southeastern Pennsylvania area," six such positions were open in 1999 and
eight in 2000. Mr. Puchalski counters that all of the available head
coaching positions other than the three for which he applied were located
at least 45 minutes away from his full-time position at Carson Valley,
while Springfield was only a five minute commute.
There is no evidence of the precise locations of these employment
opportunities, or of what the "southeastern Pennsylvania area" consists
of. Mr. Puchalski need not accept employment that is an unreasonable
distance from his residence. See NLRB v. Madison Courier, Inc.,
472 F.2d 1307, 1314 (D.C. Cir. 1972); Oldfather v. Ohio Dep't of
Transp., 653 F. Supp. 1167, 1179 (S.D.Ohio 1986). There is no evidence of
record as to the distance between the referenced employment positions and
Mr. Puchalski's residence. An issue of material fact thus exists
V. Plaintiff's Summary Judgment Motions
In two distinct partial summary judgment motions, plaintiffs seek
judgment on the ADEA and PHRA claims and on "defendants' alleged
legitimate non-discriminatory firing and/or not rehiring David
Puchalski." Defendants have moved for sanctions against plaintiffs'
counsel for the filing of these motions.
In the first motion, plaintiffs suggest that Mr. Puchalski is entitled
to judgment on the ADEA and PHRA claims because he has established a
prima facie case of age discrimination. This is untenable and seems to
reflect a fundamental misunderstanding of the McDonnell Douglas
burden-shifting framework. Establishing a prima facie case does not
constitute proof of an ADEA claim. See McDonnell Douglas Corp. v. Green,
411 U.S. 792, 802-03 (1973); Showalter v. University of Pittsburgh Med.
Ctr., 190 F.3d 231, 234-35 (3d Cir. 1999).
In the second motion, plaintiffs suggest that they have shown the
proffered legitimate reasons for the non-renewal of Mr. Puchalski's
contract were not the true reasons and these reasons should thus be
"stricken." To meet their burden of articulating a legitimate,
nondiscriminatory reason for the employment action, defendants "need not
persuade the court that [they were] actually motivated by the proffered
reasons." See Iadimarco v. Runyon, 190 F.3d 151, 157-58 (3d Cir. 1999).
The burden is on the plaintiff to produce sufficient evidence to permit a
finding that the proffered legitimate reasons are actually pretextual.
See Fuentes v. Perskie, 32 F.3d 759, 763 (3d Cir. 1994). Unless it
clearly appears from the record that no reasonable factfinder could
conclude defendants were motivated by their articulated reasons, summary
judgment is inappropriate. Plaintiffs have demonstrated no such thing.
Consistent with the foregoing, defendants' motions will be granted as
to plaintiffs' § 1983 claim and claims of negligent and intentional
misrepresentation, invasion of privacy — false light, intentional
interference with a contractual relationship and civil conspiracy. The
case will proceed on Mr. Puchalski's claims of age discrimination and
defamation claim against defendant McGovern for the alleged statement to
Mr. Travers. Insofar as she claims damages resulting from that alleged
act of defamation, Mrs. Puchalski may proceed with her loss of consortium
Plaintiffs' motions will be denied.
Appropriate orders will be entered.
AND NOW, this day of March, 2001, upon consideration of defendants'
Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. # 30) and plaintiffs' Motions for
Summary Judgment (Doc. #34 & Doc. #35), consistent with the accompanying
memorandum, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that defendants' Motion is GRANTED as to
the claims for intentional and negligent misrepresentation, civil
conspiracy, intentional interference with a contractual relationship,
invasion of privacy — false light and 42 U.S.C. § 1983 claims,
as well as the defamation claim except as to defendant McGovern; and,
said Motion is otherwise DENIED. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that plaintiffs'
Motions for Summary Judgment are DENIED.