Philadelphia Employment Law News

June 2012 Archives

Country Fresh Settles EEOC Suit for Being Too Fresh

The name Country Fresh usually brings to mind delicious fresh fruit and vegetables. But the store took a little too much liberty with the word fresh to get a little too fresh with its employees, according to an EEOC Press Release.

Just to be clear, we're talking sexual harassment here. And not just one person. The EEOC filed suit after multiple reports of flagrant sexual harassment of women in the meat department by the department manager at Country Fresh's Brownsville store, according to the EEOC.

So how did the suit get to the EEOC?

Blogging Teacher Fired, Part 2: Retaliation

There are times when an employee notices that there is something wrong at their place of employment. Sometimes when this happens, the employee reports the problem. What next? The employee is fired, or demoted, or transferred to Siberia.

In the last post, we looked at blogging teacher Natalie Munroe's First Amendment claims. The other part of her wrongful discharge suit is based on the school's alleged retaliation by singling out of Munroe for special treatment that would assure her an unsatisfactory rating and the loss of her job, according to NBC10 Philadelphia. Let's take a deeper look at these allegations.

Blogging Teacher Fired, Claims She Was 'Set Up'

Blogging, it's the thing to do on the Internet. You can share projects you do, hobbies, recipes, or gripe about the world in general. You could describe it as a sounding board to strangers who give you feedback on your thoughts, or possibly a way to communicate with a group of people. Whatever your reason for blogging, realize that unless you restrict your readers to those with a password, anyone can find and read it.

This is what happened to the blogging teacher, a Central Bucks English teacher, Natalie Munroe, who was fired by the Bucks County school board for her blog, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Yes Philly, There Is Sexual Harassment Towards Men

Just when you thought it was safe to go back to work, there is another report of men being sexually harassed. Maybe this is a good sign that things are truly become more equal in the workplace, or maybe just that more people are feeling OK about reporting such indecencies.

A lawsuit has been filed in Trenton against Causeway Automotive by three men who claim to have been sexually harassed by their manager, James Rebiesz, according to Courthouse News Service. The three men, Dirk DeHooge, Jeffrey Coates, and Adam Klimas, all claim that Rebiesz made outrageous sexually-offensive and lewd remarks to them because they were male. They also claim that an EEOC claim made by another man was ignored by Causeway, allowing Rebiesz to have "free reign to sexually prey upon his male subordinates."

PA Turnpike Supervisor Fired; Turnpike Takes Its Toll

Everyone's been on the Pennsylvania turnpike and had to stop for the toll. There's always a curse under your breath at the toll taker, even though it's not their fault that you don't have cash and you used all the change in your car for the toll yesterday. Even with all the cursing, you probably wouldn't wish for the toll attendant's turnpike supervisor to be fired.

However, that's exactly what happened. Samuel Giombolini, of Dickson City, was recently fired from his position as the turnpike's district manager for District 5 in Northeastern Pennsylvania, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Employment Contracts: Eagles Sign Atogwe to One Year

The Eagles have picked up a safety by signing O.J. Atogwe to a one year contract with the team, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. In order to make room for Atogwe, the Birds had to release long snapper Matt Camilli.

Now, it’s well known that pro football players’ contracts are a little bit different than the ones signed by normal folks, but it does raise the issue of negotiating and understanding the employment contracts you do run into. Atogwe and his agent took an extra day of negotiation to make sure that employee and employer were protected and mutually benefitted by the contract, according to the Inquirer.

Drug Tests: Phillies' Freddy Galvis Suspended After a Positive

Right after Roger Clemens was acquitted of all charges, and while the Phillies are in last place, Freddy Galvis was suspended for 50 games after testing positive for a banned substance, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Galvis made a public statement that only a trace amount of the banned substance was found in his system, 80 parts to a trillion to be exact, according to WPVI-TV. He continued by denying any use and questioning how the substance could have entered his body.

While Major League Baseball players are bound by contract to submit to drug tests, the regular population is a bit different, but still a potential subject of a drug test.

