Two former Reading Police Department employees who are married to each other have sued the city and several supervisors, claiming age discrimination and harassment and retaliation for complaining about municipal government labor practices.
According to the complaint, Officer Randy Organtini was forced to retire from the city’s police force a year early after he had filed workplace grievances.
His wife, Karen Organtini, worked in the city’s PropertyBureau, part of the police department. She alleges she was denied a promotion in 2008 because she had complained about the city’s treatment of her husband. She claims a position for which she was qualified went to a younger woman with no experience. Organtini then quit her job, citing “unbearable working conditions.”
The Organtinis originally asked the Pennsylvania Human Rights Commission (PHRC) to intervene. A PHRC fact finder advised the city to conduct anti-harassment training. The city initially promised to do so, but has since refused. Absent a settlement, the case will go to trial in federal court.
- When employee sues for discrimination, be prepared to show your processes are solid
- Stop lawsuits by double-teaming hiring process
- After decade in court, at least the lawyers can claim victory
- Carefully craft bona fide occupational qualification limits
- Should we change our policy to require that all harassment complaints be made in writing?