United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania
case involves alleged violations of the Americans with
Disabilities Act, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964,
the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1933, and the Fair Labor
Standards Act that occurred during Plaintiff Gia Sperry's
employment by Defendant The Archdiocese of Philadelphia and
The Office of Catholic Education of the Archdiocese of
Philadelphia. Sperry's complaint contains six counts:
• Count 1: Sex discrimination in
violation of Title VII
• Count 2: Retaliation in violation of
• Count 3: Failure to accommodate in
violation of the ADA
• Count 4: Retaliation in violation of
• Count 5: Underpayment in violation of
• Count 6: Interference with FMLA
to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), Defendants now
move to dismiss all claims except for a portion of Count 3.
Defendants also request that the Court strike Sperry's
prayer for punitive damages.
reasons given below, the Court will DENY the Motion in part
and GRANT the motion in part.
Factual and Procedural History
Sperry's allegations as true, the factual background is
as follows. Sperry is a lay teacher in Philadelphia Catholic
schools. Compl. ¶¶ 14-16. At all relevant times,
she has suffered from lupus. Id. ¶¶ 17-18.
For over a decade, she has sought accommodations to help her
manage her lupus in the workplace-mostly, air
conditioning-but received nothing. Id. ¶¶
18-33. The sole exception was a period in 2017-2018 when she
was placed in a classroom with functioning air conditioning.
Id. ¶ 31. That period ended in September 2018
when Defendants reassigned her to a classroom without
functioning air conditioning, which she complained about.
Id. ¶¶ 32-33. Her students have
“regularly” sexually harassed and in at least one
case groped her, and Defendants did nothing to protect her.
Id. ¶¶ 38-41.
sought to take medical leave beginning in or about September
2018, and began taking medical leave on September 13, 2018.
Id. ¶¶ 32, 34-35. She has not yet returned
to work. Id. ¶ 35.
received negative performance reviews from 2010 on.
Id. ¶ 28. She claims those negative performance
reviews were unwarranted and intended to retaliate for her
complaints about Defendants' failure to accommodate her.
Id. ¶ 28. She also alleges that Defendants
underpaid her on some occasions. Id. ¶¶
44-45. She filed charges with the Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission, Pennsylvania Human Relations
Commission, and Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations on
March 8, 2019, and received her EEOC Notice of Right to Sue
ten days later. Id. ¶¶ 4-5. Defendants
disabled her access to her work email on March 22, 2019,
which she appears to allege was intended to retaliate against
her filing of EEOC charges. See id. ¶¶
14, 2019, Sperry filed a complaint against Defendants
alleging sex discrimination, disability discrimination,
retaliation for her complaints about both forms of
discrimination, underpayment, and interference with her right
to take leave. ECF 1. Defendants moved for the dismissal of
Plaintiff's entire complaint except for a portion of her
disability discrimination claim on September 24. ECF 7.
Sperry responded on October 8, ECF 8, and Defendants
submitted its reply on October 15, ECF 9.