The Fairness Center represents Mindy McFetridge, one of only a few women employed by PennDOT as a Transportation Equipment Operator in Venango County. Her lawsuit alleges that union and state officials discriminated against her because she is a woman on the outside of a favored group of male union officials.
Around March of 2020, PennDOT shut down operations at McFetridge’s workplace due to the COVID-19 pandemic. After briefly receiving paid office time, Mindy was told that she could use her paid time off (PTO) or collect unemployment to make up for the loss of pay. McFetridge chose to use PTO before collecting unemployment because she didn’t want to lose her accrued seniority rights. McFetridge’s PTO is extremely valuable to her, as a single mother caring for a daughter with a serious medical condition.
But a union crew composed of only men, some of whom were below McFetridge in seniority, stayed on the job while she was laid off—and continued racking up days for seniority while McFetridge could not. McFetridge alleges that the crew was only allowed to continue working in defiance of collectively bargained seniority rights because it included men who were members of the union’s executive board and friends and relatives of the president of the local AFSCME Council 13 affiliate.
As a result, McFetridge filed a lawsuit in the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania, alleging that AFSCME Council 13 violated its duty of fair representation under federal law when it colluded with PennDOT to favor male union officials in the workplace and refused to file a grievance on her behalf.
Mindy McFetridge v. American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, Council 13; Pennsylvania Department of Transportation
This case was filed in the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania.