The union representing health care workers at Temple University Hospital has planned a protest outside the entrance of the medical facility on North Broad Street for 4 p.m. Sunday over an arbitration dispute.
In a statement just issued, the hospital said the dispute is over its decision to appeal an arbitration decision requiring reinstatement of "a terminated employee who repeatedly sexually harassed a co-worker."
The hospital said the arbitrator had concluded that the employee should be reinstated without back pay or retroactive benefits even though she had "engaged in a pattern of conduct that cannot be tolerated in the workplace."
The arbitrator had cited the employee's length of service as justification for reinstatement. In explaining its decision to appeal that ruling, the hospital said Sunday "length of service should not shield employees from their responsibility to conduct themselves in a professional manner at all times."
"While respecting the arbitration process, Temple University Hospital filed its appeal because the conduct at issue violates the Commonwealth's dominant public policy against sexual harassment in the workplace," Temple's statement said.
District 1199C of the National Union of Hospital & Health Care Workers said in a release that Temple "has chosen to renounce and violate its contractual obligations to its health care workforce and professional service providers."
Its demonstration, to be held at the northeast corner of North Broad and Ontario Streets, is expected to involve 400 participants.