United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania
February 5, 2004.
KAREN B. GOKAY, Plaintiff
PENNRIDGE SCHOOL DISTRICT, Defendant
The opinion of the court was delivered by: FRANKLIN VAN ANTWERPEN, District Judge
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
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.
I. FACTUAL BACKGROUND
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 it might affect the outcome
of the suit under governing law. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby.
Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248-49, 106 S.Ct. 2505, 91 L.Ed.2d 202 (1986).
At the summary judgment stage, the moving party bears the initial
burden of identifying those portions of the record that demonstrate the
absence of material fact. Celotex Corp. v.
Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323, 106 S.Ct. 2548, 91 L.Ed.2d 265
(1986). Thereafter, to defeat summary judgment, the non-movant must
respond with specific facts "sufficient to establish an element essential
to that party's case, and on which that party will bear the burden of
proof at trial." Id. at 322. At this stage, our role is "not
 to weigh the evidence and determine the truth of the matter, but to
determine whether there is a genuine issue for trial."
Anderson, 477 U.S. at 249; Country Floors v. Partnership
of Gepner & Ford, 930 F.2d 1056, 1062 (3d Cir. 1991).
We are required to view the record in the light most favorable to the
non-moving party, Matsushita Elec. Ind. Co. v. Zenith Radio
Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587, 106 U.S. 1348, 89 L.Ed.2d 538 (1986);
Betz Laboratories. Inc. v. Hines, 647 F.2d 402, 404 (3d Cir.
1981), and to resolve all doubts against the moving party. Gans v.
Mundy, 762 F.2d 338, 341 (3d Cir.), cert. denied,
474 U.S. 1010, 106 S.Ct. 537, 88 L.Ed.2d 467 (1985). Because we find, after
reviewing the record in a light most favorable to Plaintiff, that there
are genuine issues of material fact for trial, we deny Defendant's Motion
for Summary Judgment.
A. Count II: Equal Pay Act Claim
Plaintiff alleges that, in violation of the Equal Pay Act (EPA),
29 U.S.C. § 206(d), Defendant paid her lower wages than it did her
successor, George Crawford, for equal work.
According to the Third Circuit, the analysis of an EPA claim "follow[s]
a two-step burden-shifting paradigm." First, the plaintiff must establish
a prima facie case, which requires that she show that "employees of the
opposite sex were paid differently for performing `equal work'
work of substantially equal skill, effort and responsibility, under
similar working conditions." Stanziale v. Jargowskv,
200 F.3d 101, 107 (3d Cir. 2000) (citing E.E.O.C. v. Del. Dept. of Health and
Human Services, 865 F.2d 1408, 1413-14 (3d Cir. 1989)).
If the plaintiff can establish a prima facie case, the burden shifts to
the defendant to show the existence of one of four possible affirmative
defenses: "(i) a bona fide seniority system, (ii) a merit system, (iii) a
system which measures earning by quantity or quality of production, or
(iv) a differential based on a factor other than sex." Id.. 107
n.6 (citing 29 U.S.C. § 206(d)(1)).
Defendant argues that Plaintiff cannot establish a prima facie case
with respect to George Crawford, her successor.*fn2 According to
Defendant, Crawford's substantial work experience and salary at his
previous job negate any legitimate comparison for purposes of
establishing that Defendant paid Plaintiff less for comparable job
responsibilities. Furthermore, Defendant argues that even if we were to
find that Plaintiff has established a prima facie case, it can prove the
affirmative defense that the salary differential was based on a factor
different from gender. Because we find that there are genuine issues of
material fact with respect to whether Defendant's decision to pay
Plaintiff's successor a higher salary was motivated by gender, we deny
Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment.
It is undisputed that Defendant paid Plaintiff and her successor,
Crawford, different salaries. According to the record, which we review in
the light most favorable to Plaintiff, the highest salary garnered by
Plaintiff, which she apparently received after two years of requesting an
increase in pay, was $78,015. (See Compl. ¶¶ 26, 40.)
Contrarily, Crawford received a starting salary of $86,500, which
Defendant raised for the 2000-01 school year to $88,230. (Compl. ¶¶
53-54.) Thus, the main inquiry for determining whether Plaintiff can
establish a prima facie case involves whether the job responsibilities of
Plaintiff and Crawford constitute
"equal work," in other words, of equal skill and effort under
similar conditions. Plaintiff need show not that their responsibilities
were identical, but rather that, in their totality, their job functions
were "substantially identical," such that any difference was too
insignificant to justify the difference in salary. E.E.O.C. v. Hav
Assocs., 545 F. Supp. 1064, 1083 (E.D. Pa. 1982) (quoting
Shultz v. Wheaton Glass Co., 421 F.2d 259, 265 (3d Cir.),
cert. denied. 398 U.S. 905, 90 S.Ct.1696, 26 L.Ed.2d 64
The crux of Defendant's argument that Crawford is not an adequate
comparator focuses on Crawford's substantial prior work experience and
his salary at his previous job. More specifically, Defendant notes that,
compared to Plaintiff's complete lack of administrative experience prior
to being hired by Defendant and lack of formal training in education
administration, Crawford had completed a Master's degree in educational
administration, as well as more than fifteen years of administrative
experience, prior to his being hired as Plaintiff's successor. (Def.'s
Br. at 12.) Furthermore, Crawford's salary at his previous job, which
Defendant had to consider when determining his salary, was higher than
his starting salary with the District.
Defendant offers one case to support this argument that differences in
prior salary and experience prevent an adequate comparison of job
functions for purposes of establishing the prima facie element of "equal
work" under the EPA. In Best v. Janerich, 80 F. Supp.2d 334, 337
(M.D. Pa. 1999), affd. 208 F.3d 205 (3d Cir. 2000), the court
stated that "the law is clear that an employer may reward experience and
consider prior salary without violating the EPA." However, this
statement, while certainly true, related not to whether the former
employee had established a prima facie case, but rather whether the
employer had adequately established its
affirmative defense that the differential was based on factors
besides gender. See id. (prefacing its discussion of the
reasons for paying the plaintiff a lower salary with the statement that
"assuming arguendo that Best had established aprima
facie case. . . .").
Thus, Best does not substantiate Defendant's argument that
differences in prior salary and experience prevent Plaintiff from
establishing a prima facie case. In fact, as Best tends to
suggest, while prior experience and salary certainly play a role in
determining whether the pay differential for equal responsibilities is
justified, these factors do not contribute at all to a determination of
whether the job responsibilities are sufficiently equal. As such,
Defendant has not met its initial burden of identifying the parts of the
record that show an absence of genuine issues of material fact with
respect to whether Plaintiff has established a prima facie case. See
Celotex. supra, 477 U.S. at 323 (discussing the moving party's
preliminary burden at the summary judgment stage). Moreover, we find
that, at the very least, the record reflects that Plaintiff's and
Crawford's job responsibilities were sufficiently similar to establish
aprima facie case.
The record indicates that when he was hired, Crawford assumed
Plaintiff's position as Director of Human Resources. (Crawford Dep. at
7-8; Kish Dep. at 20-21.) Furthermore, Plaintiff indicates that,
according to the job descriptions, the position for which Crawford was
hired entailed the same duties as her position, with the exception of the
additional responsibilities she incurred due to her legal training.
(See Gokay Dep. at 76.) As such, and especially absent
applicable argument from Defendant to the contrary, we find that
Plaintiff has met her burden of establishing a prima facie case.
Thus, the burden shifts to Defendant to establish one of the designated
defenses to an EPA violation. Defendant contends that the pay
"differential was based on any factor other than sex."
29 U.S.C. § 206(d)(1). More specifically, Defendant argues that it paid
Crawford a higher salary because of his significant work experience and
relevant education, as well as the higher salary that he garnered in his
prior position.*fn3 (Def.'s Br. at 14.)
Defendant's burden of establishing an affirmative defense is a
significant one, as it cannot proffer explanations for the salary
differential that merely identify a possible cause for the disparity;
rather, Defendant "must produce sufficient evidence such that no rational
jury could conclude but that the proffered reasons actually
motivated the wage disparity of which the plaintiff complains."
Stanziale, 200 F.3d at 108 (emphasis added). In other words,
Defendant must set forth evidence showing that the wage differential "was
in fact made pursuant to" Crawford's prior experience and
salary, and further must "establish this fact `so clearly that no
rational jury could find to the contrary.'" Id. (quoting
Del. Dep't of Health and Human Services, 865 F.2d at 1414). In
light of the evidence set forth by Plaintiff suggesting that her gender,
rather than Crawford's experience and salary, served as the basis for
the salary differential, we find that Defendant cannot satisfy its burden
and thus, summary judgment as to the EPA claim must be denied.
