The opinion of the court was delivered by: STEWART DALZELL
Defendant Nazareth Hospital has filed a motion for partial summary judgment on Counts II and IV of plaintiff's Amended Complaint, which allege violations of the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act ("PHRA" or the "Act"). The Hospital asserts that Kedra did not exhaust the administrative remedies available to her under the PHRA. For the following reasons, we will deny defendant's motion.
Plaintiff Patricia Kedra filed her seven-count complaint on November 18, 1993. Counts II and IV of her Amended Complaint allege violations of § 955 of the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act.
43 Pa. Stat. Ann. §§ 951, et seq. (Purdons 1991 & Supp. 1993). Kedra alleges that Nazareth Hospital, among other things, terminated her employment and opposed approval of her unemployment compensation benefits because she: (1) is disabled due to a learning disability and speech impediment; (2) filed a disability discrimination complaint in 1986; and (3) has attempted to enforce the settlement agreement which arose from the 1986 complaint. See Plaintiff's Factual Allegations in Amended Complaint.
Kedra suffers from learning disabilities and a speech impediment. Nazareth Hospital initially employed her in 1974 to work in the Laundry Department. She worked in that Department for twelve years, when she was discharged allegedly without warning.
Kedra filed a charge of discrimination against the Hospital, which a March, 1986, Settlement Agreement resolved. Under this agreement, Kedra was rehired as a part-time dietary aide. In 1989, after being passed over for promotion to a full-time position, Kedra began to claim that she should be promoted to a full-time position as Nazareth Hospital allegedly promised in the Settlement Agreement. Kedra alleges that her actions caused the Hospital to issue baseless written reprimands and to treat her differently than other employees.
In January of 1992, Nazareth Hospital placed Kedra on three months "probation" allegedly for poor performance. On April 15, 1992, the Hospital discharged Kedra based on "wilful misconduct." Despite the Hospital's opposition and appeals, the Pennsylvania Office of Employment Security granted unemployment compensation benefits to Kedra.
PhilaCHR initially investigated Kedra's complaint and, on October 6, 1993, found the "Charge Not Substantiated." On October 26, 1993, the case was sent to the EEOC for review. The EEOC issued a right to sue letter on January 31, 1994, for lack of jurisdiction.
A plaintiff must exhaust the administrative remedies provided under the Pennsylvania Act before commencing suit for wrongful discharge of employment in violation of the Act. Clay v. Advanced Computer Applications, 522 Pa. 86, 559 A.2d 917, 919 (1989). The PHRA created the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission to consider complaints brought under that statute. See 43 Pa. Stat. Ann. §§ 956, 957(f).
The facts necessary to determine this motion for partial summary judgment are undisputed. Kedra did not herself file a separate charge with the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission. Kedra argues that because of the worksharing agreement between the EEOC and the Pa.HRC, the filing of her charge with the EEOC, through the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations, should ...