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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    4

    Default Retaliation Threat After Discrimination Complaint, in Pennsylvania

    I would appreciate your thoughts on the following:
    I filed a "hostile workplace due to racial slurs/discrimination" complaint with my employer after a supervisor called me and made derogatory comments about my family being mixed race, needing to “act white” etc and that my son needed to stop dressing "ghetto" when he was at our work family funtions (picnics etc). They investigated and found that his comments were personal and he was not acting in his role as a supervisor. Fine, I just wanted them to know what he did and who he was, we then met with an H/R person to “facilitate discussion and move forward in a positive environment”, during that meeting the supervisor became angry and said to me “I have contacted my lawyer and if you file another racial discrimination complaint against me again I will sue you for slander”. I told the H/R rep that even though my complaint was rejected he (the supervisor) could not threaten me with legal action to prevent me from filing a future complaint. Was his threat to sue me retaliation?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    200

    Default Re: Pennsylvania Possible Retaliation

    Technically, it's not illegal retaliation under the federal law Title VII because Title VII governs the actions of employers, not individuals. However, since he was acting in his supervisory capacity when he made the statement, your employer should have intervened and told him that it would not tolerate such statements or actions.

    Further, I don't understand your employer's conclusion about the alleged harassing comment. It appears that their decision is not consistent with EEOC's or the courts' interpretation of employer liability for harassing statements made by a supervisor. See http://www.eeoc.gov/policy/docs/harassment.html.

    However, it does not appear that the supervisor's comments are sufficiently pervasive or egregious to rise to create an illegally hostile work environment. So, a violation of Title VII appears unlikely.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    4

    Default Re: Pennsylvania Possible Retaliation

    Thank you for your input. I thought that would probably be the case and since the conduct was a one time deal and I have received “off the record” apologies from his administrator I assume he was told to knock it off.

    The thing that prompted me to wonder was a case in Florida I read about “CWA, Local 3178 v. City of Miami Beach, 31 FPER 162 (2005).
    “City did not commit an unfair labor practice when it denied union representation to an employee at a meeting convened to resolve a grievance. Employee’s mistaken belief that he might be disciplined did not convert the grievance meeting into an investigatory interview. Further, a supervisor’s threat to personally take legal action against a subordinate who filed grievances against him constituted unlawful conduct.
    The fact that the threats were made by a supervisor was sufficient to render the city liable for his unlawful conduct.”

    I don’t know much about the law but it was interesting because of the similarities. Is this case similar to what I have described happened to me?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    200

    Default Re: Pennsylvania Possible Retaliation

    I'm not sure where the case you cite was heard. However, it isn't a federal court decision under federal law. Therefore, it couldn't be used to argue employer liability under Title VII, a federal statute. There is a federal statute that governs unions, employers, and unfair labor practices. It's the National Labor Relations Act; but it is a completely different federal statue than Title VII.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    4

    Default Re: Retaliation Threat After Discrimination Complaint, in Pennsylvania

    I read the EEOC link but it is a bit over my head. Could you explain what you mean; "Further, I don't understand your employer's conclusion about the alleged harassing comment. It appears that their decision is not consistent with EEOC's or the courts' interpretation of employer liability for harassing statements made by a supervisor."
    Thank's

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    4

    Default Discrimination - Retaliation - Violence Pennsylvania

    My question involves labor and employment law for the state of: Pennsylvania:

    I had written in a previous thread (more than 72 days ago), about a racial discrimination complaint and a retaliation complaint. The discrimination complaint was initially dismissed but after an appeal my employer has reversed my initial discrimination complaint in my favor and decided the retaliation complaint in my favor. It happened recently so I still do not know what the result means to the supervisor I filed against. A side issue that had been occurring is that his son and mine are in the same grade together in the same high school. Since I first filed the complaint his son had been harassing and threatening mine at school and we have been reporting it to both the school and police without remedy. Every adverse action from his son to mine occurred within days following an action (filing complaint, H/R meetings and H/R decisions), about two weeks ago he ran up behind my son, tackled him to the ground hit his head on the sidewalk knocking him out, when he came to he was being punched in the face and head and was later taken to the hospital, Doctors found minor facial fractures and concussion. The assault was witnessed by many and stopped by a teacher. He was heard saying “you people had better stop saying things about my Dad.” The boy admitted what he did (proudly) and is being charged with simple assault and will get some kind of consent decree probation.

    I would really like to see this insanity stop. Any suggestions?

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