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Johnson v. Borough

United States District Court, W.D. Pennsylvania

March 30, 2017

RAYMOND JOHNSON, Plaintiff,
v.
GLASSPORT BOROUGH, et al ., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUMAND ORDER

          Cathy Bissoon United States District Judge

         I. MEMORANDUM

         Pending before the Court is Defendants' Motion to Dismiss (Doc. 13), pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. For the reasons that follow, Defendant's Motion to Dismiss (Doc. 13) will be GRANTED.

         A. Background [1]

         On May 18, 2016, Plaintiff Raymond Johnson (“Plaintiff”) initiated this action by filing a Praecipe for Writ of Summons in the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County. Plaintiff filed an initial Complaint in state court on August 2, 2016, which he served on Defendants on August 4, 2016. Defendants timely removed this action on August 31, 2016. (See Doc. 1). Plaintiff filed the operative Amended Complaint on September 29, 2016, in response to a Motion to Dismiss filed by Defendants. (Doc. 11).

         Plaintiff's Amended Complaint alleges that, on July 13, 2015, while he was working as a member of Glassport Borough's road crew, he was in a vehicle accident. (Doc. 11 ¶¶ 7-8). According to Plaintiff, following the accident, Councilwoman Elaina Skiba ordered Glassport Police Department Chief Clifford LaFever to transport Plaintiff to Jefferson Hospital for a blood draw. (Id. at ¶¶ 9-11). Plaintiff alleges that he “questioned this, as 3 prior incidents that [he] was aware of, no one was ever taken for testing.” (Id. at ¶ 12). However, Chief LeFever told Plaintiff that, “after discussing the matter with Councilwoman Skiba, ” he believed he had “no choice” but to take Plaintiff to Jefferson Hospital for a blood draw. (Id. at ¶ 13). Plaintiff alleges that Jefferson Hospital refused to perform a blood test, and that Councilwoman Skiba thereafter directed Police Chief LaFever to take Plaintiff to MedExpress in Pleasant Hills, where urine and breathalyzer tests were performed. (Id. at ¶¶ 14-16). Plaintiff alleges that, the day after the tests were performed, he asked Councilwoman Skiba “why he was forced to go for a test” and she responded that “this is a random test” and that he was “lucky [he] passed the drug test.” (Id. at ¶¶ 17-20). Plaintiff alleges that the results of the drug test were shared with Police Chief LaFever. (Id. at ¶ 38). Plaintiff further alleges that, at some point thereafter, he was subjected to retaliatory acts, “such as being refused vacation time.” (Id. at ¶¶ 24, 60).

         In the Amended Complaint, Plaintiff alleges that he is a member of the Teamsters Local Union No. 205 (the “Union”). (Id. at ¶ 41). At the time of the alleged drug test, the collective bargaining agreement (“CBA”) between Glassport and the Union had expired. (Id. at ¶ 42). However, as Plaintiff alleges, while Glassport and the Union were negotiating a new contract, they were operated under the “status quo.” (Id. at ¶ 43). The applicable CBA contains a “Drug and Alcohol Testing Policy, ” which provides, in relevant part:

The Borough of Glassport believes that a drug and alcohol free workplace is essential to the welfare of its employees and the general public. It is the policy of the Borough of Glassport to test for drug and alcohol abuse when there is probable cause to believe that an employee is involved with or under the influence of drugs or alcohol in the workplace. In addition, each employee may be subject to up to two (2) mandatory drug and alcohol tests administered on a random basis each calendar year. Testing by the state for CDL licensure or by the Borough for cause shall count toward an individual's mandatory drug testing obligation for the remainder of the calendar year.
All test results will be strictly confidential. Results will be reported to the President of Council. Test results will not be discussed with any borough employee.
(Defendants' Motion to Dismiss (Doc. 13), Exhibit B, at p. 16).[2]

         Plaintiff alleges that, three days after the accident, on July 16, 2015, he filed a grievance with Glassport pursuant to the terms of the CBA. (Doc. 11 ¶¶ 22, 47; see also Doc. 13, Exhibit C). Plaintiff claims that, on September 5, 2015, he “was informed that the mediator would not take action against the Borough until such time as the Borough establishes a policy in relation to this matter.” (Doc. 11 ¶ 48). Plaintiff further avers that he “made future attempts to resolve the matter through the Union on at least December 23, 2015 and January 7, 2016, to no avail.” (Doc. 11 ¶ 49). Finally, Plaintiff claims, that, “[s]ubsequent to the testing, and following the filing of a grievance on July 16, 2015, on September 5, 2015, a letter from Borough of Glassport's Solicitor, Gary Matta was sent to the Attorney for Teamsters Local 205, Anthony DeLuca, indicating that The Borough of Glassport was not going to take any action regarding the accident against Raymond Johnson. The letter further indicates that no Borough employee will be taken for blood testing following an accident “until such time as the Borough establishes a policy in relation to this matter.” (Id. at ¶ 20).

         Plaintiff's Amended Complaint sets forth five causes of action against Defendants: (1) Count I - Violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for Invasion of Privacy, Intrusion of Solitude, and Unreasonable Search and Seizure against all Defendants; (2) Count II - Negligence against all Defendants; (3) Count III - Breach of Contract against Glassport; (4) Count IV - Conspiracy against all Defendants; and (5) Count V - Retaliation against all Defendants. (Id. at ΒΆΒΆ 25-62). Defendants have moved to ...


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