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9 Apr 2012

PA Human Relations Commission orders Philadelphia Prison System to pay female employee more than $48,600 for sex discrimination

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April 9, 2012 Category: Week In Review Posted by:

Harrisburg – The Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission ordered the City of Philadelphia Prison System to pay Jill Toomer of Philadelphia $31,256 in back pay, plus interest, for discriminating against her based on her sex. The order took effect March 27.


“Employment decisions like promotions and hiring must be based on qualifications,” Commission Executive Director JoAnn Edwards said. “Basing such decisions on someone’s sex is illegal discrimination and subjects employers to legal penalties.”


Toomer’s complaint against the prison system alleged that she was denied a promotion based on her sex and race. Renee Johnson, also of Philadelphia, filed a similar complaint around the same time.


Investigations found probable cause to support both women’s claims. After the parties failed to settle, the city agreed to have both complaints considered in one public hearing.


After full consideration of the hearing record in both matters, the commission dismissed Johnson’s complaint and held the prison system liable for sex discrimination in failing to promote Toomer. Race discrimination against Toomer was not established.


The commission ordered the prison system to cease discriminating against employees based on their sex and to provide non-discrimination training for its staff.


Toomer’s award of back pay of $31,256 includes six percent interest per annum from January 2003 until payment is made. To date, her total award comes to more than $48,600.


The city has 30 days to report to the commission on how it will comply with the order.

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