United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania
Milton Younge, Judge.
age discrimination case, Plaintiff James Glendening alleges
that he was forced to resign from a pre-employment training
program with Defendant Fair Acres Geriatric Center, in
violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, 29
U.S.C. § 621. Now before the Court is Defendant's
Motion to Dismiss (ECF No. 3). The Court finds this matter
appropriate for resolution without oral argument.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 78; L.R. 7.1(f). For the reasons that follow,
Defendant's Motion to Dismiss will be denied.
is a non-profit skilled nursing facility operated by Delaware
County, Pennsylvania. (Compl. ¶¶ 6-7.) At age
seventy-five, Plaintiff applied for Defendant's CNA
Training Program. (Id. ¶¶ 10-11.)
According to Defendant's website:
The CNA Training Program is a free training program sponsored
by Fair Acres Geriatric Center for the preparation and
training of potential employees interested in becoming
Nursing Assistants . . .
Completion of the program is not a guarantee of employment at
Fair Acres. The program is approved by the Pennsylvania
Department of Education and lasts 120 hours, or about 4
weeks. It includes classroom instruction, skills lab and
clinical hours. Classes are held daily from 7am to 3pm,
Monday through Friday. Daily attendance and punctuality is
mandatory and any absence or lateness is reason for dismissal
from the program. Once completed, a student may be offered
employment at Fair Acres.
(Motion at 26-27, Ex. B).
February 22, 2018, Plaintiff began the four-week CNA Training
Program. (Compl. ¶ 16.) On the second day of the
program, “Plaintiff took and passed a test with a score
of 96.” (Id. ¶ 18.) Following
administration of the test, Plaintiff met with the classroom
instructor, Nurse DeCeccio, for individual critique.
(Id. ¶¶ 17, 19.) During this meeting,
“Nurse DeCeccio  told Plaintiff that [he] would not
be able to do the work as a CNA and that Plaintiff should
resign and go home and enjoy [his] retirement.”
(Id. ¶ 20.) Nurse DeCeccio also allegedly
“told Plaintiff that if [he] did not resign from
Defendant's CNA Training Program, there were other ways
to eliminate Plaintiff[.]” (Id. ¶ 21.)
Plaintiff “felt like he had no other option but to
resign from Defendant's CNA Training Program. Plaintiff
signed the resignation form and Nurse DeCeccio told Plaintiff
to leave the building.” (Id. ¶ 22.)
Therefore, Plaintiff maintains that “Defendant rejected
[him] for employment as a CNA because of Plaintiff's
age.” (Id. ¶ 24.)
on these facts, Plaintiff filed this action against Defendant
on March 19, 2019, asserting two claims for relief: (1)
violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA),
29 U.S.C. § 621 et seq; and (2) age
discrimination in violation of the Pennsylvania Human
Relations Act (PHRA), 43 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 951
et seq. (See Compl. at 4-7.) Plaintiff
requests: (1) declaratory and injunctive relief; (2) back
pay, front pay, and liquidated damages; (3) attorneys'
fees and costs of suit; and (4) such other relief as the
Court deems necessary and appropriate. (Id.)
filed the instant Motion to Dismiss on May 21, 2019. On June
4, 2019, Plaintiff filed his Opposition (“Opp., ”
ECF No. 4).
motion to dismiss standard under Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 12(b)(6) is set forth in Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662 (2009). After Iqbal, it is
clear that “[t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of a
cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do
not suffice” to defeat a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to
dismiss. Id. at 678; see also Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). “To survive
dismissal, ‘a complaint must contain sufficient factual
matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.'” Tatis v. Allied
Interstate, LLC, 882 F.3d 422, 426 (3d Cir. 2018)
(quoting Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678). Facial
plausibility is “more than a sheer possibility that a
defendant has acted unlawfully.” Id. (quoting
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678). Instead, “[a] claim
has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual
content that allows the court to draw the reasonable
inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct
alleged.” Id. (quoting Iqbal, 556
U.S. at 678).
Court of Appeals requires us to apply a three-step analysis
under a 12(b)(6) motion: (1) “[the district court] must
tak[e] note of the elements [the] plaintiff must plead to
state a claim;” (2) “it should identify
allegations that, ‘because they are no more than
conclusions, are not entitled to the assumption of
truth;'” and, (3) “[w]hen there are
well-pleaded factual allegations, [the] court should assume
their veracity and then determine whether they plausibly give
rise to an entitlement to relief.” Connelly v. Lane
Constr. Corp., 809 F.3d 780, 787 (3d Cir. 2016) (quoting
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 675, 679).
Fowler v. UPMC Shadyside, 578 F.3d 203, 213 (3d Cir.
2009), the Third Circuit held that the heightened standard of
plausibility set forth by Iqbal and Twombly
applies to pleadings in an employment discrimination context.
However, this heightened standard does not require a
plaintiff to establish a prima facie case of discrimination
in order to survive a motion to dismiss. Id.
(“Even post-Twombly, it has been noted that a
plaintiff is not required to establish the elements of a
prima facie case . . .”). Rather, to survive a motion
to dismiss in an employment discrimination context, a
plaintiff must present factual allegations that would
“‘raise a ...