The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

Breaking News

Local News

November 18, 2013

Newspaper denies accusations of bias

GREENVILLE — A part-time reporter for the Greenville Record-Argus has sued the newspaper alleging it discriminated against her because of a disability and her gender.

The paper denied the accusations in a highly detailed answer to the complaint, claiming the allegations are “insulting to the newspaper’s reputation and employees.”

Heidi Warren of 269 Clinton St., Greenville, said she worked part-time for the paper for about nine months in 2000 and was rehired for a full-time position in the fall of 2011.

However, she was fired April 2, 2012, returned on a part-time basis in June 2012, and she has not been promoted to full time because of bias, she said.

The paper said in its answer filed Nov. 8 that Warren was laid off, not fired.

“(Warren) was laid off only due to her inability to perform the essential function of her position with the financial success of the newspaper in mind,” the paper said.

At the time of the layoff, the newspaper implemented a series of cost-cutting measures, which included moving from a 16,000-square-foot building to a 5,000-square-foot office at 205 Main St., eliminating the printing department, reducing the number of circulation employees and leaving some vacant positions unfilled, the paper said.

Warren suffered from thyroid cancer before her 2011 hiring and must take “life-sustaining medications for the rest of her life,” rendering her disabled under the Americans with Disabilities Act, she said in her complaint filed July 29 in U.S. District Court, Pittsburgh.

The paper did not want her to become a full-time employee because of the hit it would take in its health insurance payments, she said.

The paper said her addition to the health insurance plan would have no effect, unless the company switched carriers.

“At no point in time were (Warren’s) disability or gender a consideration in her employment status with (the paper),” the Record-Argus said.

She also claimed the firing was in retaliation for her requesting accommodation because of her disability.

The paper said it has approved her every request for accommodation, by extending her probationary period when she was a full-time employee, granting her requests for reduced hours, weekends off and fewer or more assignments.

“(D)espite (Warren’s) inability to perform the functions of her position, the defendants have been remiss to fire her because they did not wish to deprive a disabled woman of her livelihood,” the paper said.

The paper said it expected it would have trouble finding someone to replace her, even though she is “performing slightly better than not having anyone employed to the position.”

The Argus, represented by Tedd C. Nesbit of Hermitage, said it has “gone above and beyond what should be required them to accommodate a disabled woman at a financial detriment to the newspaper.”

Warren, represented by Samuel J Cordes & Associates, Pittsburgh, is seeking promotion to full time, lost wages and benefits back to April 2, 2012, and damages, attorney’s fees and costs.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Doss: Public has right to know

    A major part of Farrell council’s work session Monday was spent deciding whether or not to inform the audience about an unofficial police proposal from the City of Sharon.

    July 30, 2014

  • Budget falling short despite tax hike

    Farrell residents may have seen an income tax increase this year, but the city isn’t seeing the extra dollars City Manager Michael Ceci budgeted for.

    July 30, 2014

  • oakwood graves 1 Resting together

    Visitors to Oakwood Cemetery would see many  familiar local names if they looked down the hillside to the left just inside the gate on Sharon’s North Oakland Avenue.

    July 30, 2014 3 Photos

  • Police: Kids in car were OK

    The mother of two young children was drunk and passed out when police found them all in a car parked along a city street, Sharon police said.

    July 29, 2014

  • To talk – or not – about police

    The mysterious agenda item, “No. 10,” at Farrell’s council meeting Monday became the center of a heated workshop and business session.

    July 29, 2014

  • Community thanks its first-responders

    Sharpsville honored its emergency responders Sunday at an event that included Mertz Towers residents as special guests.

    July 28, 2014

  • Drilling boom challenges state inspectors

    The state’s 83 well inspectors face a daunting enough challenge keeping tabs on 120,000 active oil and gas wells that have been drilled over the last century.

    July 28, 2014

  • Kidds Mill Covered Bridge A span of time

    Four generations of the Cadman family have enjoyed the Kidds Mill Covered Bridge, which is in Pymatuning Township near where the family’s ancestral farm is located.

    July 28, 2014 3 Photos

  • Intruder hurts woman, takes $5

    A home invasion in Hermitage Friday night sent an elderly woman to the hospital and netted the robber $5.

    July 27, 2014

  • national night out March against crime set for Aug. 5

    At the last Southwest Mercer County Regional Police Commission meeting, Chief Riley Smoot Jr. presented the number of incidents for each of the four communities in May.

    Farrell topped out at 819.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • high street trail Peaceful pathways

    History buffs and picnickers in the Shenango Valley won’t have to drive to Sharpsville to hang out at the old Erie Canal extension lock. They’ll soon have the option to walk or roll in on bicycles and even powered chairs to visit Canal Park near the outflow of Shenango Dam.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • balloonquest1 Balloon Quest celebrates 25 years

    Today is the final day of the 25th annual Western Pennsylvania Balloon Quest at Scotland Meadows Park.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • News briefs from July 26, 2014

    Man faces bomb threat charges

    June building tops $4 million in Hermitage

    July 26, 2014

  • Elderly man survives plane crash

    An elderly man survived wrecking his plane into a bank, then landing into a wetland, about 200 feet south of Runway 28 at Grove City Regional Airport in Springfield Township on Friday.

    July 26, 2014

  • Dontae Rashad Pinkins Man arrested for April gunfight

    Federal marshals and local police arrested Dontae Rashad Pinkins Thursday on a warrant accusing him of involvement in an April gunfight with another man in a Sharon alley.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo