United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania
MEMORANDUM & ORDER
E. Jones III United States District Judge.
pending before the Court is Defendant the Hershey
Company's Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's Amended
Complaint for Failure to State a Claim. (Doc. 19). The Motion
has been fully briefed (docs. 20, 21 and 22), and is thus
ripe for the Court's review. For the following reasons,
the Motion shall be granted in part and denied in part as
about June 26, 2000, Defendant the Hershey Company
(“Hershey”) hired Plaintiff Maryann Misiolek
(“Ms. Misiolek”) as an industrial engineer. (Doc.
18, ¶ 8). Ms. Misiolek was hired with the title of
Director of Product Costing/Capital Administration Global
Financing. (Id., ¶ 9). Her direct supervisor
was a man by the name of Joseph Carlin (“Mr.
Carlin”). (Id., ¶ 10). In September 2013,
Ms. Misiolek and Mr. Carlin began a consensual romantic
relationship. (Id., ¶ 11).
of her job duties, Ms. Misiolek was required to travel with
Mr. Carlin to represent Hershey's business interests
domestically and abroad. (Id., ¶ 13). In or
around February 2014, Ms. Misiolek and Mr. Carlin traveled to
New York City for an overnight business trip prior to
departing on official business to India. (Id.,
¶ 14). At Mr. Carlin's express direction, Ms.
Misiolek expensed the cost of both the hotel and the meals in
New York City to Hershey. (Id., ¶ 15).
2014, Mr. Carlin reported the consensual romantic
relationship between himself and Ms. Misiolek to Hershey
human resources personnel (“Hershey HR”).
(Id., ¶ 16). At that time, Mr. Carlin also
informed Ms. Misiolek that an imminent corporate
restructuring would result in one of them being transferred
to a different unit within Hershey. (Id.). Neither
Hershey HR nor executive-level management ever spoke with Ms.
Misiolek concerning her relationship with Mr. Carlin.
anticipated corporate restructuring never occurred.
(Id., ¶ 17). In or around August 2014, Ms.
Misiolek and Mr. Carlin agreed to end their relationship.
(Id., ¶ 17). Ms. Misiolek began to feel
increasingly uncomfortable working under Mr. Carlin, and
sought a transfer from her position to a different unit with
a different supervisor. (Id.). However, her requests
for a transfer were denied. (Id.). Ms. Misiolek
alleges that internal transfer requests by senior-level male
employees are routinely approved (id., ¶ 19),
and that her request was denied “in an attempt to
encourage her to voluntarily resign” from Hershey.
(Id., ¶ 18).
about October 27, 2014, Ms. Misiolek was questioned by
Hershey HR regarding the expense reports submitted pursuant
to the New York City business trip. (Id., ¶
20). Immediately thereafter, Ms. Misiolek was suspended for
two (2) weeks pending further investigation. (Id.,
October 29, 2014, Ms. Misiolek was terminated from her
employment with Hershey. (Id., ¶ 22). Though
she was not provided with a termination letter, Ms. Misiolek
alleges that she was terminated for purported violations of
Hershey's consensual relationship policy; for violations
of the travel expense policy; and for violating the code of
business ethics. (Id.). While she denies having
committed these violations, Ms. Misiolek alleges that male
employees in positions similar to that which Ms. Misiolek
occupied were not terminated for similar violations.
(Id., ¶ 24). Rather, they were given the
opportunity to remit to Hershey the amount of the alleged
transaction that violated the expense policy. (Id.).
Accordingly, Ms. Misiolek alleges that her gender, and not
these purported violations, was the cause of her termination.
(Id., ¶¶ 27-28).
Carlin was also terminated from Hershey's employ for
misconduct on or about October 31, 2014. (Id.,
¶ 23). No further information regarding Mr. Carlin's
termination is included in Ms. Misiolek's Amended
Complaint. (See generally, id.).
Misiolek commenced this action with the filing of a Complaint
on November 15, 2016. (Doc. 1). On January 18, 2016, Hershey
responded with a Motion to Dismiss. (Doc. 9). On March 8,
2017, Ms. Misiolek filed the operative Amended Complaint
(doc. 18), thereby terminating Hershey's prior motion. In
her Amended Complaint, Ms. Misiolek alleges discrimination on
the basis of her gender in violation of Title VII of the
Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et
seq. (“Title VII”) (Count I). She further
alleges sex discrimination in violation of the Pennsylvania
Human Relations Act, 43 P.S. § 955(a)
(“PHRA”) (Count II).
Misiolek requests compensation for back pay, front pay, lost
retirement benefits, lost wages, and other lost employee
benefits. She also requests compensatory, statutory and
punitive damages in an amount to be determined at trial, and
such other relief as this Court should deem necessary. (Doc.
1, ¶ 35).