Pennsylvania Record

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Court takes defendant's side in sexual harassment case against Philadelphia Department of Public Health

Federal Court

By Shanice Harris | Nov 5, 2019

Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA -- Civil rights claims from a former employee at the Philadelphia Department of Public Health who alleged that she experienced sexual harassment from her supervisor and was fired after speaking up have been dismissed.

On Sept. 30, the court granted the defendant's motion to dismiss those civil rights claims and ruled the former employee must provide facts in order to proceed with her suit. U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania Judge J. Kearney issued the ruling.

Latoya Rippy started working at the Public Health Management Corporation in March 2013. The nonprofit institute had Cherie Walker-Baban, Leslie Gaymon, and Kristine Arrieta supervise Rippy during her time of employment. 

She also reported to Tony Gerard, an employee with the Centers for Disease Control under the federal government. Between 2017-2018, Rippy alleges that she was physically and verbally sexually harassed by Gerard. 

She also says she suffered racial discrimination from him as well. After she reported the behavior to Gaymon and Walker-Baban, she was removed from a project and she told them she would not be returning if she was still required to work with Gerard.

The court determined that Rippy alleged facts to argue a plausible joint employment claim against the City. But it decided to dismiss her civil rights claims against the City for discrimination and the subsequent retaliation. She failed to plead municipal liability.

The plaintiff had until Oct. 10 to file a third amended complaint. 

Eastern District of Pennsylvania / Civil Action No. 19--1839

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