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EEOC v. CHESTNUT HILL HOSP.

January 26, 1995

EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY COMMISSION, Plaintiff, and CHARLES KING, Intervening Plaintiff,
v.
CHESTNUT HILL HOSPITAL, Defendant.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: MARVIN KATZ

 AND NOW, this 26th day of January, 1995, upon consideration of the defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment, and the responses thereto, it is hereby ORDERED that the said motion is GRANTED as to Count IV of the Complaint in Intervention, and is otherwise DENIED.

 I. Facts

 In its complaint, plaintiff Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") alleges that defendant Chestnut Hill Hospital (the "Hospital") discriminated against Intervening Plaintiff Charles King and a class of black applicants for full-time security guard positions, in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Title I of the Civil Rights Act of 1991. Mr. King's amended complaint in intervention repeats those federal civil rights claims and asserts state law claims for breach of the duty of good faith and fair dealing and for intentional infliction of emotional distress. The Hospital now moves for summary judgment.

 II. Discussion

 A. Summary Judgment Standard

 Summary judgment is appropriate "if the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law." Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c). The moving party has the burden of demonstrating the absence of any genuine issue of material fact. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323, 91 L. Ed. 2d 265, 106 S. Ct. 2548 (1986). The non-moving party cannot rely solely on the allegations contained in its pleading; it must offer specific facts indicating that there is a genuine issue for trial. Id. at 324.

 When ruling on a motion for summary judgment, the court must construe the evidence and any reasonable inferences that can be drawn therefrom in favor of the non-moving party. Josey v. John R. Hollingsworth Corp., 996 F.2d 632, 637 (3d Cir. 1993). In other words, if the evidence presented by the parties conflicts, the court must accept the allegations of the non-moving party as true. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 255, 91 L. Ed. 2d 202, 106 S. Ct. 2505 (1986).

 B. Civil Rights Claims

 A summary judgment motion in a "pretext" employment discrimination case, such as this one, must be considered in light of the framework established by the Supreme Court in McDonnell Douglas Corp. v. Green, 411 U.S. 792, 36 L. Ed. 2d 668, 93 S. Ct. 1817 (1973); Texas Dep't of Community Affairs v. Burdine, 450 U.S. 248, 67 L. Ed. 2d 207, 101 S. Ct. 1089 (1981); and St. Mary's Honor Ctr. v. Hicks, U.S. , 113 S. Ct. 2742 (1993). That line of cases places the initial burden of establishing a prima facie case of discrimination on the plaintiff. Burdine, 450 U.S. at 252-53. Next, the burden of production shifts to the defendant to articulate a legitimate, nondiscriminatory reason for its employment decision. Id. at 253. The plaintiff then has the burden of showing by a preponderance of the evidence that the defendant's explanation is a pretext for discrimination. Hicks, 113 S. Ct. at 2752, 2754.

 To survive a motion for summary judgment once the defendant has proffered a legitimate, nondiscriminatory reason for its adverse employment action, the plaintiff must submit evidence that either (1) discredits the proffered reason, so that the factfinder could reasonably conclude that it was a fabrication; or (2) permits the factfinder to infer that discrimination was more likely than not a motivating or determinative cause of the employer's action. Fuentes v. Perskie, 32 F.3d 759, 762, 764-65 (3d Cir. 1994).

 1. Mr. King

 For the purposes of this motion, the Hospital concedes that the plaintiffs have established a prima facie case of discrimination with respect to Mr. King. (Def.'s Mem. Supp. Mot. Summ. J. at 16-17.) However, the Hospital argues that there were legitimate, nondiscriminatory reasons for its hiring decisions, and that there is no evidence their proffered reasons were a pretext for discrimination. (Id. at 17.)

 In 1992, Mr. King applied for four full-time security guard positions that were ultimately filled by white individuals: James Mongan, Lisa Caterisano, William Devery, and John McGinty. *fn1" The Hospital claims it hired Mr. Mongan because he had more seniority than Mr. King, and because Mr. King had a record of absenteeism, tardiness, and poor performance. It claims it hired Ms. Caterisano, who was previously employed by the Hospital as a secretary, on the strength of recommendations from the Hospital's Vice President ...


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