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MCWILLIAMS v. WESTERN PENNSYLVANIA HOSP.

June 30, 1989

KATHLEEN ANN McWILLIAMS, Plaintiff
v.
WESTERN PENNSYLVANIA HOSPITAL, a Corporation; and, ANNA KURTZ, an individual, jointly and severally, Defendants



The opinion of the court was delivered by: SMITH

 This summary judgment motion presents this Court with a claim under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act for discrimination due to plaintiff's national origin. Plaintiff has appended numerous state actions asserting tort, contract and handicap discrimination claims. *fn1"

 Plaintiff, a former employee of Western Pennsylvania Hospital (West Penn), alleges that her supervisor, Anna Kurtz (Kurtz), made plaintiff's environment oppressive and intolerable because of plaintiff's Irish ancestry. Plaintiff claims Kurtz' conduct led to her constructive discharge.

 Plaintiff was a data processing entry clerk under Kurtz' supervision beginning in October 1978. Plaintiff contends that Kurtz "singled her out almost from the beginning of McWilliams' [Plaintiff] employment, as the object of Kurtz' animosity, discrimination and harassment." Plaintiff's Brief, p. 3-4. Plaintiff recites numerous incidents which she alleges support her claim. These include that she was not permitted to go to the bathroom unless it was her break time or lunch hour, she was not to talk to the other women in the department, she was to keep away from the men, she was not to wear perfume or hairspray and she was not to use the phone. All of these restrictions were placed on plaintiff within the first six months she was at West Penn. Plaintiff's depo. p. 148-151.

 Plaintiff also alleges that Kurtz physically harassed her. During the first six months of plaintiff's employment Kurtz allegedly pulled a chair out from under plaintiff when she went to sit down, threw work at her, threw a phone receiver at plaintiff and pushed her. Plaintiff's depo. p. 223-226.

 Subsequently, within the next two to two and a half years, Kurtz made an alleged derogatory remark about Irish people, plaintiff's ancestral heritage. Plaintiff testified about the incident during her deposition as follows:

 
Q. Now, you previously testified that Anne Kurtz made derogatory remarks concerning your national origin?
 
A. Yes.
 
Q. Again, when did she make them, what did she say and who was around?
 
A. She made them like, to the best of my recollection, it was around I think right before St. Patrick's Day. And I don't even know how the subject was brought up. But she said, "I don't like Irish people. In fact, I hate Irish people. And I'm sure glad George isn't Irish." And when I -- I looked at her. And Judy Coyne, who sat beside me, looked at me. And Judy said to me, "I don't believe she said that."
 
Q. Now, I may be mischaracterizing your testimony, and I want you to correct me if I have, it's my understanding you don't remember exactly which St. Patrick's Day this was?
 
A. Huh-uh.
 
Q. But it was within the first three years of your employment, is that correct?
 
A. Yes, it had to be within that realm of time. I think it had to be like three days before St. Patrick's Day. That's why I believe the subject was brought up, because it was around St. Patrick's Day.
 
Q. Around St. Patrick's Day?
 
A. Yes.
 
Q. But you're not certain of the year?
 
A. No.
 
Q. Who was ...

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