United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania
I. QUINONES ALEJANDRO, U.S.D.C. J.
matter is an employment action based on allegations of race,
gender, and disability discrimination, brought by Plaintiff
Michele Evans ("Plaintiff), pursuant to Title VII of the
Civil Rights Act of 1964 ("Title VII"), 42 U.S.C.
§§ 2000e et seq., and the Americans with
Disabilities Act of 1990 ("ADA"), 42 U.S.C.
§§ 12112 et seq., against the City of
Philadelphia, ("Defendant"). Before this Court are
Defendant's motion for summary judgment filed pursuant to
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure ("Rule") 56, [ECF
17], and Plaintiffs response in opposition thereto and
cross-motion for leave to file a second amended complaint.
[ECF 19]. The issues presented in the motion for
summary judgment and in the cross-motion to amend have been
fully briefed by the parties and are ripe for disposition.
For the reasons stated herein, Defendant's motion for
summary judgment is granted, and Plaintiffs cross-motion for
leave to file a second amended complaint is denied.
August 10, 2016, Plaintiff, represented by counsel, filed the
operative complaint (the "amended complaint")
against Defendant and essentially averred that the
Philadelphia Police Department, an agency of Defendant,
discriminated against her in violation of Title VII and the
ADA over the course of her career. Specifically, Plaintiff
alleges that Defendant discriminated against her by denying
her requests to transfer to other police districts,
suspending her, and later terminating her employment after
she tested positive in a random drug test. [ECF
The primary focus of Plaintiffs discrimination claims is her
suspension and the subsequent termination of her employment.
ensued and was completed. On May 15, 2017, Defendant filed
the instant motion for summary judgment and a Statement of
Undisputed Material Facts. [ECF 17, 17-1]. In her response,
Plaintiff briefly addresses the requirements for a motion for
summary judgment before devoting the remainder of the
memorandum to her cross-motion for leave to file a second
amended complaint. [ECF 19]. Plaintiff also filed a response
to Defendant's Statement of Undisputed Facts, in which
she admits to facts identified in the first ten paragraphs of
Defendant's Statement of Undisputed Facts but disputes
the remaining facts set forth therein. [ECF 21].
ruling on Defendant's motion for summary judgment, this
Court will consider the evidence presented in a light most
favorable to the non-moving party, i.e., Plaintiff.
Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp.,
475 U.S. 574, 587 (1986). The facts relevant to the
disposition of Defendant's motion for summary judgment
are summarized as follows:
Plaintiff is an African American female who was employed by
the Philadelphia Police Department (the "PPD") as a
police officer from 1996 until September 5, 2013, when her
employment was terminated. (SOF at ¶¶ 1, 16).
Plaintiffs initial assignment was with the 16th District. In
2003, Plaintiff filed a sexual harassment charge against her
then-supervisory sergeant, and was reassigned to the 35th
District. (Pltf. Dep. 19:18-20:19). During her career,
Plaintiff was transferred several times. At her deposition,
Plaintiff testified that she was subjected to harassing
conduct by colleagues and supervisors at each assigned
district. (Id. 24:5-28:2).
In March 2010, Plaintiff transferred to the 3rd District from
the 4th District. (SOF at ¶ 5). Plaintiff alleges that,
during her tenure at the 3rd District, she requested a
transfer on three separate occasions, and that each transfer
request was denied. (Id. at ¶ 6).
Sometime in 2010, Plaintiff suffered a work-related injury.
In 2012 and 2013, Plaintiff was placed on restricted duty and
assigned to the Differential Police Reports ("DPR")
unit while receiving treatment for a number of physical
injuries and ailments sustained both on and off duty, which
included a wrist injury and migraine headaches. (Id.
at ¶ 7).
On July 18, 2013, Plaintiff and approximately 220 other
police officers were required to submit to a random drug test
pursuant to PPD Directive 55 ("Directive 55").
(Id. ¶ 10). Directive 55 provides, inter
alia, that "all sworn personnel, " including
PPD officers, are subject to random drug testing, either by
urinalysis and/or hair testing, (see Directive 55
[ECF 17-2] at § II.C, II.E), and that a positive result
will result in dismissal. (See Id. at §
IX.A.1). A positive result is defined, in part, as
"a finding that indicates the presence of illegal
drugs." (Id. at § III.D). Police officers
who test positive for drugs have the option of requesting and
submitting to a second drug test (a "reconfirmation
test"). (Id. at § XIA.).
On August 1, 2013, the PPD's Internal Affairs Unit
received a notification that Plaintiffs hair sample had
tested positive for cocaine. (SOF ¶ 11). Plaintiffs
supervisor informed Plaintiff of the test results on the same
day and immediately placed her on thirty-day suspension with
intent to dismiss. (See Pltf. Dep. 54:19-56:13).
Plaintiff requested, and on August 5, 2013, submitted to a
reconfirmation test. (SOF ¶ 14). The reconfirmation test
result was negative for cocaine. (Id.). On September
5, 2013, Plaintiffs employment was terminated. (Id.
¶ 16). Plaintiff received notice of her termination on
September 6, 2013. (Id.).
On June 2, 2014, Plaintiff filed a charge with the Equal
Employment Opportunity Commission, ("EEOC"),
alleging discrimination and retaliatory termination on the
basis of her race, gender, and/or disability. (Id.
¶ 20). Plaintiff also filed a charge with the
Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations
Rule of Civil Procedure ("Rule") 56 governs the
summary judgment motion practice. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56.
Specifically, this rule provides that summary judgment is
appropriate "if the movant shows that there is no
genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is
entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Id. A
fact is "material" if proof of its existence or
non-existence might affect the outcome of the litigation, and
a dispute is "genuine" if "the evidence is
such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the
nonmoving party." Anderson v. Liberty Lobby,
Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). Under Rule 56, the court
must view the evidence in the light most favorable to the
non-moving party. Galena v. Leone, 638 F.3d 186, 196
(3d Cir. 2011).
56(c) provides that the movant bears the initial burden of
informing the court of the basis for the motion and
identifying those portions of the record which the movant
"believes demonstrate the absence of a genuine issue of
material fact." Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 638
U.S. 317, 323 (1986). This burden can be met by showing that
the nonmoving party has "fail[ed] to make a showing