Allegheny County 911 dispatchers file discrimination suits |

Allegheny County 911 dispatchers file discrimination suits

Three Allegheny County 911 dispatchers filed separate lawsuits in Common Pleas Court on Wednesday claiming their bosses discriminated against them.

Ruby Helvy, 47, of Marshall-Shadeland said her supervisors at the Allegheny County Department of Emergency Services in Point Breeze suspended her seven times for various reasons, including not being at her desk during a call and canceling a call, between January 2013 and last month.

Helvy, who is black, contends her bosses did not suspend non-minority co-workers “for similar transgressions.”

Another 911 dispatcher, Kelli Rodriguez, 34, of Verona said her training supervisor sexually harassed and discriminated against her because she is Hispanic. Rodriguez was fired Dec. 18, about three months after she was hired.

Rodriguez complained to County Council in January, spurring Councilman James Ellenbogen to call for an investigation into the treatment of employees at the dispatch center.

Ellenbogen late Wednesday said he did not know if county employees undertook an investigation, but would inquire Thursday. County Solicitor Andrew Szefi said he had not seen either lawsuit and declined to comment.

The third dispatcher, Dapree Thompson of Penn Hills, said she was a lead trainer for three years, but was not given anyone to train in that time.

Thompson, who is black, also said she was required to work overtime though non-minority employees were not.

Thompson, Helvy and Rodriguez, all of whom are represented by Downtown lawyer Joseph D. Pometto, are seeking back pay and emotional and punitive damages.

Adam Brandolph is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at 412-391-0927 or [email protected].

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.