United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania
Joseph Juisti (“Juisti”) brings this action
against his former employer the City of Chester
(“City”) for reverse racial discrimination and
retaliation in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act
of 1964 (“Title VII”), 42 U.S.C. §§
2000e et seq., and disability discrimination in violation of
the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990
(“ADA”), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12101 et seq.
Juisti, at the time a police officer, also asserts a claim
against his former union, defendant the Fraternal Order of
Police William Penn Lodge No. 19 (“FOP”), for
breach of the duty of fair representation under Pennsylvania
the court are the motions of defendants for summary judgment
under Rule 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
Rule 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, 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.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a); see also Celotex Corp. v.
Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). A dispute is genuine
if the evidence is such that a reasonable factfinder could
return a verdict for the nonmoving party. See Anderson v.
Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 254 (1986). We view
the facts and draw all inferences in favor of the nonmoving
party. See In re Flat Glass Antitrust Litig., 385
F.3d 350, 357 (3d Cir. 2004).
judgment is granted where there is insufficient record
evidence for a reasonable factfinder to find for the
nonmovant. See Anderson, 477 U.S. at 252. “The
mere existence of a scintilla of evidence in support of the
[nonmoving party]’s position will be insufficient;
there must be evidence on which the jury could reasonably
find for [that party].” Id. In addition, Rule
56(e)(2) provides “[i]f a party fails to properly
support an assertion of fact or fails to properly address
another party’s assertion of fact as required by Rule
56(c), the court may . . . consider the fact undisputed for
the purposes of the motion.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e)(2).
who is Caucasian, was hired in or about April 2013 as a
police officer for the City of Chester Police Department.
Juisti worked in this position until January 2018, when he
left work due to stress and anxiety stemming from perceived
discrimination, retaliation, and harassment.
has asserted that during the course of his employment he was
denied overtime, subjected to unwarranted discipline, and
otherwise discriminated and retaliated against by his
supervisor, Captain Marilyn Lee, who is African American. He
also claims that he was discriminated and retaliated against
by Police Commissioner Otis Blair (“Blair”), who
is African American, Captain William Shaw, who is Caucasian,
and Chester Mayor Thaddeus Kirkland, who is African American.
2013, Juisti suffered a stroke which made his eyes sensitive
to light. As a result, he wears sunglasses both indoors and
outdoors as needed and did so throughout his employment with
the City. On August 21, 2017, Blair instructed Juisti that he
could not wear while on duty the particular sunglasses he was
wearing. The sunglasses at issue had white frames with
prescription lenses. Blair stated that the white frames were
unprofessional and made Juisti look like “the
Terminator.” Juisti contacted a sergeant to tell him he
would be unable to work the rest of his overtime shift
because he would need to purchase new sunglasses. Thereafter,
Juisti returned to work with black-framed sunglasses and
continued to wear sunglasses without incident as needed for
the remainder of his employment with the City.
admits that the City’s official dress code does not
specifically prohibit or otherwise address white-framed
sunglasses but explained that as Commissioner he has final
say on what is appropriate attire for officers and that he
determined Juisti’s sunglasses were inappropriate.
Blair further stated in his deposition that he had previously
seen Juisti wearing sunglasses with a more conservative black
frame while on duty and never took issue with those.
least three other officers, who are all African American and
non-disabled, wore sunglasses with white or different colored
frames while on duty: (1) Todd Rose; (2) Roosevelt Turner;
and (3) Jerome Duncan. Blair instructed Turner and Duncan not
to wear such sunglasses when Blair saw them doing so. Blair
never spoke with Rose regarding his sunglasses but explains
that he would have done so had he seen Rose wearing such
sunglasses while on duty.
employed by the City, Juisti belonged to the FOP. The
Collective Bargaining Agreement (“CBA”) entered
into between the FOP and the City provides procedures for the
resolution of grievances between FOP members and the City.
Grievances must be presented within ten working days of the
date that the incident occurred or the date the officer could
reasonably be expected to have knowledge of the occurrence.
An officer must first discuss the problem with his or her
immediate supervisor. If the problem is not resolved to the
officer’s satisfaction, the CBA provides for a
three-step “Grievance Procedure”: (1) a grievance
shall be submitted by the officer in writing to the
officer’s immediate supervisor, who shall meet with the
officer to discuss and then respond in writing within three
working days; (2) if still not satisfied, the officer may
appeal within five working days to the Chief of Police, who
must then meet to discuss the grievance with the officer and
then respond in writing within five working days; and (3) the
officer may within five working days appeal any
unsatisfactory response to the Mayor or his designee, who
shall meet with the officer and then issue a decision within
grievance is not resolved through these steps, either party
may elect, through written notice, to arbitrate the dispute
with the American Arbitration Association
(“AAA”). As an alternative to the grievance and
arbitration procedures set forth in the CBA, the FOP and the
City have developed a practice of informally resolving
grievances through meetings. The parties would wait ...