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Woman claims Penn State violated employment law, files suit

A woman who was employed by Penn State University in the athletics department recently sued the school over an alleged wrongful termination. The suit also lists other alleged violations of employment law that purportedly took place over the entire eight years of her employment. While the suit was not filed in Illinois, workers here have the same right to seek justice when their rights are violated.

According to the complaint, the woman was hired in 2008. She stated that verbal abuse from her immediate supervisor commenced shortly after her start date. Though the woman stated that she reported the abuse to human resources in 2010, she claims that there were no corrective actions taken. The woman stated that the verbal assaults were carried out in the presence of others and that in spite of her repeated attempts to seek a remedy, they continued unabated.

In 2014, the woman expressed interest in a better position, but she was purportedly informed that she would not be considered based on the personal preferences of her supervisor. She later sought the assistance of another supervisor on at least two occasions but claimed that this individual would not intervene. After the employee took an extended leave for undisclosed reasons, she claimed that her supervisor again launched an extensive verbal assault. At some point after her return to duty, these two individuals reportedly discussed and implemented an improvement plan for her work performance.

In spite of the woman's assertions that she met all of the written requirements, she claimed in early 2017 she was dismissed without just cause. Penn State has not responded to the allegations, and a court date has not been set. Illinois workers who are subjected to an abusive or discriminatory workplace are entitled to seek a remedy. An experienced employment law professional can provide assistance in filing a comprehensive civil suit whenever an employee's rights have been violated.

Source:, "Penn State: Lawsuit by Karen Dzenkowski, alleged hostile work environment, retaliation, wrongful termination", Shawn Annarelli, Oct. 4, 2017

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