The opinion of the court was delivered by: Joyner, District Judge.
Christian Audenreid was employed by Circuit City in its store
in Allentown, Pennsylvania from 1990 until January, 1997. He
quickly progressed through the ranks, having been promoted from
his initial position as ACE sales counselor to sales lead in the
computer department to computer manager to sales manager to
operations manager. In late 1996, Plaintiff's store was audited.
The results of the audit reflected a below average performance in
the area of operations, excellent performance in warranty
compliance and poor performance in the area of inventory control.
In addition to these problems, the store was experiencing an
ongoing cash shortage problem. Investigation revealed that at
various cash registers around the store, merchandise was recorded
as having been returned for cash when in fact no merchandise had
been returned, with the result that cash was effectively being
stolen out of the registers. Whenever these instances of theft
occurred, the store's video surveillance system had been turned
Given that the video system could only be accessed by someone
who had access to Plaintiff's office, the loss prevention
department decided to place a camera in Mr. Audenreid's office in
an effort to determine how the surveillance system was being
deactivated. The gravamen of Plaintiff's claim is that he did not
know that the loss prevention department had placed this remote
surveillance camera in his office until he returned from vacation
and observed, on January 10, 1997, a device which appeared to be
a motion detector. Upon closer examination, Plaintiff found that
it was a camera connected by a coaxial cable leading to the store
manager's office. A few days later, Plaintiff also discovered a
tape of the OPS manager's office. Although Mr. Audenreid
discussed the presence of the camera with Joan Gale and Carla
Callahan in the company's Human Resource Department, apparently
no efforts were made to remove it.
In and about this same time, on January 13, 1997, the plaintiff
received a "Memo of Corrective Action" from Circuit City District
Manager Ralph LaSalle for discounting a refrigerator for the
parents of one of his store's sales associates on January 3rd in
violation of company policy. Although Plaintiff could have been
terminated for this action, he instead received only this warning
and a copy of this memorandum was placed in his personnel file.
It was at this time, however, that Circuit City determined that
Mr. Audenreid should be transferred to the position of Operations
Manager of the Montgomeryville Store in the hope that this change
would help him to develop further as a manager. Specifically, it
was the opinion of Defendant's upper level management that since
the plaintiff had spent his entire Circuit City career in the
Allentown store and had risen fairly quickly through the ranks,
he was having difficulty managing his former co-workers.
Plaintiff, however, rejected the transfer offer and instead filed
this lawsuit contending that he had been wrongfully discharged in
violation of both the Federal and Pennsylvania Wiretapping and
Electronic Surveillance Control Acts, 18 U.S.C. § 2510, et.
seq. and 18 Pa.C.S. § 5701, et. seq. and for his alleged
refusal to testify dishonestly before the National Labor
Relations Board with respect to a movement to organize Circuit
City's employees into a collective bargaining unit.
Standards Governing Summary Judgment Motions
Pursuant to this rule, a court is compelled to look beyond the
bare allegations of the pleadings to determine if they have
sufficient factual support to warrant their consideration at
trial. Liberty Lobby, Inc. v. Dow Jones & Co., 838 F.2d 1287
(D.C.Cir. 1988), cert. denied, 488 U.S. 825, 109 S.Ct. 75, 102
L.Ed.2d 51 (1988); Aries Realty, Inc. v. AGS Columbia
Associates, 751 F. Supp. 444 (S.D.N.Y. 1990).
Generally, the party seeking summary judgment always bears the
initial responsibility of informing the district court of the
basis for its motion and identifying those portions of the
pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories and admissions
on file, together with any affidavits, which it believes
demonstrate the absence of a genuine issue of material fact.
Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 106 S.Ct. 2548, 91
L.Ed.2d 265 (1986). In considering a summary judgment motion, the
court must view the facts in the light most favorable to the
non-moving party and all reasonable inferences from the facts
must be drawn in favor of that party as well. U.S. v. Kensington
Hospital, 760 F. Supp. 1120 (E.D.Pa. 1991); Schillachi v. Flying
Dutchman Motorcycle Club, 751 F. Supp. 1169 (E.D.Pa. 1990).
Where, however, "a motion for summary judgment is made and
supported [by affidavits or otherwise], an adverse party may not
rest upon the mere allegations or denials of the adverse party's
pleading, but the adverse party's response . . . must set forth
specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial.
If the adverse party does not so respond, summary judgment, if
appropriate, shall be entered against [it]." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e).
The non-moving party must raise "more than a mere scintilla of
evidence in its favor" in order to overcome a summary judgment
motion and it cannot rely on unsupported assertions, conclusory
allegations, or mere suspicions or beliefs in attempting to
survive such a motion. Tziatzios v. U.S., 164 F.R.D. 410, 411,
412 (E.D.Pa. 1996) citing Celotex v. Catrett, supra, 477 U.S.
at 325, 106 S.Ct. at 2553-54, Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc.,
477 U.S. 242, 249, 106 S.Ct. 2505, 2510-11, 91 L.Ed.2d 202;
Williams v. Borough of West Chester, 891 F.2d 458, 460 (3rd
1. Plaintiff's claims under the Wiretapping and Electronic
Surveillance Control Acts.
In Counts I and II of his complaint, Plaintiff invokes both the
federal and state wiretapping control acts in claiming that
Defendant unlawfully "intercepted, disclosed and/or used [his]
wire and oral communications." The focus and purpose of the
Wiretapping and Electronic Surveillance Control Acts is the
protection of privacy and the language of these statutes is
virtually identical. See: Commonwealth v. Parrella,
416 Pa. Super. 131, 137, 610 A.2d 1006, 1009 (1992). ...