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Samenia Mayer v. Boys & Girls Clubs of Philadelphia Inc.

September 23, 2011

SAMENIA MAYER,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
BOYS & GIRLS CLUBS OF PHILADELPHIA INC., AND THE SCHOOL DISTRICT OF PHILADELPHIA DEFENDANTS.



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

MEMORANDUM ON MOTION TO DISMISS

I. Introduction

Plaintiff Samenia Mayer ("Plaintiff") brings this action against Defendants Boys & Girls Clubs of Philadelphia, Inc. ("BGCP") and the School District of Philadelphia ("the School District"), for violations of the False Claims Act ("FCA"), 31 U.S.C. §3730(h), and the Pennsylvania Whistleblower Law ("PWL"), 43 P.S. § 1421 et seq. BGCP moves to dismiss Plaintiff's Complaint pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6).*fn1 For the following reasons, BGCP's Motion is DENIED.

II. Factual and Procedural History

Plaintiff's Complaint alleges the following facts. Plaintiff is a 34-year-old woman who began work on or about January 18, 2010 for BGCP. Compl. ¶ 5-12. During the course of her employment, Plaintiff served as the Program Assistant for the "Step It Up" Mentor Program at Germantown High School in the School District. Compl. ¶ 22.

The "Step It Up" program was initiated pursuant to a 2009 grant to the School District from the U.S. Department of Labor ("DOL"). Compl. ¶ 14. The grant provided federal funding to support programs remedying academic underachievement at Germantown High School; pursuant to its obligations under the grant, the School District contracted with BGCP to implement, among other things, the "Step It Up" program. Compl. ¶ 15, 18. Both BGCP and the School District received proceeds from the grant. Compl. ¶ 17.

During the summer of 2010, the School District incorporated the "Step It Up" program into its Summer Bridge Program, which welcomes rising ninth graders to campus in an effort to decrease the drop-out rate. Compl. ¶ 20. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, the School District provided students participating in the "Step It Up" program with catered breakfasts and lunches paid for by the DOL grant. Compl. ¶ 25.

Sometime in early summer of 2010, Plaintiff noticed that staff and teachers of Germantown High School were "purloining" the catered student lunches, resulting in a shortage of lunches for students. Compl. ¶ 6. Plaintiff immediately reported her observations to Dr. Arlene C. Ackerman, the Superintendent of the School District. Compl. ¶ 27. Specifically, plaintiff reported that the teachers' and staff members' conduct violated the School District's obligations under its DOL grant and that the School District was fraudulently misrepresenting to DOL that it was giving the lunches only to students. Compl. ¶ 28.

Ackerman referred Mayer to Majeda Scott, the Interim Director of Multiply [sic] Pathways. Compl. ¶ 29. Scott took no action in response to Mayer's complaint. Compl. ¶ 29.

Plaintiff further complained to Margaret Mullen, Principal of Germantown High School, who told Plaintiff that the student meals were "not [Plaintiff's] concern" and that Plaintiff had "no right" to question the School District's actions. Compl. ¶ 31. Mullen also informed Plaintiff that she knew Plaintiff had "spoken with Dr. Ackerman and had contacted the Department of Labor," and she intended to "teach [Plaintiff] a lesson." Compl. ¶ 31.

On or about July 17, 2010, following Plaintiff's meeting with Mullen, Plaintiff registered another complaint about the "purloining" of student lunches with Diane Datcher, the Site Coordinator for BGCP. Compl. ¶¶ 26, 32.

Finally, on or about July 19, 2010, allegedly in retaliation for having reported the School District's misconduct and fraudulent misrepresentations, the School District terminated Plaintiff's assignment to Germantown High School and BGCP terminated Plaintiff's employment with BGCP. Compl. ¶ 33.

On December 29, 2010, Plaintiff filed a complaint alleging that she was terminated in violation of the False Claims Act and the Pennsylvania Whistleblower Law. (ECF No. 1.) On March 24, 2011, BGCP filed a Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's Complaint. (ECF No. 11.) Plaintiff filed her response on April 25, 2011, and BGCP replied on May 2, 2011. (ECF No. 16.) Plaintiff ...


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