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Street v. Steel Valley OIC

March 7, 2008

RICHARD STREET PLAINTIFF,
v.
STEEL VALLEY OIC, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Ambrose, Chief District Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER OF COURT

Synopsis

Plaintiff Richard Street ("Street") worked for Defendant Steel Valley OIC ("Steel Valley") for a number of years in a variety of capacities. He contends that during his employment he was subject to a number of unlawful working conditions. He filed this suit in order to seek redress for those perceived unlawful working conditions.

I previously granted summary judgment in favor of Steel Valley with respect to Street's claims arising under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1991, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq. See Docket No. [33]. Further, Street concedes that his claims arising under the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act are time barred. See Docket No. [48], p. 1, 3. Consequently, the only "unlawful working conditions" remaining at issue in this case arise under 42 U.S.C. § 1981.

Street's § 1981 claim is comprised of three components - hostile work environment, disparate treatment and retaliation. Steel Valley contends that all aspects of the § 1981 claim are fatally flawed and has filed a Motion for Summary Judgment in this regard. See Docket No. [36]. Although Street did file an Answer to Defendant's Memorandum of Law in Support of Motion for Summary Judgment and a Counter Statement of Material Facts, neither contained any citation to record evidence.*fn1 Indeed the only evidence Street submitted in opposition to the pending Motion consists of a single unidentified page and his letter of termination.

After careful consideration, and for the reasons set forth below, the Motion for Summary Judgment is granted.

Standard of Review

Summary judgment may only be granted if the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories and admissions on file, together with any affidavits, show that there is no genuine issue as to any material facts and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c). A fact is material when it might affect the outcome of the suit under the governing law. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). Rule 56 mandates the entry of judgment, after adequate time for discovery, and upon motion, against the party who fails to make a showing sufficient to establish the existence of an element essential to that party's case, and on which that party will bear the burden of proof at trial. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986).

In considering a motion for summary judgment, the Court must examine the facts in a light most favorable to the party opposing the motion. International Raw Materials, Ltd. v. Stauffer Chemical Co., 898 F.2d 946, 949 (3d Cir. 1990). The burden is on the moving party to demonstrate that the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could not return a verdict for the nonmoving party. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248. Where the non-moving party will bear the burden of proof at trial, the party moving for summary judgment may meet its burden by showing that the evidentiary materials of record, if reduced to admissible evidence, would be insufficient to carry the non-movant's burden of proof at trial. Celotex, 477 U.S. at 322. Once the moving party satisfies its burden, the burden shifts to the non-moving party, who must go beyond its pleadings, and designate specific facts by the use of affidavits, depositions, admissions, or answers to interrogatories showing that there is a genuine issue for trial. Id. at 324.

Analysis

I. Hostile Work Environment

A hostile work environment exists when "the workplace is permeated with discriminatory intimidation, ridicule, and insult that is sufficiently severe or pervasive to alter the victim's employment and creates an abusive working environment." National R.R. Corp. v. Morgan, 536 U.S. 101, 116, 122 S.Ct. 2061 (2002). Street contends that he was subjected to a hostile work environment by his supervisor LuEthel Nesbit and that the harassment was motivated by Street's race. According to Street, the harassment manifested itself in comments Nesbit made to him over the years.*fn2

To prevail on a hostile work environment claim,*fn3 Street must demonstrate that:

(1) he suffered intentional discrimination because of his membership ...


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