Penn-Trafford's former human resources director gets settlement from district
Penn-Trafford's former director of human resources accepted $99,000 as part of a settlement to resign and withdraw a complaint she filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or EEOC.
District officials denied any wrongdoing toward Ramona L. Pope, according to a copy of the settlement, which the Penn-Trafford Star obtained last week through a Right-To-Know Law request.
“By entering into this agreement, the district does not acknowledge or admit that it has engaged in any unlawful act or practice,” the agreement states.
District officials have declined to comment about Pope's departure, citing the confidentiality of personnel issues. Pope also is bound by a confidentiality clause in the agreement.
Pope, 51, of Verona became the district's first human-resources director in 2009, when the school board approved a five-year contract that ran through June 30, 2014. Her salary started at $92,000 and rose to $102,569 in the 2012-13 budget, according to district records.
The school board voted 8-0 on Jan. 14 to accept Pope's resignation, effective Dec. 26, “under the terms and conditions agreed to by the parties.”
The district's agreement with Pope mentions that she made “certain allegations” against the district in a complaint to the EEOC, but it didn't specify the nature of the charges. Any charges made to the agency are confidential, said James Ryan, an EEOC public-affairs specialist.
Federal law protects employees and job applicants from discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability or genetic information, according to the EEOC's website. Employees and applicants also are protected from retaliation if they oppose employment discrimination, file a complaint or participate in another's complaint.
A filing with the EEOC sometimes serves as a precursor to a lawsuit.
The agreement states that the district would pay Pope $99,000 — minus any deductions required by law — and Pope would withdraw her EEOC complaint “with prejudice,” meaning she releases the district from any claims and can't refile.
Pope's former duties have been divided among five administrative employees as part of a restructuring in which Penn-Trafford will not fill the human-resources position, Superintendent Thomas Butler said in January.
Chris Foreman is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8671, or firstname.lastname@example.org.