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Timothy Gordon v. Ppl Corporation

April 6, 2011

TIMOTHY GORDON,
PLAINTIFF
v.
PPL CORPORATION
DEFENDANT



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Stengel, J.

MEMORANDUM

Timothy Gordon works at PPL Corporation and alleges PPL discriminated against him because of his age and retaliated against him because he filed a Charge of Discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. For the reasons set forth below, I will grant PPL's motion to dismiss the second amended complaint.

I. BACKGROUND

PPL Corporation hired Timothy Gordon on June 12, 1978.*fn1 His most recent position with PPL is as a lineman leader with the electric utilities/distribution division. See Second Amended Compl. at ¶ 4-5. He had an exemplary performance record. Id. at ¶ 6.

In May or June of 2007, Mr. Gordon and his co-workers attended a meeting with the new vice president of electric utilities, John Fogarty. See Second Amended Compl. at ¶ 7. The company was under review by the Public Utilities Commission because of reliability problems. Id. at ¶ 10. Mr. Fogarty sought input to turn the division around, and Mr. Gordon said he could help. Id. at ¶ 8. Mr. Gordon met with Mr. Fogarty and was asked to provide input on the division's reliability. Id. at 21. Mr. Gordon and Mr. Fogarty also discussed ideas on how PPL's business could be improved. Id. Mr. Fogarty told Mr. Gordon to create a new job description. Id. at ¶ 9. Mr. Gordon created a job description entitled "Reliability Control Specialist." Id. at ¶ 10.

The second amended complaint states: "The plaintiff believes, and therefore avers, that the [Public Utility Commission's] investigation may have been the motivation for creating the new job called Reliability Control Engineer.*fn2 The duties of said job were the ones created by [Mr. Gordon]." Second Amended Compl. at ¶ 11.

Mr. Fogarty contacted Mr. Gordon and asked Mr. Gordon to work under Dave Rodak,*fn3 Area Manager at the Lehigh Service Center. Id. at ¶ 12. Mr. Gordon was to be a problem solver and a liaison between departments. Id. at ¶ 13. Mr. Fogarty told Mr. Gordon this would be a six-month position, which possibly would become permanent. Id. at ¶ 13. Mr. Gordon began the new position in October 2007. Id. at ¶ 14.

Mr. Gordon angered union and management personnel in the new position because he investigated the causes of PPL's slow response time. See Second Amended Compl. at ¶ 15. He angered his supervisors, Steve Clock and Mike Mohr. Id. Mr. Gordon had a secret meeting with the Public Utilities Commission regarding PPL's lack of reliability during storms. Id. at ¶ 26. Mr. Gordon informed his managers of this meeting.

The complaint states Mr. Gordon "believes, and therefore avers, that [PPL's] management was using him to get inside information from the Union, to the detriment of the Union." See Second Amended Compl. at ¶ 28. It also states Mr. Gordon "believes, and therefore avers, that [PPL's] management and the Union believes that he was meddling in their affairs as the Plaintiff was responsible for investigating issues in his own department." See Second Amended Compl. at ¶ 29. Mr. Gordon believes he was not able to fully investigate the department because of the issues with management and with the Union. Id. at ¶ 30.

After four months in the new position, Mr. Gordon met with PPL's upper management to discuss whether his temporary position could become permanent. Id. at ¶ 24. Mr. Gordon was informed he would have to work his way up. Id. at ¶ 24. Mr. Gordon decided he would like to return to his prior position as a lineman leader. Id. at ¶ 31.

When Mr. Gordon returned to his position as a lineman leader, the supervisors were not happy with him and "fabricated a story to shut him up and get rid of him." See Second Amended Compl. at ¶ 16. On February 15, 2008, at 9:00 a.m., Jim Caffany, the Chief Steward, told Mr. Gordon there would be a meeting about charges against him. Id. at ¶ 17. Mr. Caffany informed Mr. Gordon that four union employees and two managers felt threatened for their lives. Id. at ¶ 18. Mr. Gordon was told not to say anything at the meeting. Id. at ¶¶ 20, 37.

Mr. Gordon was removed from the Bethlehem Service Center, where he had worked prior to his temporary assignment, and was told he had a day off with pay. See Second Amended Compl. at ¶ 33. Id. On February 15, 2008, PPL assigned Mr. Gordon to work as a lineman leader at its Lehigh Service Center because the Union and Management stated they were threatened by Mr. Gordon's investigation. See Second Amended Compl. at ¶ 32. Mr. Gordon was told to report to the Lehigh Service Center the following Monday. Id. at ¶¶ 17, 19. Mr. Gordon protested the job transfer. Id. at ¶ 35.

PPL informed Mr. Gordon that he was to report to PPL's psychiatrist on February 15, 2008. See Second Amended Compl. at ¶ 38. Mr. Gordon met with the psychiatrist and was told to report to her once a week for three months. Id. at ¶ 41.

Mr. Gordon complained that it was "a set up to shut him up and get rid of him." See Second Amended Compl. at ¶ 20. Mr. Gordon "believes . . . that because of threats and harassment from the Union and [PPL's] management team he was only permitted to work alone." Id. at ¶ 34. He was told he had to work by himself and could not go on call-outs to customers. See Second Amended Compl. at ¶ 35. On the evening of February 15, 2008, ...


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