United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania
F. SAPORITO, JR. UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
an employment discrimination case. The plaintiff, Maggie
McNamara, has raised gender discrimination, retaliation, and
hostile work environment claims under Title VII of the Civil
Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”), 42 U.S.C.
§ 2000e et seq., and the Pennsylvania Human
Relations Act. 43 P.S. § 951 et seq. against
her former employer, Susquehanna County
(“County”). The County has filed a motion for
summary judgment. (Doc. 27). In support, as required by the
local civil rules, the County has submitted a statement of
material facts and a brief in support. (Doc. 28; Doc. 29).
McNamara filed a brief in opposition accompanied by
transcripts of the depositions of McNamara, Maryann Warren,
Elizabeth McCahill Arnold, Alan M. Hall, and an answer to the
defendant's statement of material facts. (Doc. 32; Doc.
32-1; Doc. 32-2; Doc. 32-3; Doc. 32-4; Doc. 33). In addition,
McNamara has filed a supplemental brief in opposition to the
motion for summary judgment based on new authority. (Doc.
County's summary judgment motion is ripe for disposition.
For the reasons set forth herein, we will deny the motion.
Statement of the Case
complaint consists of three counts under Title VII and three
counts under the PHRA each involving (1) sexual harassment;
(2) retaliation; and (3) hostile work environment.
2014, McNamara was hired as an administrative assistant to
the chief clerk of Susquehanna County. She was promoted to
deputy clerk in February 2015. Robert Stroud, the acting
chief clerk, was her supervisor in both positions.
December 2015, the director of veterans affairs, Richard Ely,
attempted to kiss and hug McNamara at her workplace. On that
same day, it is alleged that Ely approached McNamara's
car, stuck his face into her car, made a kissing lips facial
expression, and stated, “you won't get this offer
again.” She reported these incidents to her supervisor,
R.S. Stoud. On December 30, 2015, Stoud issued a written
warning to Ely regarding his conduct.
the reporting of the incident, McNamara contends that she was
subjected to pervasive harassment and retaliation by the
County commissioners. She has alleged that after she reported
the incidents, at least two of the three the commissioners
were unfairly critical of her work, they subjected her to
public humiliation at meetings, and they complained about her
interactions with other employees, especially Stoud, with
whom they accused her of having an affair. In addition, she
alleged that despite her allegations about Ely, Commissioner
Warren assigned McNamara to work in close quarters with Ely,
where Ely would yell at her and become angry. On June 21,
2016, because of the alleged continuing harassment, McNamara
felt the necessity to leave her position as deputy chief
clerk for a position with the Susquehanna County District
Attorney's Office where she maintains that she suffered a
loss in pay.
motion for summary judgment, the County contends that the
motion should be granted because McNamara: (1) did not suffer
an adverse employment action; (2) cannot prove a causal
connection between the alleged hostile work environment and
McNamara's report of sexual harassment; and (3) cannot
prove that she was constructively discharged.
Rule 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, summary
judgment should be granted only if “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). A
fact is “material” only if it might affect the
outcome of the case. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby,
Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). A dispute of material
fact is “genuine” only if the evidence “is
such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the
non-moving party.” Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248.
In deciding a summary judgment motion, all inferences
“should be drawn in the light most favorable to the
non-moving party, and where the non-moving party's
evidence contradicts the movant's, then the
non-movant's must be taken as true.” Pastore v.
Bell Tel. Co. of Pa., 24 F.3d 508, 512 (3d Cir. 1994).
party seeking summary judgment “bears the initial
responsibility of informing the district court of the basis
for its motion, ” and demonstrating the absence of a
genuine dispute of material fact. Celotex Corp. v.
Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). If the movant makes
such a showing, the non-movant must set forth specific facts,
supported by the record, demonstrating that “the
evidence presents a sufficient disagreement to require
submission to the jury.” Anderson, 477 U.S. at
evaluating a motion for summary judgment, the Court must
first determine if the moving party has made a prima
facie showing that it is entitled to summary judgment.
See Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(a); Celotex, 477
U.S. at 331. Only once that prima facie showing has
been made does the burden shift to the nonmoving party to
demonstrate the existence of a genuine dispute of material
fact. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(a); Celotex,
477 U.S. at 331.
parties may cite to “particular parts of materials in
the record, including depositions, documents, electronically
stored information, affidavits or declarations, stipulations
(including those made for the purposes of the motion only),
admissions, interrogatory answers or other materials.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(1)(A). “An affidavit or declaration
used to support or oppose a motion must be made on personal
knowledge, set out facts that would be admissible in
evidence, and show that the affiant or declarant is competent
to testify on the matters stated.” Fed.R.Civ.P.
56(c)(4). “Although evidence may be considered in a
form which is inadmissible at trial, the
content of the evidence must be capable of admission
at trial.” Bender v. Norfolk S. Corp., 994
F.Supp.2d 593, ...