Philadelphia Detective Fired for Overtime Abuse Gets Full Pension

One of Philadelphia's best homicide detectives was fired for overtime abuse recently after it was discovered that he was bringing in over $90,000 a year in just overtime pay, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer.

While the official report has not been released, the police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey has confirmed that investigators have sustained an allegation that Detective Kenneth Rossiter would check into court at the beginning of a day, go home and relax, then come back to court to check out at the end of the day.

ADA Helps Blind Philadelphia Teacher See What's Best for Kids

Harriet Go is a blind Philadelphia teacher that has just been awarded a scholarship by the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) to help her complete a master's degree in reading and literacy, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer. Go has been awarded the scholarship once before while attending Temple, where she graduated summa cum laude.

Jim Antonacci, president of the NFB, stated that it is incredibly rare for a person to win the scholarship twice and that it is a large honor to receive, writes the Inquirer. Go uses her great talents to teach learning disabled children to read, spending her summers leading a summer camp for the blind and demonstrating braille to Boy Scouts.

Neshaminy Teachers' Strike Ends: Kids' Early Vacation Over

The Neshaminy Federation of Teachers ended its six-day strike Monday, June 11 after participating in a hearing in front of Bucks County Court Judge Robert O. Baldi, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer. The teachers agreed to start back on Tuesday, but the schools could not reopen until Wednesday in order for there to be food for the Free Lunch programs, according to the Inquirer.

The strike was to force negotiation of a new contract, because the original expired in 2008, reports NBC10. The striking teachers were receiving death threats and having cars swerve at them because of the strike, according to NBC10. So why strike?

Still No Verdict in Priest Trial: Jury Leave Affecting Jobs?

On June 12th, the seventh day of deliberations, Reverend James J. Brennan’s attorney, William J. Brennan voiced his frustration in the jury’s inability to reach a decision in the attempted rape and endangerment case against Brennan and Msgr. William J. Lynn, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer. Brennan’s lawyer asked how many times the case was going to be tried after hearing the jury’s request to read the accuser’s testimony, according to the Inquirer.

This now being the seventh day of deliberations, according to The Washington Post, raises the question of what happens to jurors who are on jury leave for an extended period of time due. This trial has now taken well over three months of the jurors’ time at work.

Could they be laid off for being away from work for so long?

Joe Banner Leaves Eagles, Perhaps to Start a Business?

It was reported that Joe Banner will no longer be the Eagles’ president after taking the position in 1994, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer. According to the Inquirer, Banner will become a strategic adviser to Jeffrey Lurie, owner of the Eagles and childhood friend of Banner.

The Inquirer also reports that while Banner is still involved with the team, he will be allowed to look outside the Eagles organization for opportunities. NBC10 reports that Banner left partly because of his desire to become part owner of a sports team. If Banner changes his mind, he could always start a new small business instead.

Jim's Steaks: Not Just Great Sandwiches, Drugs Too?

South Philadelphia’s Jim’s Steaks was raided again for another employee suspected of possessing drugs with the intent to distribute, reports WPVI-TV. This is the second time that the police have raided Jim’s Steaks since August of 2011 with a warrant for a narcotics arrest, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

In the August bust, one of the managers was picked up and cocaine, marijuana, Percocet, Xanax, Endocet, and cash were confiscated, reports the Inquirer. In the current bust, it has yet to be revealed what was confiscated, although police do say that something was confiscated, according to WPVI-TV.

'Push Girls' by Cherry Hill Grad Reminder of ADA Requirements

The Philadelphia Daily News reports that Cherry Hill West graduate, Gay Rosenthal, is premiering a new show on the Sundance Channel called “Push Girls.” The show follows four adventurous women who happen to be in wheelchairs, according to the Daily News. Rosenthal also produces other shows such as TLC's "Little People, Big World," and VH1's "Behind the Music."

The Atlantic reports that the show takes reality television back to its heyday when it was interesting to watch. However, the show is not about people feeling bad for the women involved. Instead it shows how these women go about their everyday lives. Of course, in Hollywood, where those lives are a little different than the norm, the specter of disability discrimination still shows its face.