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DRPA Applauds Judgement in Discrimination Case
Decision reinforces DRPA’s position as a diversity employer of choice
CAMDEN, N.J.: Officials from the Delaware River Port Authority (DRPA) today expressed their satisfaction over a recent court decision which vindicated the Authority against unfounded claims of workplace discrimination.
The case arose from allegations filed by a former DRPA employee, Joseph Egan, when his position was eliminated due to budget and staffing decisions. Despite the fact that a similar position was also eliminated for the same reasons, Mr. Egan alleged that the Authority was discriminating against him on the basis of age, disability status and his use of Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provisions. The matter was originally brought before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in November of 2013, and dismissed based upon an assessment that the DRPA had not violated any statutes. In June of 2015, Mr. Egan filed a civil complaint in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, which was moved to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. A Civil Jury Trial commenced before the Honorable Timothy J. Savage on January 29, 2016. On February 2, 2016, after about an hour of deliberations, the jury of five women and three men returned a full defense verdict in favor of the DRPA and against Joseph Egan. The jury unanimously found that the DRPA did not discriminate against Mr. Egan on the basis of his age, disability or FMLA when his position was eliminated in October of 2012.
“Credit goes to the Board of Commissioners and senior leadership for their commitment to our zero tolerance policy for any type of discrimination in the workplace,” said DRPA General Counsel Raymond Santarelli. “We have a mandatory training program for all new hires, and bi-annual training for our existing workforce, which educates all levels of our staff on anti-discrimination laws and their practical application in the workforce. We also maintain an internal process for resolving legitimate allegations. Good stewardship of public assets requires that we defend the Authority against unfounded allegations such as those presented in this case. I am pleased that the court agreed with our position.”
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