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Sandor v. Borough

United States District Court, W.D. Pennsylvania

February 17, 2015

STEVEN SANDOR, Plaintiff,
v.
DELMONT BOROUGH, Defendant

For STEVEN SANDOR, Plaintiff: Jeremy Donham, LEAD ATTORNEY, Donham Law, Morgantown, WV.

For DELMONT BOROUGH, JOHN DOES, Defendant: Teresa O. Sirianni, LEAD ATTORNEY, Marshall, Dennehey, Warner, Coleman & Goggin, Pittsburgh, PA.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

Maurice B. Cohill, Jr., Senior United States District Court Judge.

Plaintiff, Steve Sandor (hereinafter " Plaintiff' or " Sandor" ), was employed as a part-time employee in the Delmont Borough Police Department (hereinafter " Defendant" or " Delmont" ) in August, 1988 and in June, 1995 he was made a patrolman [ECF No. 7 at ¶ 9]. He has since been suspended three times [ECF No. 7 at ¶ 12], and terminated three times from his employment [ECF No. 7 at ¶ 13], He was last terminated on August 13, 2013 for an alleged " Be on the lookout" violation [ECF No. 7 at ¶ 14]. The last time he was terminated the case went to arbitration, and he was ordered to be reinstated by the arbitrator [ECF No. 7 at ¶ 15k]. Plaintiff claims that his disabilities include a Macular hole in his left eye, obesity, heart surgery, and diabetes [ECF No. 13 at 18-19].

On September 14, 2014 Sandor filed an Amended Complaint alleging five counts against Delmont under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act [ECF No. 7 at ¶ 3]: (I) Discrimination under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation

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Act of 1973; (II) Hostile Work Environment under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; (III) Retaliation under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; (IV) Discrimination under the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act (" PHRA" ) and; (V) Retaliation under PHRA. Defendant filed a Motion to Dismiss or in the alternative a Motion for a More Definite Statement on September 29, 2014 [ECF No. 9], In a Memorandum Opinion dated November 24, 2014 [ECF No. 11], the Court granted Defendant's Motion for a More Definite Statement with regard to Count II and denied Defendant's Motion to Dismiss with regard to the PHRA claims in Counts IV and V. The Court Ordered that Plaintiff file a Second Amended Complaint that states a more definite claim with regard to Count II.

I. Procedural History

At issue before the Court now is Plaintiffs Second Amended Complaint filed on December 3, 2014 [ECF No. 13] in which the claim of Hostile Work Environment under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 has been omitted leaving the remaining four counts of discrimination and retaliation under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the PHRA for consideration. In response, Delmont filed another Motion to Dismiss and Motion to Strike on December 18, 2015 [ECF No. 14] still claiming that the Complaint remains deficient in several respects and continues to lack specificity. Plaintiff filed a Brief in Opposition to the Defendant's Motions on January 15, 2015 [ECF No. 18].

II. Relevant Facts

Sandor alleges that employees of Delmont made fun of his health and weight issues, he was " taken into" meetings where he was made to feel insignificant and incompetent due to his medical issues, he was undermined by misleading statements, and he was prevented from advancing in his career [ECF No. 7 at ¶ 15e]. In 2010, following surgery for his weight issues, Delmont began repeatedly suspending and terminating Sandor without justification [ECF No. 7 at ¶ 15e]. Sandor reports that he has been suspended no less than three times and terminated no less than three times [ECF No. 7 at ¶ ¶ 12 and 13]. The Second Amended Complaint did not provide the details of Sandor's reinstatement after these terminations. Sandor also alleges in 2010 he was accommodated for his disability of a Macular Eye Hole because Delmont did not require him to obtain rifle qualification. He was also accommodated for his obesity because Delmont provided him with a seat belt extension in his patrol car. Despite the accommodations, and perhaps because of the accommodations, he suffered harassment. Furthermore, Sandor also avers that beginning in early 2013 Delmont attempted to force the Plaintiff from his job because it stated that Sandor is a danger to the public because of his eye disability [ECF No. 18 at 3]. Sandor alleges that Delmont withdrew its accommodation in an effort to undermine his position and force him into retirement [ECF No. 13 at ¶ 27].

On May 23, 2013 Sandor's attorney contacted Delmont's counsel regarding Sandor's claims. Sandor's final termination was on August 13, 2013 for an alleged " Be on the look-out" violation which happened on or about February 2013 [ECF No. 7 at ¶ 14], The termination was overturned by a neutral arbitrator and Sandor was to be reinstated to his job with back-pay. He was to resume his normal duties and income [ECF No. 7 at ¶ 15k-1]. However, Sandor was never permitted to return to work. On May 19, 2014 Sandor's Union attorney filed a Charge of Unfair Labor practices. Subsequently, Delmont returned

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Sandor to the payroll on May 26, 2014 but Sandor remains on indefinite leave [ECF No. 7 at ΒΆ 15n]. Sandor's employer is now requiring him to attend an Independent Medical Evaluation (" IME" ) [ECF No. ...


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