First, while Defendant may very well have appropriately considered
Crawford's past administrative experience, formal education, and salary
in his previous administrative capacity when determining his salary
(see Kish Dep. at 21-22), Plaintiff has set forth sufficient
to call this justification into doubt, such that only a jury can
decide whether the wage disparity constituted a violation of the EPA.
For example, while Crawford commenced his position for the District
with several years of administrative experience, that experience was not
as a Human Resources Director, but rather as a Business Manager. While
Crawford's prior position did involve some human resources
responsibilities, it did not entail all of the duties and qualifications
required in the job description for Plaintiff's position. (See
Crawford Dep. at 6-7 (discussing his duties at his prior job.)) Thus, in
contrast to the three years Plaintiff had served as Human Resources
Director when she was denied a wage increase, Crawford's extensive
experience was not wholly relevant to his job duties for Defendant.
Furthermore, while Crawford holds a Master's Degree in Administrative
Education, which certainly enhances his ability to carry out his
administrative responsibilities, Plaintiff holds a law degree, which was
required for the legal function of her position as Human Resources
Director. It is an issue of fact for the jury to consider whether this
parallel in formal education, Plaintiff's additional legal responsibility
in her capacity as Human Resources Director, and the nature of
Plaintiff's and Crawford's work experience with respect to their specific
duties sufficiently undermines Defendant's affirmative defense that
Crawford's experience, education, and former salary formed the basis of
the wage differential.
Additionally, the most compelling suggestion of pretext and that
Plaintiff's gender played a role in establishing the pay disparity, is
evidence from former employees of the District and a former member of the
school board. Kathy Jenkins and Jean Buchanan, both former teachers in
the District and leaders of the Pennridge Education Association during
the time Plaintiff worked
for the District, recall having conversations with Superintendent
Kish, where he revealed to them that members of the school board did not
feel comfortable supporting a raise for Plaintiff because they "did not
want to give [Plaintiff] a salary as high as they would give to a man."
(Jenkins Aff, Buchanan Aff, Pl.'s Br. App. 11.)
Moreover, a board member from during the time of Plaintiff's employ
with the District acknowledges her "very strong opinion," which she
"share[s]  with many people," that a parent, but particularly the
mother, should not work, but rather should remain at home to care for the
children. (Stemler Dep. at 8.) She also admits telling Plaintiff
something to the effect that, because Plaintiff's husband made sufficient
money, instead of working, Plaintiff should be at home caring for her
son. (Stemler Dep. at 9; See also Compl. ¶ 22.)
We do note that Stemler denies that this opinion played any role in her
decision to vote against raising Plaintiff's salary. (Stemler Dep. at
10.) Additionally, Kish denies that any school board members informed him
that Plaintiff's gender was the basis for their opposition to Plaintiff's
raise. (Kish Aff. ¶ 40.) We find this inconsistency in the record to
raise a genuine issue of material fact as to whether gender played a role
in the wage disparity between Plaintiff and her successor.
We leave it to a jury to weigh this evidence and determine whether the
District's decision to pay Plaintiff's successor a higher salary violated
the EPA. Summary judgment is denied.
B. Counts I and III: Title VII and PHRA Claims*fn4
Plaintiff alleges that, in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights
Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e, et. seq., and the PHRA, 43 Pa. Cons.
Stat. 951, et. seq., Defendant discriminated against her because of her
gender when it "denied [her] salary increases and parity with male
administrators," such that she was forced her to resign from her position
as Human Resources Director. (Compl. ¶¶ 59, 66.) Defendant argues that
it is entitled to summary judgment because the record fails to reveal any
evidence demonstrating that Plaintiff's working conditions were so
objectively intolerable that she was forced to resign. As such, Defendant
claims that Plaintiff cannot show that she was constructively discharged
or that there was gender-motivated discrimination by Defendant.
(See Def.'s Br. at 16, 20.)
However, Plaintiff correctly points out that one can sufficiently show
a violation of Title VII and the PHRA without proving constructive
discharge. See Jones v. School Dist. of Philadelphia,
198 F.3d 403, 411 (3d Cir. 1999) ("[T]he relevant question with respect to
[the Plaintiff's] Title VII and PHRA claims is whether he suffered some
form of `adverse employment action' sufficient to evoke the protection of
Title VII and the PHRA. Obviously something less than a discharge could
be an adverse employment action."). Because Plaintiff raises genuine
issues of material fact regarding whether the alleged disparate treatment
she received with respect to pay raises constitutes a violation of Title
VII and the PHRA, we deny Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment as to
Counts I and III.
