Title VII. The prohibition "is violated when a supervisor, with the actual or constructive knowledge of the employer, makes sexual advances or demands toward a subordinate employee and conditions that employee's job status -- evaluation, continued employment, promotion, or other aspects of career development -- on a favorable response to those advances or demands, and the employer does not take prompt and appropriate and remedial action after acquiring such knowledge. Tomkins v. Public Service Electric and Gas Company, 568 F.2d 1044, 1048-1049 (3d Cir. 1977).

 This case presents a complex background, almost Byzantine in its involvements, and with enough characters and incidents to provide a full season of soap opera. The plaintiff, Richard Mandia, has a B.S. degree in psychology, an M.S. degree in behavioral science, with training and experience in psychological counseling. He was hired by ARCO Chemical Company in 1979 in Philadelphia, as Manager of Management Development and was transferred on September 22, 1980 to ARCO's Beaver Valley Plant as Manager of Employee Relations. His chain of command was to Carl Simmons, Manager of Employee Relations in Philadelphia; then to William Edmunds, Director of Employee Relations in Philadelphia, and finally to Jack Oppasser, Vice-President of Employee Relations in Philadelphia.

 Under Mandia at the Beaver plant were Fernand Price, Supervisor of Salaried Personnel; and A. L. Rice, Supervisor of Labor Relations.

 Mandia received competent (3) performance evaluations on May 2, 1981 and March 4, 1982. He received merit salary ...


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