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RUBERG v. OUTDOOR WORLD CORPORATION

November 28, 2005.

RICHARD EARL RUBERG, Plaintiff,
v.
OUTDOOR WORLD CORPORATION, RESORTS USA, INC., RANK AMERICA, INC., RANK HOLDINGS (Netherlands) B.V., MARY GOTCHELL, DONALD DELAPLAIN, MARK TURNER, AND JOHN DOE (a fictitious name), Defendants.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: JOHN JONES III, District Judge

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

THE BACKGROUND OF THIS ORDER IS AS FOLLOWS:

Pending before the Court is Defendants', Outdoor World Corporation, Resorts USA, Inc., Rank America, Inc., and Rank Holdings B.V. (collectively "Corporate Defendants"), Motion to Dismiss Pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) ("Corporate Defendants' Motion"). (Rec. Doc. 5). Also pending before the Court is Defendants', Mary Gotchell, Donald Delaplain and Mark Turner (collectively "Individual Defendants"), Motion to Dismiss Pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) ("Individual Defendants Motion"). (Rec. Doc. 6). We shall dispose of both Motions in this Order.

  Federal question jurisdiction is proper pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331. Pendent jurisdiction is proper over the state law claims pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1367.

  For the following reasons, the Corporate Defendants' Motion and the Individual Defendants' Motion shall be granted in part and denied in part.

  FACTUAL BACKGROUND AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

  Plaintiff, Richard Earl Ruberg ("Plaintiff" or "Ruberg"), became employed by the Corporate Defendants on February 28, 2001. His position was general manager of Outdoor World at Timothy Lake in East Stroudsburg, Monroe County, Pennsylvania. Plaintiff's direct supervisor was Defendant Donald Delaplain, who was the Regional Manager of Outdoor World Corporation. Defendant Mary Gotchell was the Human Resources Manager and Defendant Mark Turner was the Vice-President of Outdoor World Corporation.

  Plaintiff is a homosexual male. Plaintiff alleges that beginning in October 2003 and over the next few months, he and Defendant Delaplain had a number of business dinner meetings. Plaintiff further alleges that during these meetings Defendant Delaplain criticized Plaintiff for being a homosexual and implored him "to be normal." Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Delaplain's comments caused him to feel scared, humiliated, embarrassed, denigrated, insulted and otherwise uncomfortable and prevented him from performing his employment duties without feeling discriminated against.

  In December of 2003 Plaintiff was diagnosed with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus ("HIV"). Plaintiff did not immediately disclose his condition to the Defendants. Plaintiff alleges that he received a satisfactory evaluation in his annual review in February of 2004.

  In July of 2004, Plaintiff required medical treatment that necessitated a reduction from a 40-hour work week to a 32-hour work week. Plaintiff's doctor issued a note to this effect for Plaintiff to give to his employer. On August 3, 2004, Plaintiff informed Defendant Gotchell of his HIV-positive condition and requested the reduction in weekly work hours, which was promptly honored.

  The following day, Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Gotchell requested Plaintiff's physician complete a certification regarding Plaintiff's HIV-positive medical condition on a pre-printed form. Plaintiff alleges that although Defendant Gotchell promised Plaintiff she would maintain his strict confidence regarding Plaintiff's condition, Defendant Gotchell informed Defendants Delaplain and Turner of Plaintiff's HIV-positive condition.

  On September 14, 2004, Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Delaplain informed Plaintiff that a co-worker had accused Plaintiff of falsifying work records and/or directing subordinates to falsify work records in August of 2004. The accusation was made in the presence of Defendant Gotchell. Plaintiff categorically denied Defendant Delaplain's accusations of misconduct. On September 17, 2004, Defendant Turner terminated the Plaintiff's employment. Plaintiff alleges that the reason for the termination was pretext for discrimination and that he was never given an opportunity to challenge the accusations of misconduct.

  On or about October 12, 2004, Plaintiff filed a pro se administrative complaint with the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission ("PHRC") against Defendant Outdoor World Corporation, in which he alleged that his employer discriminated against him based on his disability, namely his HIV-positive condition. On September 9, 2005, Plaintiff received a notice from PHRC that his pro se administrative complaint was being dismissed. (Rec. Doc. 18, Ex. A).

  Plaintiff commenced this action by filing a complaint (doc. 1) with this Court on August 1, 2005. In the complaint (doc. 1), Plaintiff alleges that the Corporate Defendants and the Individual Defendants discriminated against Plaintiff in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended ("Title VII"), the First, Fourth, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendments by way of 42 U.S.C. § 1983, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 ("ADA"), and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act ("PHRA"). On September 30, 2005, Plaintiff received a Dismissal and Notice of Rights Letter from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC"). (Rec. Doc. 18, Ex. B).

  The Corporate Defendants' Motion (doc. 5) was filed on September 12, 2005. The Individual Defendants' Motion (doc. 6) was filed on September 19, 2005. Both Motions have been ...


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