United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania
Timothy R. Rice U.S. Magistrate Judge
Jamie Miles was terminated from her position as a
Philadelphia police officer in October 2015. She has sued
Defendants, the City of Philadelphia and former Philadelphia
Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey (collectively, the
"City"), for: (1) discrimination, retaliation, and
the creation of a hostile work environment in violation of
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act; and (2) violation of the
Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The City
seeks summary judgment, asserting Miles's claims are
barred by a prior settlement agreement and release,
time-barred, or not supported by the evidence. See S.J. Mot.
City's motion is granted. Miles's Title VII claims
are dismissed because: (1) any claims for discrete
discriminatory or retaliatory acts that occurred before
December 24, 2014 are barred by Miles's prior settlement
agreement and release and Miles's failure to file a
timely claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
("EEOC"); and (2) she has failed to present
sufficient evidence to enable a reasonable jury to find that
the City fired her for discriminatory reasons or subjected
her to a hostile work environment. Miles's Equal
Protection claims are dismissed because: (1) she has failed
to show was fired because of a discriminatory policy or
custom by the City; and (2) Commissioner Ramsey is entitled
to qualified immunity.
judgment is appropriate where "there is no genuine
dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to
judgment as a matter of law." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). The
evidence and any inferences from the evidence must be viewed
in the light most favorable to the non-moving party. See
Ray v. Warren, 626 F.2d 170, 173 (3d Cir. 2010). If
reasonable minds could conclude that there are sufficient
facts to support a plaintiffs claims, summary judgment should
be denied. See Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc.. 477
U.S. 242, 248 (1986). It should be granted if no
"reasonable jury could return a verdict for the
nonmoving party" based on the evidentiary record.
Reedy v. Evanson, 615 F.3d 197, 210 (3d Cir. 2010).
Facts Most Favorable to Miles
began working for the Philadelphia Police Department in April
2003 and was initially assigned to the 23r Police
District. See S.J. Mot., Ex. 3, Miles Service Record. In
March 2008, Miles was transferred to the Community Relations
Unit ("CRU"), where she was responsible for
educating Philadelphia school students about the dangers of
drugs and gangs. Id.; see also S.J. Mot.,
Ex. 1, 5/8/2013 AAA Award at 2-3.
working in the CRU, Miles alleged that she was sexually
harassed by a supervisor and in June 2011, Miles sued the
City, Commissioner Ramsey, and several other City employees
for sexual discrimination and retaliation. See S.J. Mot.,
Statement of Facts ¶ l; Resp. to Undisputed Fact (doc.
23-1) ¶ 1; Miles v. City of Phila.. E.D. Pa. 1
l-cv-4040 ("2011 Case"), Compl. (doc. 1). The case
settled and Miles agreed to release the defendants from any
claims she had as of July 24, 2013. See S.J. Mot., Statement of
Facts ¶ 4; Resp. to Undisputed Fact ¶ 4; 12/31/2013
the same time Miles filed the 2011 Case, the Police
Department charged her with conduct unbecoming an officer and
neglect of duty for falsifying records about providing drug
and gang avoidance programs at a Philadelphia school on
various dates. Compl. ¶ 7; 5/8/2013 AAA Award at 1-4.
Following a hearing, the Police Board of Inquiry
("PBI") concluded Miles was guilty and recommended
she be dismissed or "transferred if not dismissed."
5/8/2013 AAA Award at 4. In November 2011, Commissioner
Ramsey dismissed Miles. Id.
Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge No. 5 ("FOP")
grieved Miles's dismissal as being unfair, inequitable,
and disparate. Id. at 7. On May 8, 2013, an
arbitrator determined Miles committed serious misconduct by
deliberately falsifying records and lying about her
whereabouts. Id. at 8. The arbitrator, however, also
found that the City did not have just cause to terminate
Miles because there was no evidence that the City had ever
terminated a police officer for a single instance of
falsifying records or similar conduct, such as "stealing
time" by leaving work shifts early. Id. at 9.
"After considering the totality of the circumstances
[and] balancing the seriousness of the misconduct and the
extenuating circumstances, " the arbitrator concluded
that Miles "shall be reinstated to service with her time
off treated as a disciplinary suspension without pay."
Id. at 10. The arbitrator noted that the parties
should confer about the best position for Miles and that
Miles's "reinstatement [was] conditioned upon her
satisfying all of the applicable certifications and
requirements of her position." Id.
26, 2013, the Police Department reinstated Miles as a police
officer in the 18lPolice District. See
Miles Service Record. Miles contends that, following her
return, she was subject to gender discrimination and
retaliation as a result of her 2011 Case. Compl. ¶¶
10-21. She testified that she had "a general fear"
of going to work every day because [she] did not know what
she was going to be charged with [or] written up for."
S.J. Mot., Ex. 4, 10/26/2017 Miles Dep. at 75-76.
explained that, shortly after her reinstatement, she was
charged with being absent without leave ("AWOL"), a
disciplinary action previously imposed by a defendant in the
2011 Case. See Id. at 54-57. Although she retained
an attorney to represent her on the AWOL charge, it was
dismissed before a PBI hearing was held. Id. at
also testified that her 18th District supervisor,
Lieutenant Michael Reilly, sent officers to her home to check
on her when she called out sick and had her sign two
counseling memoranda stating she was not home when "sick
checked." Id. at 5-9, 19-20. Miles said that,
on one occasion, the Department knew she was sick because she
was sent home sick the previous day. Id. at 6-8. The
second time, she said she had called the Police Department
and obtained permission to leave her home for an appointment.
