Employee Terminated After Filing EEOC Complaint And Doctor Asks Her Why She Didn’t Keep Her Complaint “In-House”


Employee Files Lawsuit against Abington Memorial Hospital for Retaliation

Joyce, an African American, started working at Abington Memorial Hospital in May 2011. Soon after starting, Joyce recalled that Karin, a nurse practitioner, made inappropriate and racially charged comments. One time, Joyce shared that Karin said, “You probably live on the worst block in the neighborhood.” Along with these comments, Karin allegedly issued orders to Joyce and had her clean up the doctor’s office. Joyce did it, but she knew that these responsibilities were outside her job description.One time, Joyce shared that Karin said, “You probably live on the worst block in the neighborhood.”

In February of 2016, when a new business operations manager was hired, Joyce reported the ongoing inappropriate comments and misplaced orders to the new manager. Nothing was done to rectify the situation. A month later, Joyce reiterated her complaint and concerns to the manager. She also informed Human Resources about Karin’s treatment of her. Once again, Joyce noticed no changes.

Joyce didn’t think that things at work could get any worse, but then, they did. Two months later, HR approached Joyce about taking “unorthodox” breaks. Joyce explained how the hospital allowed workers to take their lunch break at any time. HR suspended Joyce. But, Joyce knew that other employees were taking breaks that HR would term “unorthodox,” but no one else was suspended. Knowing her employment rights under the law, Joyce filed an EEOC complaint about the disparity of treatment.

That summer, right before Joyce left for her scheduled vacation, a doctor at the hospital pulled her aside and asked her why she was complaining to HR. According to Joyce, the doctor told her to keep her complaints “in-house.” During Joyce’s vacation, her mother passed away. And when she returned to work, Joyce faced three more accusations of “unorthodox” breaks. Due to the overwhelming stress and anxiety of these situations, Joyce applied and received FMLA leave.

The day that Joyce returned from her FMLA leave, HR summoned her to a meeting. HR terminated her, allegedly for performance issues. Joyce knows better, believing that she was terminated in retaliation for filing her initial EEOC complaint. As a client of KM&A, Joyce is fighting for her employee rights. KM&A challenges employers who discriminate and retaliate against workers like Joyce.


Full text of this complaint, as filed with the District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, is available at docket no: 2:17-cv-05117-MMB

Kraemer, Manes & Associates LLC is an employment law firm with principal offices in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, serving all counties in Pennsylvania, focusing on employment law, business law, litigation, and civil issues. KM&A clients include employees, small businesses, parties in litigation, and people with a variety of legal issues.

For more information about this case, contact Attorney Michelle Dempsky at 215-475-3567 or at md@lawkm.com.

NOTICE: All information contained in this statement comes from the Complaint which has been filed as a public record with the court. As dedicated civil rights attorneys, we strongly believe in the public value of telling our clients’ stories: violators can be held accountable, and other silent victims can feel empowered to stand up for their legal rights. Although we make every attempt to verify our clients’ claims, note that the defendant is expected to oppose our client’s position, and the court has not ruled one way or the other as of the date of this statement.