To survive summary judgment, Plaintiff must establish a prima facie
case of gender
discrimination under Title VII, which, as to these circumstances,
consists of four elements:
1) she is a member of a protected class;
2) she is qualified for her position;
3) she suffered some form of an adverse employment
4) under circumstances that give rise to an
inference of unlawful discrimination.
Jones, 198 F.3dat 410. 411: see also McDonnell Douglas
Corp. v. Green, 411 U.S. 792
, 802, 802 n.13, 93 S.Ct. 1817,
36 L.Ed.2d 668 (1973) (laying out the general test for discrimination, but
noting that the specific facts of each case will modify those prima facie
elements). If Plaintiff can establish a prima facie case, the burden
shifts to Defendant to set forth evidence of a legitimate,
nondiscriminatory reason for its presumptively discriminatory employment
action. Texas Dep't. of Community Affairs v. Burdine,
450 U.S. 248
, 254, 101 S.Ct. 1089, 67 L.Ed.2d 207(1981).
If Defendant can sufficiently rebut the presumption of discrimination
established by Plaintiff's prima facie case, Plaintiff can survive
summary judgment only if she can present circumstantial or direct
evidence that would allow a reasonable factfinder to conclude either that
Defendant's rebuttal reasons are pretext or that "an invidious
discriminatory reason was more likely than not a motivating or
determinative cause of [Defendant's] action." Fuentes v.
Perskie, 32 F.3d 759, 764 (3d Cir. 1994).
The record well establishes that Plaintiff satisfies the first two
elements of the prima facie case for gender discrimination, as Plaintiff
is a woman and Defendant concedes that Plaintiff's qualifications and
performance were more than satisfactory. (See Def.'s Br. at 18.) To
establish the third prima facie element, Plaintiff must show that
Defendant engaged in conduct that resulted in "a `significant change in
[Plaintiff's] employment status, such as hiring, firing, failing
to promote, reassignment, or a decision causing a significant
change in benefits.'" Weston v. Pennsylvania, 251 F.3d 420, 431
(3d Cir. 2001) (quoting Burlington Indus. Inc. v. Ellerth,
524 U.S. 742, 749, 118 S.Ct 2257, 141 L.Ed.2d 633 (1998), which defines
"adverse employment action").
Plaintiff argues that Defendant's refusal to grant her parallel wage
increases to that granted a similarly-situated male, Denis McCall, the
Business Administrator for the District, constituted an adverse
employment action because it denied her a significant benefit, i.e., a
raise in salary commensurate with her responsibilities and performance.
In 1998, Superintendent Kish recognized Plaintiff's and McCall's
positions jointly as being undercompensated, especially relative to
comparable positions in the area, and recommended the same wage increase
for both positions. (See Kish Memo to School Board, 5/28/98,
also Pl.'s Br. App. 3). However, both positions remained
In early 1999, McCall received a job offer from a bank that would have
paid him more money than he currently made working for Defendant.
(See McCall Dep. at 8.) In response to McCall's job offer, in
April 1999, the District renegotiated McCall's contract, approving a
long-term contract that increased his salary by $10,000 and guaranteed
additional annual increases. According to the amended employment
contract, the District agreed to pay him $89,500 for the 1999-2000 year,
in addition to a marginal annual increase of $3000. (See McCall
Agreement, Gokay Dep. Ex. 7.) According to Plaintiff, the District raised
McCall's salary by more than 14%. (Pl.'s Br. at 20.)
Contrarily, despite Plaintiff's repeated attempts to obtain a salary
increase commensurate with the target or market value of her position,
and despite acknowledgment from Plaintiff's
supervisor and Kish that she was grossly underpaid (Gokay
Performance Evaluation Summary, Kish Memo to Board, Pl.'s Br. Apps. 2,
3), the District agreed to raise her salary only by 6%. (See
PL's Br. at 20.)*fn5 Plaintiff argues that this disparity constitutes an
adverse employment action. Moreover, Plaintiff contends that, in light of
her testimony and the sworn statements indicating that Plaintiff's gender
motivated the denial of her raise, the failure to grant her a similar
raise as McCall raises an inference of unlawful gender discrimination.