Id. at 13-14. Miles testified that she noted
objections on at least one of the counseling forms, but she
has not presented that form or any other evidence to support
her claim that the sick checks were unwarranted. Id., at
20-21. The City has presented a December 2013 "sick
leave violation" memorandum signed by Miles, without any
written objections, and Captain Bellamy, rather than
Lieutenant Reilly. S.J. Mot., Ex. 18, 12/14/13 Memorandum.
Miles testified that she was never disciplined for the two
sick leave violations. See 10/26/2017 Miles Dep. at 9.
said Reilly continuously checked on her while she was on
duty, denied her overtime for not buying tickets to the FOP
Thrill Show, marked her late when she had received approval
to use vacation time for her delay, and threatened to ticket
her car for an expired inspection sticker. Id. at
10-11, 15-16, 23-24. Miles has not presented any evidence of
this conduct beyond her testimony and inadmissible hearsay
statements by others. See 10/26/2017 Miles Dep. at
14 (she was told by another officer that Reilly had said he
was going to ticket her car for an expired inspection), 15
(someone told her that Reilly said she was denied overtime
for not buying Thrill Show tickets).
October 2013, Sergeant McCoy presented Miles with a
counseling memorandum that stated she was late on nine dates
between August 6 and October 30, 2013, and explained that her
attendance needed to be rectified immediately or formal
discipline could result. See S.J. Mot, Ex. 17, 10/30/2013
Counseling Form. Miles was marked late numerous times after
October 30, but she did not receive another counseling
memorandum or any discipline for being late. See S.J. Mot,
Ex. 5, Miles DARS Listing; 10/26/2017 Miles Dep. at 25.
contends that Officer Burns, a male officer in the
18th District, was frequently late, but not marked
late like she was. See 10/26/2017 Miles Dep. at 31. She
believed this based on "conversations with him, other
co-workers, and just knowing the-the common practice
that's- that's applied every single day."
Id. Burns's attendance records for June 26, 2013
to August 16, 2013, show he was marked late once during that
time period. See S.J. Mot., Ex. 6, Burns DARS Listing. There
is no evidence, other than Miles's testimony, that these
records are inaccurate.
November 2013, Miles submitted a hardship memorandum to her
Commanding Officer, requesting a new work shift. See S.J.
Mot., Ex. 16, Hardship Memorandum. Miles explained that she
was experiencing problems traveling the 25 miles from her
home in the 8th Police District to work in the
18th District and she believed that a different
work shift would resolve the issue. Id. This request
was denied with a notation that Miles did not meet the
criteria for a shift change after the bidding had ended.
the same time, Miles was involved in an incident while she
was off-duty that resulted in a civil rights lawsuit being
filed against her. See S.J. Mot., Exs. 19, 20. The Internal
Affairs Department ("IAD") investigated the matter
and notified Miles in September 2014 that: (1) she was
exonerated from allegations of false arrest by the
complainant; (2) the complainant's allegations of missing
property were unfounded; and (3) the Department violations
for not calling 911 regarding the situation based on her
off-duty status were sustained. See S.J. Mot., Exs. 19, 20;
10/26/2017 Miles Dep. at 72. Miles testified that she later
received a letter from IAD sustaining the complainant's
allegations of false arrest and missing property. 10/26/2017
Miles Dep. at 72-75. She called IAD and was told that the
letter may be a mistake and never received any other
information or discipline about the matter. Id.
January 24, 2014, Miles suffered a work-related injury and
was placed on injured-on-duty status for approximately four
months. See S.J. Mot., Statement of Facts ¶ 6; Resp. to
Undisputed Fact ¶ 6. On June 2, 2014, Miles
returned to unrestricted duty in the 2nd Police
District. See S.J. Mot., Statement of Facts ¶ 6; Resp.
to Undisputed Fact ¶ 6. Around that time, she tried to
make a citizen complaint against her boyfriend, fellow police
officer Michael Winkler, for domestic abuse. 10/26/2017 Miles
Dep. at 42-43. An officer in the IAD told Miles that he could
not accept her complaint because she was a police officer and
needed to go through her captain and supervisors.
Id. at 43-44.
September 2014, Miles reported the domestic issues with
Winkler to her supervisor, who referred the matter to the
IAD. Id. at 47-49. She was interviewed by the IAD,
but they limited the interview to one incident. See
10/26/2017 Miles Dep. at 47-48, 64.
March 2015, Miles sent a memorandum to her Commanding
Officer, alleging she had been retaliated against and subject
to a hostile work environment since returning to work in 2013
and seeking permission to file EEOC claims. See S.J. Mot.,
Ex. 14 at CITY2441. After interviewing Miles about her
allegations that same month, the IAD initiated an
investigation into her claims against Winkler. See id; S.J.
Mot., Ex. 7, 10/02/15 Internal Investigation IAD #15-1038 at
CITY2249. The investigation included a review of evidence
produced by Miles, interviews with Miles and Winkler, and
attempts to obtain information from other potential
witnesses. See id. In October 2015, the IAD
concluded that Miles's allegations against Winkler could
not be sustained because they could not be proved or
disproved. Id. at CITY2258-2259.
September 2015, a PBI hearing was held on charges that Miles
had again engaged in conduct unbecoming a policy officer by
knowingly and willingly making a false entry on a department
record or report and abusing her authority. See S.J.
Mot., Ex. 8, 12/5/2016 AAA Award at 2. The Board found Miles
not guilty of abusing her authority, but guilty of knowingly
and willingly making a false entry on a department record or
report, and recommended she be suspended for 20 days.
See Resp., Ex. E, 9/8/2015 PBI Hearing Findings.
Upon review, Commissioner Ramsey found Miles guilty of both
charges and imposed a 30-day suspension ...