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McCorkle v. Schenker Logistics, Inc.

United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania

October 8, 2014

DUSTIN McCORKLE, Plaintiff.
v.
SCHENKER LOGISTICS, INC., Defendant.

MEMORANDUM

SYLVIA H. RAMBO, District Judge.

This civil case arises from Defendant's revocation of Plaintiff's contingent offer of employment. Plaintiff alleges that Defendant violated Pennsylvania's Criminal History Record Information Act ("CHRIA"), 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 9100, by revoking his contingent offer due to his misdemeanor and summary convictions that he contends were unrelated to his suitability for employment, and by failing to notify him in writing that he was disqualified in whole or in part based on his criminal history. Presently before the court is Defendant's motion for summary judgment. (Doc. 12.) Defendant contends that it is entitled to judgment as a matter of law because it is undisputed that Plaintiff intentionally withheld information about his criminal history during the hiring process, in violation of Defendant's employment policies and the terms of the offer, thereby warranting his immediate disqualification. Because the court finds that the CHRIA does not preclude an employer from revoking a conditional offer of employment based on a good faith belief than an applicant intentionally withheld material information on his employment application in violation of the employer's policies, the court will grant Defendant's motion for summary judgment in its entirety.

I. Background

The following facts are undisputed or, where disputed, reflect Plaintiff's version of facts in the record, pursuant to this court's duty to view all facts and reasonable inferences in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 255 (1986).

A. Facts

Defendant, Schenker Logistics Inc. ("Defendant"), is engaged in the business of international freight forwarding, logistical support, and related services for manufacturing companies. (Doc. 15-1, ¶ 2.) Defendant has a comprehensive Employment Policy (Doc. 15-8), which requires all external candidates for employment to "fully complete[ ] and sign[ ]" an application in order to be considered for employment ( id. at p. 4 of 13). The Employment Policy provides, inter alia, that: "True misrepresentations of facts [on the application], confirmed through the background check, may disqualify an applicant from future consideration of employment." ( Id. )

On August 7, 2013, Tina Pelensky ("Pelensky"), Defendant's Human Resources Manager, interviewed Plaintiff, Dustin C. McCorkle ("Plaintiff"), for a position at Defendant's Carlisle, Pennsylvania facility, located within the Middle District of Pennsylvania. (Doc. 1-2, ¶ 5; Doc. 14, ¶ 20; see Doc. 15-11.) During this interview, Plaintiff completed an application for employment ( see Doc. 15-6), wherein he was asked: "In the last ten years, have you been convicted of, or pleaded guilty to[, ] any crimes (including crimes committed during military service)?" (Doc. 15-6, p. 7 of 14). In response thereto, Plaintiff answered "Yes, " which prompted him to "briefly describe the details [of the conviction or guilty plea, ] indicating the date, nature[, ] and place of the offense and the sentence received." ( Id. ) Plaintiff disclosed that he had been convicted of "stalking [and] harassment while trying to gain custody of [his] daughter."[1] ( Id. )

Upon completing the Application, Plaintiff was directed to read and sign an Applicant Certification form, which provided, inter alia, as follows:

I understand and agree that any false, misleading, or incomplete information given in my application, interview(s), or other pre-employment questionnaires and procedure, regardless of when discovered by the Company[, ] will be sufficient basis for my disqualification for employment or, if already employed by the Company, the termination of my employment with the Company. I agree that the Company shall not be liable in any respect if I am not hired or if my employment is terminated as a result of providing such false, misleading[, ] or incomplete information.

( Id. at p. 9 of 14 (emphasis supplied).) During his deposition, Defendant acknowledged that, at the time he completed his application, he understood that providing false information regarding his criminal history was grounds for immediate disqualification from employment:

Q: For example, on [the Application], it says application certification and there's language in there about you understanding that [Defendant was] going to do a background check?
A: Yes.
Q: And you further understanding that any false, misleading or incomplete information in this application would be grounds to either not hire you or terminate you if [Defendant] had hired you?
A: Yes.

(McCorkle Dep. at ...


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