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BEST v. JANERICH

January 28, 1999

DOROTHEA BEST, PLAINTIFF,
v.
ALBERT D. JANERICH, M.D., INDIVIDUALLY AND T/A ALBERT D. JANERICH, M.D. & ASSOCIATES, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Munley, District Judge.

MEMORANDUM

Before the court is the defendant's motion for summary judgment. The defendant is Albert D. Janerich, M.D., individually and t/a Albert D. Janerich, M.D. & Associates; and the plaintiff is Dorothea Best. For the following reasons, the defendant's motion is granted.

Background

The plaintiff alleges as follows: In May of 1994, the defendant hired the plaintiff as a physician's assistant. Plaintiff Best alleges that Mark Lacey, a male physician's assistant previously hired by the defendant, received a substantially higher salary for substantially equal work. Defendant subsequently terminated the plaintiff on January 19, 1996. The plaintiff in her complaint alleges discrimination pursuant to the Equal Pay Act ("EPA"), 29 U.S.C.A. § 206(d) and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act ("PHRA"), 43 P.S. § 955(a) and retaliation pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA"), 29 U.S.C.A. § 215(a)(3) and the PHRA, 43 P.S. § 955(d). The defendant subsequently filed the instant motion for summary judgment.

Discussion

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(c) provides that the moving party is entitled to summary judgment if "the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file together with the affidavits, if any, show there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56. A fact is "material" if proof of its existence or nonexistence might affect the outcome of the suit under the applicable law. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc. 477 U.S. 242, 248, 106 S.Ct. 2505, 2510, 91 L.Ed.2d 202 (1986). "Facts that could alter the outcome are material facts." Cherlton v. Paramus Rd. Of Educ., 25 F.3d 194, 197 (3d Cir.), cert. denied, 513 U.S. 1022, 115 S.Ct. 590, 130 L.Ed.2d 503 (1994). "Summary judgment will not lie if the dispute about a material fact is `genuine,' that is, if the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party." Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248, 106 S.Ct. at 2510.

Initially, the moving party must show the absence of a genuine issue concerning any material fact. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 329, 106 S.Ct. 2548, 2554, 91 L.Ed.2d 265 (1986). All doubts as to the existence of a genuine issue of material fact must be resolved against the moving party, and the entire record must be examined in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party. White v. Westinghouse Elec. Co., 862 F.2d 56, 59 (3d Cir. 1988); Continental Ins. Co. v. Bodie, 682 F.2d 436 (3d Cir. 1982). Once the moving party has satisfied its burden, the nonmoving party "must present affirmative evidence to defeat a properly supported motion for summary judgment." Anderson, 477 U.S. at 256-57, 106 S.Ct. at 2514, Mere conclusory allegations or denials taken from the pleadings are insufficient to withstand a motion for summary judgment once the moving party has presented evidentiary materials. Schoch v. First Fidelity Bancorporation, 912 F.2d 654, 657 (3d Cir. 1990). Rule 56 requires the entry of summary judgment, after adequate time for discovery, where a party "fails to make a showing sufficient to establish the existence of an element essential to that party's case, and on which that party will bear the burden of proof at trial." Celotex, 477 U.S. at 322, 106 S.Ct. at 2552. "The moving party is `entitled to judgment as a matter of law' because the nonmoving party has failed to make sufficient showing on an essential element of her case with respect to which she has the burden of proof." Id. at 323, 106 S.Ct. 2548. After a thorough examination of the matter sub judice, we are compelled to grant the defendant's summary judgment motion,

We find that the plaintiff has not alleged facts sufficient to sustain her claims for discrimination pursuant to the EPA and/or the PHRA. The Equal Pay Act, 29 U.S.C.A. § 206(d) states as follows:

(d) Prohibition of sex discrimination

    (1) No employer having employees subject to any
    provisions of this section shall discriminate,
    within any establishment in which such employees are
    employed, between employees on the basis of sex by
    paying wages to employees in such establishment at a
    rate less than the rate at which he pays wages to
    employees of the opposite sex in such establishment
    for equal work on jobs the performance of which
    requires equal skill, effort, and responsibility,
    and which are performed under similar working
    conditions, except where such payment is made
    pursuant to (i) a seniority system; (ii) a merit
    system; (iii) a system which measures earnings by
    quantity or quality of production; or (iv) a
    differential based on any other factor other than
    sex: Provided, That an employer who is paying a wage
    rate differential in violation of this subsection
    shall not, in order to comply with provisions of
    this subsection, reduce the wage rate of any
    employee.

See EPA, 29 U.S.C.A. § 206(d) (emphasis added). The Pennsylvania Human Relations Act provision against sex discrimination states in pertinent part as follows:

    It shall be an unlawful discriminatory practice,
    unless based upon a bona fide occupational
    qualification, or in the case of a fraternal
    corporation or association, unless based upon
    membership in such association or corporation, or
    except where based upon applicable security
    regulations established by the United States or the
    Commonwealth of Pennsylvania:
    (a) For any employer because of the . . . sex . . .
    of any individual to refuse to hire or employ, or to
    bar or discharge from employment such individual, or
    to otherwise discriminate against such individual
    with respect to compensation, hire, tenure, terms,
    conditions or privileges of employment, if the
    individual is the best able and most competent to
    perform the services required . . .

See PHRA, 43 P.S. ยง 955 et seq. Viewing the record in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, the court finds that the plaintiff cannot establish that the defendant violated ...


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