The opinion of the court was delivered by: Joyner, District Judge.
This is an employment discrimination case brought by Plaintiff
Joan Fugarino ("Plaintiff") against Defendants University
Services, Paul Lifschutz ("Lifschutz"), and Michael Misero
("Misero") (collectively "Defendants"). In her Complaint,
Plaintiff alleges that Defendants unlawfully discriminated and
retaliated against her in violation of Title VII of the Civil
Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e, et seq. ("Title VII"), and the
Pennsylvania Human Relations Act, 43 P.S. § 951, et seq. ("the
PHRA"). In addition to the Title VII and PHRA claims, Plaintiff
also alleges an intentional infliction of emotional distress
("IIED") claim against Defendants. Presently before the Court is
Defendants' Motion to Dismiss pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6).
For the reasons below, we will grant Defendants' Motion in part
and deny it in part.
Accepting all of Plaintiff's allegations as true, the relevant
facts are as follows. In December 1998, Plaintiff began working
for University Services as a Polysomnigraphic Technologist at its
North Penn Sleep Disorder Center ("North Penn Center"). During
Plaintiff's employment with University Services, Lifschutz was
her immediate supervisor, and Misero was the manager of the
entire North Penn Center. In March 1999, Lifschutz asked
Plaintiff out on a date. Plaintiff refused. Thereafter, Lifschutz
began to harass Plaintiff by constantly criticizing her work,
publicly reprimanding her, searching her desk, and speaking badly
of her to co-workers. In addition, Lifschutz made one "obscene"
phone call to Plaintiff while she was at work.
In response to this harassment, Plaintiff complained to Misero
on five different occasions over the next several months. Despite
these complaints, Misero took no action to address the situation.
Ultimately, Misero discharged Plaintiff on June 30, 1999 for
unstated reasons. On August 24, 1999, Plaintiff dual-filed a
charge of discrimination with the United States Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") and the Pennsylvania Human
Relations Commission ("PHRC"). On March 27, 2000, Plaintiff
received her right to sue notice, after which she commenced this
lawsuit in June 2000.
When considering a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), a
court must "accept as true the factual allegations in the
complaint and all reasonable inferences that can be drawn
therefrom." Allah v. Seiverling, 229 F.3d 220, 223 (3d Cir.
2000) (internal quotations omitted). A motion to dismiss may only
be granted where the allegations fail to state any claim upon
which relief can be granted. See Morse v.
Lower Merion Sch. Dist., 132 F.3d 902, 906 (3d Cir. 1997).
Dismissal is warranted "if it is certain that no relief can be
granted under any set of facts which could be proved." Klein v.
General Nutrition Cos., Inc., 186 F.3d 338, 342 (3d Cir. 1999)
(internal quotations omitted).
II. Individual Liability under Title VII
First, Defendants move to dismiss the federal discrimination
claims against Lifschutz and Misero on grounds that individual
employees cannot be held liable under Title VII. Plaintiff does
not attempt to refute this statement of law, nor could she. It is
well-established that individual employees are not liable under
Title VII. Kachmar v. SunGard Data Sys., Inc., 109 F.3d 173,
183-84 (3d Cir. 1997); Sheridan v. E.I. DuPont de Nemours &
Co., 100 F.3d 1061, 1077 (3d Cir. 1996); Heap v. ICM America,
LLC, No. CIV.A. 99-4278, 2000 WL 1022955, at *2 (E.D.Pa. July
17, 2000). Accordingly, we will grant Defendants' Motion with
respect to Title VII claims against Lifschutz and Misero.
III. Retaliation Claims: Failure to Exhaust
Second, Defendants argue that Plaintiff has failed to exhaust
her administrative remedies with respect to the retaliation
claim. In particular, Defendants note that Plaintiff's EEOC
charge of discrimination indicates that her cause of
discrimination was "sex" and that the "retaliation" box was not
checked. Defendants also note that the narrative in the EEOC
charge does not specifically refer to retaliation. We find
Defendants' reading of the administrative charge of
discrimination too narrow.*fn1
In general, an employee must exhaust all applicable
administrative remedies by filing a charge of discrimination with
the EEOC before he may file suit under Title VII. See Waiters v.
Parsons, 729 F.2d 233, 237 (3d Cir. 1984). It follows that the
scope of the later civil complaint is "limited by the charge
filed with the EEOC and the investigation which can reasonably be
expected to grow out of that charge." Reddinger v. Hosp. Cent.
Servs., Inc., 4 F. Supp.2d 405, 409 (E.D.Pa. 1998); see also
Antol v. Perry, 82 F.3d 1291, 1295 (3d Cir. 1996); Bailey v.
Storlazzi, 729 A.2d 1206, 1215-16 (Pa.Super. 1999). The EEOC
charge is not, however, a "blueprint" for the subsequent
litigation. Reddinger, 4 F. Supp.2d at 409. Rather, the
exhaustion test is "whether the acts alleged in the subsequent
Title VII suit are fairly within the scope of the prior EEOC
complaint, or the investigation arising therefrom." Antol, 82
F.3d at 1295 (quoting Waiters, 729 F.2d at 237).
Although Defendants are correct that Plaintiff's EEOC charge
does not specifically refer to retaliation, we find that a
retaliation claim could "reasonably be expected to grow out of"
Plaintiff's charge. Plaintiff alleged in her EEOC charge that
Misero failed address any of her complaints about being sexually
harassed and later fired her without explanation. (Def. Mot. at
Ex. B). Plaintiff also generally stated that she believed she was
discriminated against in violation of Title VII. (Id.).
Finally, Plaintiff alleges in her Complaint that she filed a
charge of "discrimination and retaliation" with the EEOC and
received a right to sue notice pursuant to that filing. (Compl.
at ¶¶ 3-4). Taking all of Plaintiff's allegations as true, we
conclude that Plaintiff has sufficiently demonstrated exhaustion
of her administrative
remedies to withstand the present motion. See, e.g., Fosburg v.
Lehigh Univ., No. CIV.A. 98-864, 1999 WL 124458, at *5 (E.D.Pa.
Mar.4, 1999) (finding acts alleged within scope of EEOC charge