Women sue Greek Orthodox Diocese

By Robert Baird
Friday, December 5, 2003

Two former female employees of the Greek Orthodox Diocese of Pittsburgh filed a federal lawsuit Thursday alleging they were fired after they complained about sexual harassment by their supervisor.

Patricia Patsakis, 53, of Lower Burrell, Westmoreland County, and Angela Sklavos, 32, of Sharon Drive, Forest Hills, were both fired on Oct. 8, 2002, the lawsuit said.

Attorneys Samuel Cordes and Colleen Ramage Johnston contend in the lawsuit that their clients complained to Metropolitan Maximos, Bishop of Pittsburgh, about sex discrimination and a sexually hostile work environment created by their supervisor, Ryan Gzikowski, assistant to the bishop.

Johnston said the work environment was "degrading to females," with Gzikowski allegedly making comments that indicated women weren't wanted there. She said there was no allegation of any improper touching.

Patsakis, a coordinator and administrator, began working for the diocese on Dec. 1, 2001.

Sklavos, who was an executive secretary, joined the diocese Aug. 1, 2001.

Named as defendants were the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, headquartered in New York, and the Pittsburgh Diocese, at 5201 Ellsworth Ave., Shadyside.

The lawsuit seeks back wages, benefits and punitive damages. Sklavos contended she suffered extreme emotional distress and depression as a result of the discriminatory conduct.

An attempt to reach the defendants for comment was unsuccessful yesterday.