PHILADELPHIA – After being litigated in both state and federal court, dockets show the wrongful termination case of a former staff member at Molly Malloy’s restaurant in Philadelphia’s Reading Terminal Market was settled.

Per an order issued by U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania Judge John R. Padova on Jan. 10, it said the issues between plaintiff Nichole Geist and defendant Iovine Brothers Bar and Grill, Inc. (doing business as “Molly Malloy’s”) were settled, and thus the action was dismissed with prejudice, pursuant to agreement of counsel, without costs.

Further terms of the settlement were not made public.

Geist of Philadelphia first filed suit in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas on May 18, 2017 versus Iovine Brothers Bar and Grill, Inc. (doing business as Molly Malloy’s), also of Philadelphia.

In her case, Geist had been a kitchen staff member at Molly Malloy’s for about six months and said she was a hard-working and dedicated employee when, in January of last year, she sustained a work-related injury to her foot consisting of third-degree burns from chemicals used at the restaurant.

Geist explained she reported her injury to restaurant management and shortly thereafter, filed a Workers' Compensation claim. Initially, Geist only missed two days of work, but as her injury symptoms continued to worsen, she missed work on three weeks of medical leave, from Jan. 13 to Feb. 3, 2017. After returning from her medical leave, Geist charges restaurant management with treating her in a rude and demeaning manner, belittling her and closely scrutinizing her work.

On Feb. 15, 2017, Geist claimed she was told of her termination by restaurant ownership for providing another manager at Reading Terminal Market with a complimentary hamburger, something Geist described as a common practice of employees at Molly Malloy’s. Geist alleged she had been given managerial permission and codes in order to accommodate that same practice when necessary.

Therefore, Geist alleged the true reason for her termination was her filing for worker’s compensation benefits, a violation of public policy in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

However, after receiving a “Right To Sue” designation from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), Geist elected to pursue her claim of violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act and common law claim of wrongful termination in federal court, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Prior to settlement, the plaintiff had been seeking damages including back pay, front pay, salary, pay increases, bonuses, insurance benefits, training, promotions, reinstatement and seniority, actual damages, punitive damages, costs of suit and other relief the Court deems legal, equitable and appropriate, in addition to a trial by jury in this matter.

The plaintiff was represented by Ari R. Karpf, David Korsen and Ari Risson Karpf of Karpf Karpf & Cerutti, in Bensalem.

The defendants were represented by Patrick J. Doran and Tanneika Minott of Archer & Greiner, in Philadelphia.

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania case 2:17-cv-04179

Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas case 170502904

From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at nickpennrecord@gmail.com

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