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Healey v. Southwood Psychiatric Hospital
March 17, 1996
BRENDA L. HEALEY, APPELLANT
SOUTHWOOD PSYCHIATRIC HOSPITAL, A PENNSYLVANIA CORPORATION; LAKEWOOD PSYCHIATRIC, A PENNSYLVANIA CORPORATION
On Appeal from the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania (D.C. No. 94-cv-00243)
BEFORE: COWEN and SAROKIN, Circuit Judges and POLLAK, District Judge *fn*
Submitted Pursuant to Third Circuit LAR 34.1(a)
Brenda L. Healey appeals the order of the district court granting Southwood Psychiatric Hospital's motion for summary judgment on her sex discrimination claim brought under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, codified as amended at 42 U.S.C. Section(s) 2000e et. seq. Because we find that Southwood has established a bona-fide occupational qualification defense to Healey's Title VII claim, we will affirm the order of the district court.
The following facts are not substantially disputed. Healey was hired as a child care specialist at Southwood in October 1987. In this capacity, she was responsible for developing and maintaining a therapeutic environment for the children and adolescents hospitalized at Southwood. Southwood's patients are emotionally disturbed, and some have been sexually abused. In November 1992, Healey was assigned to the night shift at Southwood as a result of a staff reorganization. The reorganization was necessitated by reason of a decline in the patient population. The night shift is a less desirable shift, requiring more housekeeping chores and less patient interaction and responsibility.
Southwood has a policy of scheduling both males and females to all shifts, and considers sex in making its assignments. In November 1992, Southwood assigned Healey to the night shift because it needed a female child care specialist on that shift. Southwood maintains that its gender-based policy is necessary to meet the therapeutic needs and privacy concerns of its mixed-sex patient population. Healey counters that gender should not play any role in the hiring and scheduling of employees, and Southwood's actions towards her constitute sex discrimination in violation of Title VII. The district court granted Southwood's motion for summary judgment from which Healey appeals.
The district court had jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. Section(s) 1331, and we exercise appellate jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. Section(s) 1291. "When reviewing an order granting summary judgment we exercise plenary review and apply the same test the district court should have applied." Armbruster v. Unisys Corp., 32 F.3d 768, 777 (3d Cir. 1994). Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(c), that test is whether there is a genuine issue of material fact and, if not, whether the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. In so deciding, the court must view the facts in a light most favorable to the nonmoving party and draw all reasonable inferences in that party's favor. Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c).
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