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Richard W. Stodulski, Jr. v. Medline Industries

November 28, 2011

RICHARD W. STODULSKI, JR.
v.
MEDLINE INDUSTRIES, INC., ET AL.



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

MEMORANDUM

This case arises out of a series of grievances that the plaintiff had with his former employer and resulted in the filing of a charge of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. After an investigation by the EEOC, the plaintiff filed suit in this Court against his employer; he later amended his complaint to add two supervisors as defendants. Each of the defendants has moved to dismiss. The Court will grant the individual defendants' motions with prejudice and the employer's motion without prejudice.

I. Procedural History

Richard Stodulski filed this action on June 15, 2010 against Medline Industries, Inc. ("Medline") alleging employment discrimination in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 ("ADA"), 42 U.S.C. § 12112 et seq., and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act ("PHRA"), 43 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 951 et seq. The plaintiff simultaneously requested appointment of counsel by the Court. The plaintiff amended his complaint on July 2, 2010 to assert claims against defendants Michael Sjoerdsma, Medline's President of Sales, and Frank Castro, Medline's Vice President for Pennsylvania and Southern New Jersey. Castro moved to dismiss the amended complaint on August 9, 2010. The next day, this matter was stayed while the Clerk of Court attempted to obtain counsel for the plaintiff from the employment litigation panel.

After attempts to obtain counsel for the plaintiff were unsuccessful, the case was removed from suspense on October 1, 2010. On December 10, 2010, the case was returned to suspense during a related Department of Labor investigation. The plaintiff informed the Court on July 22, 2011 that the DOL investigation had concluded. The case was taken out of suspense on August 8, 2011. Medline and Sjoerdsma then separately moved to dismiss the amended complaint.*fn1

II. Facts as Alleged in the Amended Complaint

The plaintiff began working in the sales department of Medline in 2003 after disclosing that he was an individual diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and treated with the prescription drug Adderall. After undergoing training, the plaintiff worked in the sales department for Medline in its Pennsylvania and Southern New Jersey territory. He failed to make the sales quota required to avoid a $10,000 commission penalty in 2003 and 2004, but Sjoerdsma told him that it might take several years to improve sales in the long-struggling region. In 2005, however, the plaintiff met his quota and was rewarded with a luxury trip and the repayment of the $10,000 commission penalty. Compl. 1.

In early 2006, Castro began to "strategically" remove accounts with growth potential from the plaintiff's responsibilities. Castro reassigned sales responsibility for Phoenixville Hospital from the plaintiff to another sales associate effective January 1, 2006, which was "[i]nconsistent with policy." Had the hospital not been reassigned, Stodulski "would have met quota" but instead missed out on a $40,000 bonus. Id. 1-2.

Effective January 1, 2007, Castro reassigned responsibility for three Mainline Health System hospitals from the plaintiff to another sales associate after Castro became aware of a $52 million "distribution deal" request for proposals issued by that hospital system. Throughout the year, Mr. Castro continued to pare down the plaintiff's sales responsibilities.

Most significantly to the plaintiff, Mr. Castro had threatened to remove a set of Lourdes Health System accounts from the plaintiff's territory. This precipitated a December 2007 meeting with Mr. Castro's supervisor, Michael Sjoerdsma, after the plaintiff threatened to file a discrimination charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC"). Sjoerdsma told the plaintiff that he could seek a transfer of his responsibilities to another area on his own initiative, and Stodulski agreed that he would provide Medline "an opportunity to resolve the matter internally." Id. 2.

Castro reassigned Lourdes Health System from the plaintiff to another sales representative effective January 1, 2008. He also reassigned responsibility for Doylestown, Nazareth, and St. Mary's hospitals. Id. The plaintiff's last set of allegations of malfeasance occurring before he filed a charge of discrimination with the EEOC occurred in March 2008:

Mr. Stodulski inquired about transfer[r]ng to a[n] expansion territory of a group of surgery centers in southern California. However, this opportunity would result in a 50% reduction in earnings. Moreover, Medline was not engaged in an interactive process. It was [the] sole responsibility of Mr. Stodulski to accommodate himself[;] the process was far from interactive. Consequently, Mr. Stodulski was convinced that the idea of a transfer was just a delay tactic[.]

Id. In June 2008, Medline hired a Human Resources representative, Charmaine Clowney, "to address the Stodulski complaint," but she was fired "a little over a year later." Id.

at 3. On November 18, 2008, the plaintiff filed his Charge of Discrimination with the EEOC and his charge was ...


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