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Carroll v. Comprehensive Women's Health Services

United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania

January 18, 2016

KATHRYN CARROLL, Plaintiff
v.
COMPREHENSIVE WOMEN'S HEALTH SERVICES, Defendant

          MEMORANDUM

          JAMES M. MUNLEY UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT JUDGE

         This employment discrimination matter arises from Defendant Comprehensive Women's Health Services's decision to terminate Plaintiff Kathryn Carroll's employment one day after she requested medical leave for genetic cancer testing and two days after requesting leave for a cancer related surgery. Plaintiff claims the defendant terminated her employment in contravention of the Americans with Disabilities Act, Pennsylvania's Human Relations Act, and the Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act.

         Before the court for disposition is plaintiff's motion for leave to file a second amended complaint to add David Krewson, M.D. and Robert Zimmerman, M.D. (collectively “Doctors Krewson and Zimmerman”) as individual defendants under plaintiff's state law PHRA claim. Because we find that plaintiff named Doctors Krewson and Zimmerman in her administrative grievances with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (hereinafter “EEOC”), the court will grant plaintiff's motion.

         Background

         The instant employment discrimination action arises from Plaintiff Kathryn Carroll's (hereinafter “plaintiff”) employment with Defendant Comprehensive Women's Health Services (hereinafter “defendant” or “CWHS”). Plaintiff worked in defendant's medical records department from November 2000 until her termination on February 6, 2013. (Doc. 9, Am. Compl. (hereinafter “Am. Compl.”) ¶¶ 21, 26-27).

         While employed with the defendant in 2011, plaintiff received a breast cancer diagnosis and requested approximately three weeks of medical leave to receive treatment. (Id. ¶¶ 13-15). Plaintiff requested, and the defendant granted, an additional three weeks in 2012 to receive breast cancer treatment. (Id. ¶ 16). On January 31, 2013, plaintiff again requested one day of medical leave to receive genetic testing to verify whether plaintiff carried a cancer gene. (Id. ¶ 17). Plaintiff also requested a week off in March 2013 for surgery to prophylactically remove her ovaries. (Id. ¶ 19).

         On February 5, 2013, plaintiff went for genetic testing. (Id. ¶ 20). Upon plaintiff's return to work the next day, plaintiff's supervisor stated that she could not locate a patient's chart. (Id. ¶ 21). Plaintiff responded that she did not work the previous day and did not know the location of the missing chart. (Id. ¶ 22). Shortly thereafter, plaintiff's supervisor located the missing chart and, according to plaintiff, “proceeded to verbally reprimand plaintiff for her attitude about the missing chart.” (Id. ¶ 23).

         A few hours later, plainitff's supervisor met with Doctors Krewson and Zimmerman. (Id. ¶ 25). At the conclusion of this meeting, these individuals called plainitff into a conference and terminated her employment. (Id. ¶ 26). Plaintiff's supervisor immediately escorted plaintiff out of the building and directed her not to say anything to the staff. (Id. ¶ 29).

         In response to her termination, plaintiff filed a complaint and a first amended complaint. The first amended complaint asserts three claims. Count I avers the defendant discriminated against the plaintiff because of her disability in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. § 12101, et seq. (hereinafter “ADA”). (Id. ¶¶ 36-44). Count II states a disability discrimination claim against the defendant under Pennsylvania's Human Relations Act, 43 Pa. Stat. § 951, et seq. (hereinafter “PHRA”). (Id. ¶¶ 45-48). Count III asserts a claim under the Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act, 42 U.S.C. § 2000ff, et seq. (hereinafter “GINA”).

         On November 21, 2016, plaintiff filed a motion seeking leave to file a second amended complaint. (Doc. 15). Plaintiff seeks to name Doctors Krewson and Zimmerman as individual defendants under Count II-plaintiff's state law PHRA claim. The parties briefed the issues, bringing the case to the present procedural posture.

         Jurisdiction

         As this case is brought pursuant to the ADA and GINA for unlawful employment discrimination, we have jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1331 (“The district courts shall have original jurisdiction of all civil actions arising under the Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United States.”). The court has supplemental jurisdiction over plaintiff's state law claim pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1367(a).

         Discussion

         Plaintiff seeks leave to file a second amended complaint to include Doctors Krewson and Zimmerman as individual defendants under her state law PHRA claim. Plaintiff asserts these individuals, as owners of Defendant CWHS, made the decision, or aided and abetted in making the decision, to terminate her employment. The defendant argues plaintiff failed to administratively exhaust her remedies pertaining to any claim against these doctors, and therefore, plaintiff's proposed amendment is futile. After a careful review, the court agrees with the plaintiff and will allow her to file ...


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