Pennsylvania Record

Friday, February 28, 2020

Former PAL teacher claims report of sexual harassment caused firing

By Jim Boyle | Jun 12, 2014

Ari karpf

A former teacher for the Philadelphia Police Athletic League claims in a federal suit filed at

the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania that she was fired after complaining of sexual harassment by her manager.

Noemi Clemente, of Philadelphia, seeks compensatory and punitive damages and injunctive relief that would require the PAL to institute harsher guidelines when dealing with employees' claims of sexual harassment. Clemente says she contacted the next manager in line, but no proper investigation was conducted.

According to the complaint, Clemente had been working for the PAL for approximately one and-a-half years when her assignment was relocated to the branch at Harry Gate Plaza under the supervision of Harry Rivera.

She claims that almost immediately Rivera began making sexual gestures and inappropriate comments to her, telling her that "she needed a man like him." When she contacted management, the complaint says, Rivera began treating Clemente with hostility by cutting her hours, changing her shift without telling her, deducting money from her paycheck and forcing her to work from home with no pay.

Clemente again notified management, telling them about Rivera's retaliation. The complaint says that nobody investigated her accusations, but shortly after in January 2013, Clemente was terminated. Management told her she was fired because she was unreliable, the suit says.

The plaintiff claims that the lack of investigation implies that management condoned Rivera's behavior. She claims injury based on title VII of the Civil Rights Act and the Pennsylvania Wage Payment Collection Law.

Clemente is represented by Ari Karpf of the Bensalem-based Karpf, Karpf & Cerutti.

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