Former Phila. RDA employee alleges forced retirement in discrimination suit

Jon Campisi Mar. 27, 2012, 7:22am

A former real estate specialist with the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority who alleges she was laid off from her job of four years because of her age has filed a federal discrimination lawsuit against the city agency.

Attorney Isaac H. Green filed the federal complaint March 26 at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania on behalf of Philadelphia resident Angelina Tillman.

The lawsuit claims that Tillman, who was hired by the RDA in July 2007, was forced into retirement in July 2011 by a boss who insinuated that she was too old to still be working at the agency.

RDA Executive Director David Thomas met with Tillman in late June 2011, during which he allegedly made age-related comments to Tillman and informed her that if she did not immediately retire she would not be eligible for medical benefits, the lawsuit claims.

Thomas also informed Tillman that even if she elected to receive unemployment compensation and retire at a later date, she would lose her medical coverage, the suit claims.

Tillman received a layoff notice shortly after the meeting with her bosses, the suit states.

Thomas, who is 61, was a member of Local 1971, the collective bargaining unit representing RDA employees. She was also a union official, and as such had “superseniority” status that exempted her from layoff, the lawsuit states.

The lawsuit claims that no younger employees were laid off from the agency in connection with a stated desire to reduce the workforce.

The lawsuit claims that Tillman’s civil rights were violated when she was fired from her job.

The suit also contains state law claims against the RDA, alleging that Tillman’s supervisors discriminated against Tillman with regard to compensation, hire, tenure, terms and conditions and privileges of her employment on the basis of her age.

For each of the counts listed in the complaint, Tillman seeks judgment against the defendant in a sum in excess of $150,000, plus reasonable attorney’s fees.

Tillman has demanded a jury trial.


The federal case number is 2:12-cv-01505-RK.


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