The opinion of the court was delivered by: KIM GIBSON, District Judge
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
This case comes before the Court on the Commonwealth of
Pennsylvania, Department of Corrections, State Correctional
Institution at Somerset's (hereinafter "Defendant") Motion for
Summary Judgment (Document No. 20). Specifically, pursuant to
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56 the Defendant has moved to
dismiss Count III (sexual discrimination claim) of Judith Benny's
(hereinafter "Plaintiff") Complaint arguing, inter alia, that
no genuine issues as to any material facts exist in the case sub
judice. (Document No. 20). The Defendant's Motion for Summary
Judgment will be granted as to Count III of the Plaintiff's
Complaint for the following reasons.
Jurisdiction of the above-captioned civil action is proper in
the United States District Court for the Western District of
Pennsylvania in that the Plaintiff's cause of action arises under
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C.S. § 2000(e),
et. seq. Jurisdiction is invoked pursuant to
28 U.S.C.S. § 1343(4) and 42 U.S.C.S. § 2000(e)-5(f), and a right to sue letter
was issued by the U.S. Department of Justice on March 4, 2003 and
received on March 10, 2003. Venue in this Court for the case sub judice is proper
pursuant to 28 U.S.C.S. § 1391(b), because the claim arose in
this judicial district, and pursuant to
28 U.S.C.S. § 2000(e)-5(f)(3), as the alleged unlawful employment practice was
committed in this judicial district.
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
The evidence of record, as uncontroverted or otherwise taken in
the light most favorable to the Plaintiff is as follows:
Beginning on or about February 1998, the Plaintiff began her
employment with the Defendant as a food service
instructor.*fn1 (Document No. 25). During her employment,
the Plaintiff avers that she has performed her duties in a
satisfactory manner. Id. However, the Plaintiff alleges that at
various times she has been subjected to unwelcome sexual
overtures by male members of the Defendant's management. Id.
Additionally, the Plaintiff claims that she has "been subjected
to a consistent and pervasive pattern of discriminatory and
oppressive treatment at the hand of Defendant's agents because
she is a woman." Id.
Plaintiff asserts that she complained of the sexual
discrimination to superior officials of Defendant. Id. Indeed,
the Plaintiff argues that the Defendant was aware of the
behaviors of male management officials but failed to take action
and condoned the offensive behavior. Id. The offensive behavior
exhibited by the male employees were intimidating to the
Plaintiff, and she argues that the behavior would have been
offensive to any reasonable woman under the same circumstances.
Id. The uncontested offensive behavior documented by the Plaintiff
and brought to the attention of her superiors are the following
(1) 12/26/97, [a male co-worker] yelled `you don't
give a F*ck about no one but your own F*cking self' . . .
[and] slammed the door closed[;]
(2) On 05/02/98 I[t] was stated who was I blowing
again in reference to the overtime issue[;]
(3) On 05/08/98 `The remark was made who's dick am I
blowing to get all the overtime[;]
(4) On July 25 at 2:15 Sat., `They always complain
about patting people down. They always say there are
to [sic] many women in here.'
(5) [A male co-worker] made bets with other male
employees regarding Plaintiff and sexual acts.
(Document No. 25, Exhibit B, pp. 5-6). The Plaintiff argues that
these instances in conjunction with the alleged pattern of
conduct displayed by the Defendant set forth a clear pattern of
sexual discrimination. (Document No. 25). In fact, according to
the Plaintiff, the entire record in the case sub judice is
replete with examples of a continuing pattern of sexual
discrimination. Id. In particular the Plaintiff alleges that a
male co-worker, Donald Lepley, displayed egregious conduct toward
the Plaintiff. Id.
The Court shall render 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 a judgment as a matter of law." Fed.R.Civ.P.
56(c). An issue is "genuine" only if there is a sufficient
evidentiary basis on which a reasonable jury could find for the
non-moving party. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc.,
477 U.S. 242, 249, 106 S.Ct. 2505, 91 L.Ed.2d 202 (1986). A factual
dispute is "material" only if it might affect the outcome of the
suit under governing law. Id. at 248, 477 U.S. 242, 106 S.Ct. 2505, 91 L.Ed.2d 202. All inferences must be drawn, and all
doubts resolved, in favor of the non-moving party. United States
v. Diebold, Inc., 369 U.S. 654, 655, 82 S.Ct. 993, 8 L.Ed.2d 176
(1962). On a motion for summary judgment, the moving party bears
the initial burden of identifying those portions of the record
that it believes 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). To defeat summary judgment, the non-moving
party must respond with facts of record that contradict the facts
identified by the movant and would support a favorable jury
finding. Id. at 321 n. 3, 477 U.S. 317, 106 S.Ct. 2548,
91 L.Ed.2d 265 (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e)). The party opposing
summary judgment may not rest upon mere allegations or denials,
but must set forth specific facts, presenting affirmative
evidence showing that there is a genuine issue of material fact
for trial. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 256-57, 106 S.Ct. 2505,
91 L.Ed.2d 202.
The parties must also adhere to the McDonnell Douglas scheme
of shifting burdens of production, which controls the analysis of
individual disparate treatment claims brought under Title VII and
the PHRA. See generally McDonnell Douglass Corp. v. Green,
411 U.S. 792, 800-06, 93 S.Ct. 1817, 36 L.Ed.2d 668 (1973), and
clarified in Texas Dep't of Community Affairs v. Burdine,
450 U.S. 248, 101 S.Ct. 1089, 67 L.Ed.2d 207 (1981). Specifically,
disparate treatment claims follow a well-established three-step
"burden-shifting" approach. See McDonnell Douglas Corp. v.
Initially, a non-movant, generally the plaintiff, must
establish a prima facie case of discrimination or retaliation.
Then, the movant or defendant must rebut an inference of
wrongdoing with evidence of a legitimate, non-discriminatory,
non-retaliatory reason for the action taken. Weston v.
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, 251 F.3d 420, 432 (3d Cir. 2001).
If a defendant successfully meets this burden in a discrimination or
retaliation case, then the burden of production shifts back to
the plaintiff to present evidence of pretext, or show that the
discrimination played a role in the defendant's decision-making,
and the discrimination had a determinative effect on the outcome.
Weston, 251 F.3d at 432. Noting the inimical consequences of
discrimination in the workplace, the Third Circuit cautions
district courts against granting summary judgment to an employer
when its intent is at issue, particularly in discrimination
cases. Goosby v. Johnson & Johnson Medical, Inc., 228 F.3d 313,
321 (3d Cir. 2000).
Pursuant to the statutory language of Title VII, it is unlawful
for any employer "to discriminate against any individual with
respect to his [or her] compensation, terms, conditions, or
privileges of employment, because of such individual's . . .
sex." 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-2(a)(1). A sexual discrimination claim
under Title VII must establish that the sexual harassment was
either so pervasive as to create a hostile work environment and
change the conditions of employment, or if the sexual harassment
constituted a quid pro quo sexual discrimination. In the ...