The opinion of the court was delivered by: FRANKLIN VAN ANTWERPEN, District Judge
Plaintiff Karen Gokay (Gokay) asserts claims under the Equal Pay Act
(EPA), 29 U.S.C. § 206(d), against her former employer, Defendant
Pennridge School District (District). Additionally, she asserts claims
against the District under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964,
42 U.S.C. § 2000e, et seq., and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act
(PHRA), 43 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 951, et seq. Defendant has filed the
instant motion seeking summary judgment, pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P.
56(c), as to all counts still remaining in the Complaint.*fn1 For the
reasons discussed below, as to all counts against the District, we deny
Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment.
This Court set forth the factual background of this case in its
Memorandum Opinion denying Defendant's Motion to Dismiss, filed February
28, 2003. Thus, below we merely
highlight the relevant events to this motion, as set forth in
Plaintiff's Counter Statement of Fact.
Defendant, Pennridge School District, hired Plaintiff, Karen Gokay, in
1996 as its Human Resources Director and Legal Counsel. In a May 1998
memorandum to the school board, the Superintendent, Dr. Robert Kish,
recognized Plaintiff's valuable contributions to the District, as well as
acknowledged her under-compensation relative to comparable positions in
the area. Similarly, in the memo, Kish recognized the competent
performance and under-compensation of the District's Business
Administrator, Denis McCall. While admitting that the amount does not
erase the gap between their salaries and those similarly-situated in the
area, Kish recommended, and the District approved, a $3000 salary
increase for both Plaintiff and McCall.
In 1999, McCall informed Kish that he had obtained an alternate job
offer, the salary for which would make it difficult for him to turn the
offer down. As indicated by Kish, McCall's job performance was valuable
such that the District wanted to ensure that McCall stayed with them.
Consequently, in April 1999, Defendant renegotiated McCall's contract,
raising his salary by $10,000 and guaranteeing annual increases for the
next three years. These changes constituted a 14% increase in McCall's
During this time, Plaintiff persisted in her efforts to obtain a wage
increase commensurate with her responsibilities and performance. She even
informed Kish that if her salary concerns were not satisfactorily
addressed, she would have no other choice but to seek employment
elsewhere. At the behest of Kish, Plaintiff completed a comparison of her
salary to that of similarly-situated administrators in the area. The
comparison showed that, at $73,725, Plaintiff had the second lowest
salary; the average salary for her position was $88,033. Moreover,
Defendant's target salary for her position was $87,835, 15% higher than
her actual salary.
Despite these figures, Defendant approved only a $3335 raise in
Plaintiff's salary, plus a $1300 stipend in recognition of her law
degree. Thus, compared to McCall's 14% increase, Plaintiff's $78,015
salary, almost $10,000 lower than Defendant's target salary for the
position, represented only a 6% increase.
According to Plaintiff, Kish informed her that the school board would
not raise her salary any higher because certain members, specifically two
female board members, opposed paying Plaintiff as high a salary as they
would pay a man in the same position. Two former teachers also indicate
that Kish similarly informed them of the basis for the board's reluctance
to pay Plaintiff such a high salary. Kish denies that he made such
Additionally, one of those female board members, Joyce Stemler, admits
that she commented to Plaintiff that, in effect, she should stay home
with her child because Plaintiff's husband made enough money for them to
live. Stemler concedes that she feels very strongly that one parent,
specifically the mother, should not work, but rather should remain at
home to care for the children; however, she contends that this opinion
played no role in her decision to oppose any more wage increases for
In October 1999, Plaintiff resigned from her position with Defendant.
Defendant hired George Crawford, a man with a Master's degree and several
years of administrative experience, but who did not have Plaintiff's
experience in human resources or her legal training, as Plaintiff's
successor. The job description remained the same, with the exception
that, unlike Plaintiff during her tenure with the District, Crawford was
not responsible for any legal duties. Defendant paid Crawford a starting
salary of $86,500, which Defendant shortly thereafter raised to $88,230,
more than $10,000 higher than the highest salary garnered by Plaintiff.
Plaintiff has filed claims against the District under the EPA, on
grounds that her male successor, Crawford, received a higher salary for
equal work, and under Title VII and the PHRA, on grounds that, due to her
gender, she did not receive equal treatment as a similarly-situated male
colleague, Business Administrator McCall, with respect to wage increases.
As to all three claims, Defendant moves for summary judgment.
This Court has jurisdiction to hear claims alleging violations of Title
VII and the Equal Pay Act under our federal question jurisdiction.
See 28 U.S.C. § 1331. Plaintiff's state law claim under the
PHRA arises out of the same transaction and occurrence, over which we
have supplemental jurisdiction, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1367(a).
Defendant has moved for summary judgment with respect to all counts,
which allege violations under the Equal Pay Act, Title VII, and the PHRA.
Rule 56(c) allows for summary judgment "if the pleadings, depositions,
answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the
affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as to any
material fact and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a
matter of law." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56. An issue is genuine only if there is
a sufficient evidentiary basis on which a reasonable jury could find for
the non-moving party, and is material only if ...