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MCGRAW-EDISON COMPANY v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (07/31/87)

decided: July 31, 1987.

MCGRAW-EDISON COMPANY, PETITIONER
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, PENNSYLVANIA HUMAN RELATIONS COMMISSION, RESPONDENT



Original Jurisdiction from the Order of the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission in case of Virginia Mechensky v. McGraw-Edison Company, No. E-16134.

COUNSEL

Larry J. Rappoport, with him, Paul R. Lewis, Kleinbard, Bell & Brecker, for petitioner.

Francine Ostrovsky, Assistant Chief Counsel, with her, Elisabeth S. Shuster, Chief Counsel, for respondent.

President Judge Crumlish, Jr., Judge Colins, and Senior Judge Narick, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Senior Judge Narick.

Author: Narick

[ 108 Pa. Commw. Page 148]

This matter is before the Court on the preliminary objections filed by the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission (PHRC), to the petition for review in the nature of an application for issuance of a writ of prohibition filed by McGraw-Edison Company (McGraw-Edison) on January 20, 1987. For the reasons set forth below, the preliminary objections of the PHRC are sustained.

McGraw-Edison invoked this Court's original jurisdiction pursuant to 42 Pa. C.S. § 761(c)*fn1 and requested

[ 108 Pa. Commw. Page 149]

    this Court to prohibit the PHRC from investigating and exercising jurisdiction over a complaint filed by Virginia Mechensky (Mechensky).

The long procedural history of this case is summarized as follows. On June 21, 1979, the PHRC received a charge of discrimination from Mechensky alleging that McGraw-Edison had engaged in acts of sex discrimination in violation of Section 5(a) of the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act (Act), 43 P.S. § 951 et seq. In January 1980, McGraw-Edison and Mechensky executed a respondent-complainant agreement. On March 5, 1980, the PHRC advised McGraw-Edison and Mechensky that it was closing the case as satisfactorily adjusted. Mechensky was further advised that pursuant to PHRC regulations, 16 Pa. Code § 42.73, Mechensky had the right to promptly petition the PHRC to reconsider whether Respondent had complied with the terms of the agreement.

On June 23, 1983, Mechensky petitioned the PHRC and alleged that the settlement agreement had been breached.*fn2 On January 17, 1984, the PHRC advised Mechensky and McGraw-Edison that it had granted the request for reconsideration. On January 2, 1985, a PHRC investigator requested McGraw-Edison to provide various data relating to the 1979 discrimination charge. McGraw-Edison, pursuant to a letter dated February 13, 1985, objected to the PHRC's request. The PHRC construed this objection as a motion to dismiss

[ 108 Pa. Commw. Page 150]

    and on July 22, 1985, the PHRC issued an interlocutory order ...


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