The opinion of the court was delivered by: Lowell A. Reed, Jr., District Judge.
Presently before the Court is the motion of defendants
Township of Lower Merion, Joseph Daly, individually and as
Superintendent of the Lower Merion Township Police Force, and
Michael McGrath, individually and as Lieutenant in the Lower
Merion Township Police Force for partial dismissal of the
complaint pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6)
(Document No. 6). The complaint alleges violations of Title VII
of the Civil Rights Act of 1961, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq.
("Title VII") (Counts I and II), the denial of constitutional
rights and equal protection under the law in violation of
42 U.S.C. § 1983 ("Section 1983") (Counts III and IV), as well as
common law tort claims of intentional and negligent infliction
of emotional distress (Counts V and VI).*fn1 Jurisdiction is
proper pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331 and the Court has
supplemental jurisdiction over the State and common law claims
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1367. Based on the following analysis,
the motion will be granted in part and denied in part.
Plaintiff Lynne A. Regan was employed by the Township of
Lower Merion Police Department as a dispatcher beginning July
12, 1993. Throughout her employment Regan alleges that the
Township, through its employees, continually engaged in
unwelcome behavior consisting of sexually offensive comments,
inappropriate touching in a sexually suggestive manner and
unwanted gifts of a sexual nature. (Complaint at ¶ 10).
Specifically, Regan alleges that her supervisors — Sgt. Albany
(now Capt. Albany), Sgt. Redifer, Sgt. Arrell Sgt. Higgins and
Officer Ryan — watched pornographic movies in the radio room
during Regan's shift, forcing her to watch them as well. (Id.
at ¶ 11). Regan's request that the movies be turn off was
refused. On one occasion, in response to her request that the
sex movie be turned off, Sgt. Redifer grabbed his crotch. (Id.
at ¶ 12).
Regan was also forced to watch male prisoners being strip
searched on closed circuit T.V. in the radio room during her
shift while having her supervisors make lewd comments such as
"Isn't he a hairy one?" (Id. at ¶ 11). Regan was further
harassed by Sgt. Albany who told her to wear more dresses or
skirts so that he would have easier access to her. He also told
Regan that her breasts were not big enough. (Id. at ¶ 13).
In retaliation for asking Sgt. Albany to cease his harassing
conduct, Sgt. Albany reported Regan to Lieut. McGrath for
insubordination. (Id. at ¶ 15). After explaining that she was
curt with Sgt. Albany because she was tired of all the sexual
comments, Lieut. McGrath told her he would not reprimand her
but not to speak to anyone about the matter. Subsequently,
Regan was unable to switch shifts with other co-workers despite
other dispatchers being permitted to do so. Sgt. Albany was
transferred in September of 1995. (Id. at ¶¶ 15, 16).
In further retaliation for reporting these various incidents
of sexual harassment, Regan was issued written warnings for
being late a number of times in or around September of 1995.
(Id. at ¶ 18). When she attempted to grieve the warnings, her
immediate supervisor, Officer Fitzpatrick told her he didn't
care because he was leaving the department. A few weeks later,
Officer Fitzpatrick's replacement, Officer Ray Gough, told
Regan that she could not grieve the disciplinary action because
she took too long to file a formal complaint. Also in
September, Lieut. McGrath began calling Regan into his office
at the end of her shift to tell her she was a terrible person
and not liked by her co-workers. (Id. at ¶ 19).
In or around February, 1995, Sgt. Acello began to sit very
close to Regan during work hours, touching her hair and rubbing
her shoulders. He ignored Regan's request that he stop his
inappropriate touching. In March of 1995, Sgt. Acello gave
Regan a black "teddy" negligee. Regan told him the gift was
unwanted and unwelcome. Sgt. Acello told her to keep it anyway.
(Id. at ¶ 17).
In or around January of 1996, Regan was again written up for
lateness and was suspended for two days in February, 1996.
(Id. at ¶ 21). In March of 1996, Sgt. Hertzog disciplined Regan
for accepting a personal call during her shift. Other employees
who accepted personal calls were not reprimanded. Regan was
again suspended for three days in the beginning of April, 1996.
(Id. at ¶ 22).
Subsequently, Regan met with Roseanne Siso, personnel
director for the Township, regarding her suspension.
(Id. at ¶ 23). During the meeting, Regan complained about the
harassment to which she had been subjected. Soon thereafter,
McGrath began to tell Regan that she was going to be
terminated. In or around May, 1996, Regan was advised by Siso
that the Township's lawyer had conducted an investigation into
her complaints, but that they could not be substantiated. (Id.
at ¶ 24). Siso then informed Regan that she may need union
representation at a meeting which would include Sgt. Herzog and
Lieut. McGrath. (Id. at ¶ 25). Two union representatives were
at the June meeting (although Herzog and McGrath were not
there) and Regan was informed for the first time of various
personal calls she was alleged to have made, complaints
allegedly lodged by various unnamed staff members and
reprimands she allegedly received. As a result, Regan was put
on administrative leave. (Id.).
On June 11, 1996, Regan was summoned to a meeting with Siso.
At the meeting, Superintendent Daly told her that she was being
fired for allegedly missing 911 calls, accepting personal
calls, lateness and other alleged wrongdoings. Regan maintains
that she never missed a 911 call. (Id. at ¶ 26).
Approximately one week after Regan was terminated, Siso asked
to meet with her again. At the meeting, Siso presented Regan
with a release form for all her claims. Siso told Regan that if
she did not sign the release she would be given a bad
recommendation, all her benefits would be canceled and her
unemployment claim would be contested. Siso also threatened
Regan with a fine of $5,000.00 for each person Regan told about
the contents of the release. (Id. at ¶ 27).
Subsequently, Regan filed this action alleging violations of
Title VII and Section 1983 as well as common law torts. Count
I is a claim for Title VII liability against the Township.
Count II is a claim for retaliation under Title VII against the
Township. Count III is a claim of liability under Section 1983
against all defendants (the Township as well as Daly and
McGrath individually and in their official capacity). Count IV
is a claim for retaliation under Section 1983 against all
defendants. Count V is a claim for intentional infliction ...