The opinion of the court was delivered by: VANARTSDALEN
Before me for disposition is the defendant's Motion for Partial Summary Judgment, filed pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure Rule 56(c). For the following reasons, the defendant's motion is granted in part and denied in part.
Plaintiff, Susan McGrenaghan, the parent of a disabled child, brought this civil rights action against the defendants, the St. Denis School and Archdiocese of Philadelphia, for allegedly removing her from a full-time teaching position and refusing to rehire her to the position solely on the basis of her relationship with a person with a disability in violation of Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. Sections 12101 through 12117. Plaintiff also alleges that the defendant's actions discriminated against her on the basis of her gender in violation of Title VII, 42 U.S.C. Section 2000e et seq.. Additionally, plaintiff contends that the defendants violated state contract and negligence law.
Defendants, in their present motion, seek partial summary judgment on the following grounds: (1) plaintiff failed to establish a prima facie case of discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act; (2) plaintiff failed to produce evidence of gender discrimination in violation of Title VII; (3) plaintiff did not have an implied contract for continued employment as a full-time teacher; (4) plaintiff cannot state a claim for breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing; and (5) plaintiff's negligence claim is barred by the Pennsylvania Workmen's Compensation Act. For the following reasons, the defendant's motion will be granted in part and denied in part.
II. STANDARD FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT PURSUANT TO F.R.C.P. 56(c)
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(c) instructs a court to enter summary judgment when the record reveals that "there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Summary judgment is inappropriate only where the evidence reveals a genuine factual dispute requiring submission to a jury. Summary judgment may not be granted where the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could find for the nonmoving party. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248, 91 L. Ed. 2d 202, 106 S. Ct. 2505 (1986). A court must consider the evidence, and all inferences drawn from the evidence, in favor of the non-moving party. See Tigg Corp. V. Dow Corning Corp., 822 F.2d 358, 361 (3d Cir. 1987). If a conflict arises between the evidence presented by the parties, the court must accept as true the allegations of the non-moving party. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 255.
A. Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Claim
In Count I of her complaint, the plaintiff alleges that the defendants discriminated against her in violation of Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) on the basis of her relationship with a person with a disability. Defendants contend that they are entitled to summary judgment as to plaintiff's ADA claim because plaintiff has failed to establish a prima facie case of disability discrimination. In order to establish a prima facie case of disability discrimination under the ADA, the plaintiff must demonstrate that: (1) she is disabled within the meaning of the ADA; (2) she was qualified for the job; and (3) she has suffered an adverse employment action. Olson v. G.E. Astrospace, 101 F.3d 947, 951 (3d Cir. 1996). The defendants assert that there is no evidence to establish that plaintiff suffered a material adverse employment action with regard to the 1996-97 academic year.
In Torre v. Casio, 42 F.3d 825 (3d Cir. 1994), the Third Circuit discussed what constitutes an adverse job action. In Torre, the plaintiff alleged that the defendant had transferred him to a dead-end job because of his age. In reversing the trial court's grant of summary judgement, the Third Circuit held that a job transfer even without loss of pay or benefits may constitute adverse job action. Id. at 831, n. 7. citing Collins v. State of Illinois, 830 F.2d 692, 703 (7th Cir. 1987). The court then determined that the plaintiff had established a genuine issue of material fact as to whether his transfer constituted an adverse job action. Id.
The court's holding in Torre makes clear that adverse job action is not limited to solely monetary considerations such as a reduction in pay or benefits. A job transfer may constitute an adverse job action even where the pay and benefits are identical if there is a reduction in other terms, conditions, or privileges of employment. See also Passer v. American Chemical Society, 290 U.S. App. D.C. 156, 935 F.2d 322 (D.C. Cir. 1991); Rodriguez v. Bd. Of Ed. Of Eastchester U. Free Sch., 620 F.2d 362 (2d Cir. 1980); Jacobs v. Martin Sweets Co., Inc., 550 F.2d 364 (6th Cir. 1977).
In the present case, although the plaintiff's salary and benefits remained identical, the plaintiff has provided significant evidence that her transfer from a full-time teaching position to a half day teacher and a half day resource aide position for the 1996-97 school year constituted a materially adverse job action. Plaintiff has presented direct evidence that the transfer was a demotion and involved significantly diminished job responsibilities. Although the plaintiff had twelve years of teaching experience, she was required to report directly to another teacher when acting as a resource aide. Additionally, plaintiff was no longer permitted to develop lesson plans, hold parent-teacher conferences, or participate in the development of the school's curriculum.
For these reasons, I conclude that because plaintiff has sustained her burden to present evidence of a prima facie case of disability discrimination under the ADA, there is a genuine issue of material fact. Accordingly, defendant's motion for ...