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FURMAN RALEIGH v. WESTINGHOUSE ELECTRIC CORPORATION (11/23/88)

filed: November 23, 1988.

FURMAN RALEIGH, APPELLANT,
v.
WESTINGHOUSE ELECTRIC CORPORATION



Appeal from the Order entered February 18, 1988, Court of Common Pleas, Allegheny County, Civil Division at No. GD 87-15907.

COUNSEL

David B. Washington, Pittsburgh, for appellant.

Craig Marton Brooks, Pittsburgh, for appellee.

Brosky, Johnson and Melinson, JJ.

Author: Johnson

[ 379 Pa. Super. Page 607]

Furman Raleigh appeals from the Order entered February 18, 1988 in the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County. This Order granted Westinghouse Electric Corporation's Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings on the ground that Raleigh's suit was time-barred. We affirm.

Raleigh alleged that Westinghouse Electric Corporation engaged in racial discrimination when it discharged him on January 13, 1984. In addition, Raleigh argued that this alleged racially discriminatory discharge was in violation of the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act (PHRA), 43 P.S. § 951 et seq. Raleigh timely filed discrimination complaints with the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission (PHRC) and the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEOC). The PHRC dismissed Raleigh's complaint on January 7, 1985 as the EEOC had done earlier. Raleigh

[ 379 Pa. Super. Page 608]

    filed suit in Common Pleas Court of Allegheny County on September 10, 1987. Westinghouse filed a Motion for a Judgment on the Pleadings. The trial court granted Westinghouse's motion and dismissed Raleigh's suit as timebarred. This appeal followed in which Raleigh raises the following issues:

I. Whether the trial court was correct in running the statute of limitations from the date of alleged unlawful employment practice.

II. Whether the trial court applied the correct statute of limitations in computing the time period for filing a claim in this case.

Raleigh's first argument is that because his suit has been brought under the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act (PHRA), 43 Pa.S. § 951 et seq., which has no self-contained limitations period, laches is the only appropriate defense to a charge of timeliness. Raleigh contends, therefore, that no statute of limitations governs the PHRA. We cannot agree with this contention. The trial court properly found that Pennsylvania's general statute of limitations detailed in 42 Pa.C.S. § 5501 governs Raleigh's action. This statute provides the following:

(a) General Rule. -- A civil action, proceeding or appeal must be commenced within the time specified in or pursuant to this chapter unless . . . a different time is ...


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