The opinion of the court was delivered by: THOMAS I. VANASKIE
On August 17, 1993, plaintiff commenced this employment discrimination action under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000e et seq., and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act ("PHRA"), 43 Pa.C.S.A. §§ 951 et seq. Named as defendants are plaintiff's employer, OI-NEG TV Products, Inc. (hereinafter referred to as the "Employer"), and her collective bargaining representative, Glass, Molders, Pottery, Plastics & Allied Workers International Union AFL-CIO, CLC No. 243 (hereinafter referred to as the "Union").
On July 12, 1994, the Union moved for summary judgment, contending that plaintiff is unable to present facts sufficient to warrant submission of her claims to a trier-of-fact. For the reasons set forth below, the Union's Motion will be denied.
Pursuant to the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the Employer and the Union, job vacancies in the Employer's plant are filled generally on a seniority basis, unless an employee has "recall" rights to the position. If an employee has recall rights to a job that becomes available, he or she has the right to be placed in that position without the job being posted for bid on a seniority basis.
Prior to the Spring of 1991, plaintiff worked in the Employer's Selecting Department. In May of 1991, plaintiff bid on a position as Assistant Furnace Operator on the "D Shift," which worked on a rotation schedule as opposed to a steady day shift.
The position of Assistant Furnace Operator was created by the Employer in 1988. Walter Snopeck was one of the original successful bidders for that job. He filled the position of Assistant Furnace Operator on the "A Shift," which also operates on a rotation schedule. Snopeck was subsequently bumped from the "A Shift" due to the demotion of another employee. Snopeck then occupied the position of Assistant Furnace Operator on steady day shifts.
At the time the Assistant Furnace Operator vacancy on the "D Shift" was posted in May of 1991, the Union's Business Chairman, Joe Lutecki, spoke with the Employer's Industrial Relations Director about possible recall rights that Mr. Snopeck may have to the "D Shift" vacancy. On May 23, 1991, the Employer's Industrial Relations Director wrote to Mr. Lutecki, stating the Employer's position that Mr. Snopeck did not have recall rights to a particular shift schedule. Accordingly, the opening on the "D Shift" remained posted for bidding.
Leroy Foster was then awarded the position. He also chose not to complete his training on the job, but there is no contention that he was discouraged from remaining in the position by Union officials.
Plaintiff was finally awarded the position and began her five-day trial period on June 26, 1991. Two days later, the Union filed a grievance with the Employer, contending that Snopeck should have been offered the position on the basis of recall rights.
Plaintiff continued to work as an Assistant Furnace Operator while the Snopeck grievance was processed. Approximately nine months after plaintiff was awarded the job, the Union and the Employer resolved the grievance in Snopeck's favor.
In pursuing the Snopeck grievance, the Union relied upon an arbitration award in favor of another employee, John Berlinski. The Union maintained that the Berlinski arbitration award established recall rights to a preferred shift. Upon learning that the Snopeck grievance had been resolved in his favor, plaintiff contested the applicability of the Berlinski arbitration award to Snopeck's situation. She contended that the Berlinski award was applicable only where a position on a preferred shift was lost due to a reduction in force. Plaintiff argued that because Snopeck had been bumped from his position on the rotating A Shift due to the demotion of another employee from the position of Furnace Operator to Assistant Furnace Operator, Snopeck could not claim recall rights to the "D Shift" vacancy.
Plaintiff sought to file a grievance concerning the award of the position to Snopeck, but was unable to do so. She thereafter filed a complaint with the International Union. By letter dated June 19, 1992, Joseph Cordery, International Vice President, informed plaintiff that as a result of the resolution of the Snopeck grievance her removal from the position of Assistant Furnace Operator was appropriate.
In June of 1992, Snopeck was permitted to exercise his recall rights, thereby assuming the position of Assistant Furnace Operator on the "D Shift." Plaintiff was thereafter assigned to a temporary position as Assistant Furnace Operator on the rotating "B Shift."
In July of 1992, plaintiff filed a charge with the National Labor Relations Board ("NLRB"), naming as respondents the Union and the Employer. The Union was charged with violating its duty of fair representation by discriminating against plaintiff on the basis of her gender. Following an investigation, the Regional Director refused to issue a complaint and dismissed the case. Plaintiff did not pursue an appeal of this decision within the NLRB.
In January of 1993, the Employer decided to add an Assistant Furnace Operator position on the A Shift. Plaintiff unsuccessfully claimed recall rights to the position. Accordingly, in February of 1993, plaintiff filed a second charge with the NLRB, contending she had been denied recall rights. The Regional Director once again dismissed the charge, and plaintiff did not appeal that determination.
Plaintiff claims that she has been denied the position of Assistant Furnace Operator because of her gender. Specifically, she contends that the Union improperly grieved Snopeck's alleged recall right to prevent a woman from filling the position and then failed to pursue her claim of recall rights when the opening on the A Shift was established in January of 1993. Plaintiff also claims that she was subject to harassment while she worked as an Assistant Furnace ...