(See e.g., Jenkins and Buchanan Affs. (stating that Kish
informed them that members of the Board opposed granting Plaintiff a
salary as high as a man would receive)).
We agree that this evidence sufficiently sets forth a prima facie case
of gender discrimination under Title VII, and further note that Plaintiff
has set forth a stronger prima facie case than other Plaintiff's who have
survived summary judgment. See e.g. Szustowicz v. City of
Philadelphia, No. 02-2054, 2003 WL 1818175, at *6 (E.D. Pa. Mar. 26,
2003) (denying summary judgment to the employer defendant in a Title VII
case, on grounds that the female detective plaintiff "may be
able to provide  evidence in the future" that she was denied the
average overtime hours that male colleagues served) (emphasis added).
Because Plaintiff has established a prima facie case, the burden shifts
to Defendant to identify a legitimate, nondiscriminatory reason for the
disparate treatment. While Defendant sets forth no such reason in its
brief, the record reflects that Defendant could present, at least
facially, a nondiscriminatory reason. According to Kish, the District
renegotiated McCall's contract, with
the substantial wage increases, "based upon his significant and
valuable contributions as an employee" and, in light of McCall's
alternative job offer for a higher salary, Defendant wanted to ensure
that McCall remained with the Defendant. (Kish Aff. ¶¶ 34-39.)
Thus, to survive summary judgment, Plaintiff must identify evidence
showing either that Defendant's reason merely is pretext or that her
gender played a role in its decision not to grant her a more substantial
raise, similar to that received by McCall. See Fuentes, supra,
32 F.3d at 764. We find that Plaintiff has sufficiently set forth
evidence that would support either argument.
First, with respect to the possibility that Defendant's explanation for
the disparity is pretext, we agree with Plaintiff's rebuttal that,
similar to McCall, she too, informed the District, through Kish, that she
would be forced to obtain work elsewhere if she did not receive a more
favorable salary. (Gokay Dep. at 55-56.) While Plaintiff did not have an
alternate job offer to heighten the urgency of the situation, the
motivation for Defendant's actions in giving McCall a higher salary,
i.e., the desire to keep a valuable employee, remains the same for
Plaintiff, especially considering Plaintiff's stellar reputation as a
competent employee. (See e.g. Bringe Performance Evaluation
Summary, Pl.'s Br. App. 2; Def.'s Br. at 18 (stating that "Plaintiff
consistently received raves for her job performance.")).
We find that, based on the analogous circumstances of Plaintiff and
McCall with respect to their reputations as valuable employees, their
well-established concerns regarding their under-compensation, and the
compulsion to seek other employment if their concerns were not
satisfactorily addressed, a rational factfinder could conclude that
Defendant's reasons for the significant disparity in the raises received
by McCall and Plaintiff were pretext.
Similarly, the affidavits from Kathy Jenkins and Jean Buchanan stating
members disfavored paying Plaintiff as high a salary as a they
would pay a man, in addition to Gokay's testimony that Kish informed her
that female board members were reluctant to compensate women at the same
rate as men and Stemler's vocal opinions directed at Plaintiff about
mothers in the workplace, all suggest the possibility that Plaintiff's
gender more likely than not played a role in Defendant's decision not to
grant her an increase in salary similar to that granted McCall. Because
Plaintiff has sufficiently rebutted Defendant's non-discriminatory reason
for its disparate treatment of Plaintiff and McCall, Plaintiff survives
summary judgment. As to Counts I and III, Defendant's Motion for Summary
Judgment is denied.
We find both that Plaintiff has established a prima facie case that she
was paid a lower salary than her male successor for sufficiently similar
work, and that there are genuine issues of material fact as to whether
Defendant's explanation for the pay differential is based on factors
besides gender. As such, with respect to Plaintiff's EPA claim, we deny
the motion for summary judgment.
We further find that Plaintiff has established a prima facie case that
she was denied a significant employment benefit, a wage increase, as a
result of her gender and that there are genuine issues for trial with
respect to whether Defendant's purported explanation for the alleged
disparate treatment, extraordinary job performance and a desire to
maintain a long-term commitment from Plaintiff's male colleague, was
pretext. As such, as to Plaintiff's Title VII and PHRA claims, we deny
Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment.