The opinion of the court was delivered by: Joyner, Judge.
Taken in the light most favorable to Plaintiff, the relevant facts are
as follows. Parkway operates several parking facilities in Philadelphia.
In August 1994, Plaintiff was hired by Parkway to work part-time as a
cashier at a Parkway facility. After working for several months,
Plaintiff eventually became a full-time cashier, working different shifts
at various Parkway locations throughout center city Philadelphia. During
this time, Sesay was the facility manager in charge of operations at all
of the Parkway locations where Plaintiff worked, and Oluwole was the
Assistant Manager at three of those locations.
While working at Parkway, Plaintiff received several disciplinary
notices for violations of company policy. First, in June 1995, she
received a written disciplinary notice from her supervisor, Moses
Harris, for a fight she had with another Parkway cashier. On February 2,
1996, Plaintiff received a second disciplinary notice, this time from
Sesay for sleeping while on duty. Sesay gave Plaintiff another
disciplinary notice on February 26, 1996 for again sleeping on the job.
The February 26 notice also indicated that because of the violation
Plaintiff was dismissed from her employment with Parkway.
Although Plaintiff concedes that she received the disciplinary notices
described, she alleges that throughout her employment she was subjected
to various forms of discrimination and harassment by Sesay and Oluwole.
According to Plaintiff, Oluwole asked her out on dates on several
occasions, directed sexual innuendo toward her, and, at least one time,
touched her breasts and buttocks. Plaintiff repeatedly reported these
incidents to Sesay, but no action was ever taken.
Plaintiff dual-filed a claim of sexual harassment and discrimination
with the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission ("PHRC") on March 2,
1996. The PHRC subsequently found probable cause for the sex
discrimination claim and no probable cause for her sexual harassment
claim. Following a June 23, 1999 public hearing, the PHRC issued an
opinion and final order on Plaintiff's sexual discrimination claim on
January 27, 2000. On May 19, 2000, Plaintiff filed the instant action in
When deciding a motion for summary judgment under Fed. R. Civ. P.
56(c), a court must determine "whether there is a genuine issue of
material fact and, if not, whether the moving party is entitled to
judgement as a matter of law." Medical Protective Co. v. Watkins,
198 F.3d 100, 103 (3d Cir. 1999) (internal citation omitted). In making
this determination, courts should view the facts, and reasonable
inferences drawn therefrom, in the light most favorable to the non-moving
party. See, e.g., Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp.,
475 U.S. 574, 587, 106 S.Ct. 1348, 89 L.Ed.2d 538 (1986). For its part,
the non-moving party must, through affidavits, admissions, depositions,
or other evidence, demonstrate that a genuine issue exists for trial.
See Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 324, 106 S.Ct. 2548, 91
L.Ed.2d 265 (1986). In making its showing, the non-moving party "must do
than simply show that there is some metaphysical doubt as to the
material facts," id. at 586, and must produce more than a "mere scintilla
of evidence in its favor" to withstand summary judgement. Anderson v.
Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 249, 106 S.Ct. 2505, 91 L.Ed.2d 202
(1986). If the non-moving party fails to create "sufficient disagreement
to require submission [of the evidence] to a jury," the moving party is
entitled to judgement as a matter of law. Liberty Lobby, 477 U.S. at
II. Hostile Work Environment
First, Parkway argues that Plaintiff has not presented sufficient
evidence to support her hostile work environment claims (Counts II, V,
VII, and XI). To state a hostile work environment claim, a plaintiff must
show that (1) she suffered intentional discrimination because of her
sex; (2) the discrimination was pervasive and regular; (3) the
discrimination detrimentally affected her; (4) the discrimination would
have detrimentally affected a reasonable person of her sex in her
position; and (5) respondeat superior liability exists. See, e.g., Kunin
v. Sears Roebuck & Co., 175 F.3d 289, 293 (3d Cir. 1999) (quoting Andrews
v. City of Philadelphia, 895 F.2d 1469, 1482 (3d Cir. 1990)). Parkway
claims that Plaintiff has not fulfilled the second element of the prima
facie case, that is, she has not established discrimination that was
sufficiently pervasive and regular. We agree.
For purposes of a hostile work environment claim, the discrimination
complained of must be pervasive and severe enough "to alter the
conditions of [the victim's] employment and create an abusive working
environment." Meritor Savings Bank FSB v. Vinson, 477 U.S. 57, 67, 106
S.Ct. 2399, 91 L.Ed.2d 49 (1986). In determining whether a plaintiff has
made the requisite showing, a court must consider the totality of the
circumstances, including "the frequency of the discriminatory conduct,
its severity, whether it is physically threatening or a mere offensive
utterance, and whether it reasonably interferes with an employee's work
performance." Harris v. Forklift Sys., Inc., 510 U.S. 17, 23, 114 S.Ct.
367, 126 L.Ed.2d 295 (1993). It follows that the purview of Title VII
does not extend to all workplace difficulties, even where the conduct at
issue may be crass and unwarranted. Likewise, allegations of isolated or
single incidents of harassment do not constitute a cognizable hostile
work environment claim. See, e.g., Rush v. Scott Speciality Gases, Inc.,
113 F.3d 476, 482 (3d Cir. 1997) (citations omitted). Instead, liability
for such claims will only attach in situations where the conduct at issue
is so severe and pervasive to create an objectively hostile or abusive
work environment. Harris, 510 U.S. at 21.
In this case, Plaintiff's hostile work environment claim primarily
consists of four incidents that occurred over an eighteen month period.
Plaintiff first claims that in late 1994 or early 1995, Oluwole touched
her breast, told her she looked "fresh," and propositioned her to join
him later that evening. (Pl.'s Dep. at 26; Answer to Interrog. 10(c)). In
the second incident several months later, Oluwole made several suggestive
comments regarding Plaintiff's eyes and offered his financial assistance
if Plaintiff would go out with him. (Pl.'s Dep. at 45-49). On a third
occasion in spring 1995, Oluwole removed from his pants a large bottle of
wine, offered Plaintiff a drink, and then asked her to join him later at
a local hotel where they could have a "good time." (Id. at 41-44). The
fourth incident occurred in December 1995 when Oluwole, after
complimenting Plaintiff on her good work, patted
her on the buttocks ...