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CONSUMERS MOTOR MART v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (07/28/87)

decided: July 28, 1987.

CONSUMERS MOTOR MART, PETITIONER
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, PENNSYLVANIA HUMAN RELATIONS COMMISSION, RESPONDENT. JOYCE M. PARR, PETITIONER V. COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, PENNSYLVANIA HUMAN RELATIONS COMMISSION, RESPONDENT



Appeals from the Order of the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission, in cases of Joyce M. Parr v. Consumers Motor Mart, Docket Nos. E-25670-D, E-26387-D and E-27659-D, dated July 2, 1986.

COUNSEL

Michael R. Ford, Gallagher & Ford, for petitioner/intervenor, Consumers Motor Mart.

Gary M. Davis, Davis & Abramovitz, for petitioner/intervenor, Joyce M. Parr.

William R. Fewell, Jr., Assistant Chief Counsel, for respondent, Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission.

Judges MacPhail and Colins, and Senior Judge Narick, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge MacPhail. Judge Colins dissents.

Author: Macphail

[ 108 Pa. Commw. Page 60]

Consumers Motor Mart (Employer) petitions for our review of the decision of the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission (Commission) that Employer impermissibly discriminated against Joyce M. Parr (Complainant) in her employment.*fn1 We affirm.

[ 108 Pa. Commw. Page 61]

Complainant, a black female, was hired in July, 1981 by Employer as a salesperson. Her duties included selling to automobile dealers, and related businesses, advertising, photographing automobiles, and writing and proofreading advertising copy. Complainant's relationship with her Employers, Mr. & Mrs. Ferrone, was satisfactory until the spring of 1983. Suddenly, in April, 1983, Complainant received two written reprimands and in May, 1983, she received another. The only other salesperson employed by Employer in the spring of 1983,*fn2 Christine Guthrie, a white woman, received only one written reprimand.*fn3 In May, 1983, Complainant's sales territory was reduced by approximately fifty percent and reassigned to a part-time white employee. Mr. Ferrone testified that the magazine needed more sales due to increased competition and therefore more salespeople were being hired and territories were being reduced in an effort to more fully cover the magazine's sales area. However, Christine Guthrie's sales territory was not reduced.

On June 3, 1983, Complainant filed a complaint with the Commission alleging racial harassment. Mr. & Mrs. Ferrone were served with the complaint and very shortly thereafter Complainant was discharged. On August 26, 1983, Complainant filed a second complaint alleging retaliatory discharge, and on February 9, 1984,

[ 108 Pa. Commw. Page 62]

She filed a third complaint alleging the Ferrones had impermissibly interfered with her unemployment compensation claim.

A hearing examiner received testimony from the parties for two days and then issued her findings of fact, conclusions of law, and opinion which were adopted in full by the Commission. The hearing examiner concluded that Complainant had proved a prima facie case of racial harassment and of retaliatory discharge but had not proved a prima facie case of impermissible interference with her unemployment compensation claim. ...


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