PHILADELPHIA – A former employee of a business-to-business marketing firm claims she was unlawfully terminated and retaliated against in violation of the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act (PHRA), and now seeks to recover lost wages and other damages.
Jill Whiskeyman of Silverdale filed suit in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas on July 18 versus Timmons And Company, Adam Bailine and Bob Kent, all of Jamison.
According to the lawsuit, Whiskeyman says she was fired from her employment with Timmons And Company (for which she earned an annual salary of $70,000) on Oct. 19, 2015 for protected activity, including “reposting an anti-discrimination message from actress Jennifer Lawrence on her personal Facebook page and engaging in other activity protected by the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act.”
“Defendants accused plaintiff of re-posting the aforesaid message as a commentary on perceived discrimination at her job (an issue she had raised with them in the past) and fired her as a result of it and other protected activity on her part. When asked about the message, plaintiff stated that she had posted it and that she believed there was discrimination in the workplace. The foregoing statement was further protected activity by plaintiff. Plaintiff was fired only days later,” the suit states.
Further, Whiskeyman says there was no performance-related or other basis for her firing and she had in fact been promoted to the position of Director of Account Services in early October of 2015, less than two weeks before her firing. Per the litigation, Whiskeyman filed a complaint with the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission (PHRC) on April 4, 2016 and had exhausted her administrative remedies as to the allegations of the instant complaint at the time it was filed.
Whiskeyman candidly remarked in the lawsuit, “Defendant Bailine (in a stunning display of cluelessness) had admitted in writing that plaintiff’s firing was based on her posting “…allegations of sexism…” on her Facebook page and that it was also based on similar comments plaintiff had made “…about alleged sexism in the office…” and her “strong belief about the sexist world that she lives in” – emphasizing once again that this was protected activity under applicable law and one of the defendants admitted to firing her for that same activity.
“Plaintiff’s firing constituted unlawful retaliation and therefore violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act and other applicable law. Defendants Adam Bailine and Bob Kent are aiders and abettors who are personally liable for plaintiff’s firing under the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act and who were specifically named in her administrative charge. Defendants Adam Bailine and Bob Kent made the decision to terminate plaintiff’s employment or recommend that it be terminated,” conduct she believes constituted unlawful sex discrimination and retaliation against the plaintiff.
For alleged violation of the PHRA, the plaintiff is seeking compensatory damages in excess of $50,000; the defendant be enjoined from discriminating or retaliating against the plaintiff; be prohibited from continuing their alleged unlawful policy of discriminating or retaliating against employees for protected activity; additional injunctive relief; that she be compensated for all wages and payments she would have received had it not been for the defendants’ allegedly illegal actions; plus costs, attorney’s fees, the maximum financial recovery allowable to be secured by the plaintiff and all other equitable and legal relief the Court deems just, proper and appropriate.
The plaintiff is represented by Wayne A. Ely of Kolman Ely, in Penndel.
Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas case 170701637
From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at email@example.com