The opinion of the court was delivered by: Dalzell, J.
Ismael Rodriguez, acting pro se, has sued*fn1 Polo
Pennsylvania LLC*fn2 ("Polo") alleging that his termination
from his job as a security guard at a Polo store in Reading,
Pennsylvania violated 42 U.S.C. § 2000e (Title VII), 43 P. S. § 955
(the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act), and 42 U.S.C. § 1981. He
specifically alleges that he was terminated because he is Latino.
Rodriguez and Polo have each filed cross-motions for
summary judgment*fn3 and each has filed a response. For the
reasons set forth below, we will grant summary judgment for Polo
as to all claims in plaintiff's complaint.
In January, 1998, Rodriguez answered a newspaper
employment advertisement placed by Advance Security seeking
applicants for the job of security guard with Advance Security.
Advance Security hired plaintiff on January 12, 1998, and assigned
him to work at defendant's Polo Ralph Lauren Factory Store in
Reading, Pennsylvania.*fn4 On February 6, 1998, plaintiff's
employment with Advance Security was terminated; he was informed
of this in a phone call with Rex Francis, Advance Security's site
II. Rodriguez's Motion for Summary Judgment*fn5
In a one-page handwritten document*fn6, unsupported
by any exhibits, Rodriguez argues that he should be granted
summary judgment because: 1) there is no dispute over material
fact, and 2) Polo had not made any "good faith attempt[s] to
settle this case." Pl.'s Req. Mot. for Summ. J. at 1. However,
the bare, unsubstantiated assertion that there is no disputed
issue of material fact will not suffice to carry the moving
party's burden of demonstrating that such is the case, see
Matsushita, 475 U.S. at 585 n. 10, and evidence of settlement
negotiations may not be considered in deciding the instant
motions, see Fed.R.Evid. 408. We will therefore deny
Rodriguez's motion for summary judgment.
III. Polo's Motion for Summary Judgment
A. Title VII and PHRA Claims
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 states that
"[i]t shall be an unlawful employment practice for an employer to
fail or refuse to hire or to discharge any individual, or
otherwise to discriminate against any individual with respect to
his compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment,
because of such individual's race, color, religion, sex, or
national origin." 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-2(a)(1). The Pennsylvania
Human Relations Act states that it is an unlawful discriminatory
practice "[f]or any employer because of the race, color . . . [or]
national origin . . . of any individual" to discharge that
individual from employment. 43 P. S. § 955(a). The Pennsylvania
Human Relations Act is applied in accordance with Title VII, see
Dici v. Pennsylvania, 91 F.3d 542, 552 (3d Cir. 1996).
A threshold legal question in considering liability
under Title VII is whether the defendant is plaintiff's employer,
and in its motion for summary judgment, Polo claims that it can
have no Title VII liability to Rodriguez precisely because Polo
his "employer" within the meaning of Title VII*fn7 and
the PHRA*fn8. In order to determine if an individual is an
"employee" for the purposes of Title VII, we look to the
"common-law" test the Supreme Court endorsed in Nationwide Mut.
Ins. Co. v. Darden, 503 U.S. 318 (1992). In Darden, the Court
considered the meaning of "employee" for ERISA purposes, and held
that in interpreting the meaning of "employee" in a statute that
does not helpfully define it, courts should look to common-law
agency doctrine. Id. at 322-23. Although Darden did not consider
the Title VII context explicitly, the breadth of the opinion's
language has led trial courts to adopt the common-law test for
Title VII in lieu of the "hybrid test" our Court of Appeals
endorsed in 1983 in ...