United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania
J. Rueter United States Magistrate Judge
Erica Parker, brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §
1983 alleging that defendants violated her First Amendment
rights by retaliating against her after she reported the
suspected abuse of a minor child. Plaintiff also asserts a
state law claim for wrongful termination.
before the court are the motions for summary judgment filed
by: (1) defendants Intercommunity Action, Inc.
(“Interact”), Sharon Stark, and Ursala Wacyk
(collectively, the “Interact Defendants”),
see Doc. 77; (2) defendants the School District of
Philadelphia (“SDP”) and Jamal B. Dennis
(collectively, the “SDP Defendants”),
see Doc. 78; and (3) defendants Staffing Plus
Holdings, Inc. (“Staffing Plus”) and Alison
Clark (collectively, the “Staffing Plus
Defendants”), see Docs. 79 and
parties filed numerous documents in support of, and in
response to, the motions for summary judgment. The court has
considered all pleadings and documents submitted by the
parties, including the exhibits appended to the parties'
submissions. For the reasons stated herein, the motions for
summary judgment, Docs. 77, 78, and 79, will be
her career, plaintiff has worked in various healthcare and
counseling roles. See Doc. 79, Exh. Parker-1
(plaintiff's resume). Plaintiff was retained by Staffing
Plus, a staffing corporation, as an independent contractor
beginning in approximately 2000, and worked periodically over
the years for varying periods of time and for various
programs. See Doc. 58 (hereinafter “Staffing
Plus Answer”) at ¶ 4; Doc. 79, Exh. Parker-13
(Staffing Plus Independent Contractor Agreement); Doc. 86,
Exh. A (hereinafter “Pl.'s Dep.”) at
20:24-22:23, 99:20-100:17, 220:12-222:23. At times relevant
to this case, Ms. Clark was employed by Staffing Plus as a
recruiter and acted as plaintiff's recruiter. (Staffing
Plus Answer at ¶ 5; Pl.'s Dep at 64:7-8.) In 2015,
Staffing Plus provided orientation and training to plaintiff
in a number of areas, including the reporting of suspected
child abuse by mandatory reporters. See Doc. 79, Exh.
Parker-2 (Independent Contractor Core Orientation Checklist);
Doc. 79, Exh. Parker-3 (Plaintiff's Certificate of
Completion for Core Orientation); Doc. 79, Exh. Parker-4
(Plaintiff's Certificate of Completion for Recognizing
and Reporting Child Abuse); Pl.'s Dep at 23:12-24:22;
26:1-27:11). As an independent contractor working for
Staffing Plus, plaintiff was a mandatory reporter and was
responsible for reporting suspicions of child
abuse. (Pl.'s Dep. at 24:23-25:13.)
provides School Therapeutic Services (“STS”) to
students in the School District of Philadelphia pursuant to a
contract with Community Behavioral Health. (Doc. 51
(hereinafter “Interact Ans.”) at ¶¶ 15,
16.) In 2015, plaintiff was referred to Interact by Staffing
Plus to work as a Lead Clinician. (Interact Ans. at ¶
15; Pl.'s Dep. at 28:15-22.) Plaintiff was first assigned
by Interact to Blaine elementary school,  and then began
working at Edward T. Steel Elementary School in September
2015. (Pl.'s Dep. at 29:4-8, 31:9-12, 132:10-18,
plaintiff was assigned to Steel, Mr. Dennis was the principal
of the school and Ms. Stark, an Interact employee, worked as
Clinical Coordinator in the STS program and supervised
plaintiff. See Interact Ans. at ¶ 17; Doc. 77,
Exh. 2 at ¶ 2 (hereinafter “Stark Decl.”);
Pl.'s Dep. at 151:11-23, 235:9-236:6. Ms. Wacyk, an
Interact employee, directed Interact's STS division.
(Stark Decl. at ¶ 3.) Mr. Dennis did not supervise
plaintiff while she worked at Steel. (Pl.'s Dep. at
236:7-12.) No. one from Staffing Plus worked onsite at Steel
as an administrator or supervisor. (Pl.'s Dep. at
Monday, October 5, 2015, plaintiff was sent to a classroom
along with the school guidance counselor to conduct an
intervention of a student; this student had been suspended
the prior week for inappropriately touching other students.
(Pl.'s Dep. at 48:5-14, 53:7-54:1.) The following day,
October 6, 2015, the student again acted out in class.
(Pl.'s Dep. at 54:6-11.) Plaintiff was called to the
classroom to speak with the student and learned information
that she felt necessitated a report to
ChildLine. (Pl.'s Dep. at 54:7-8, 160:18-22,
161:11-16.) Plaintiff notified Ms. Stark of the situation.
(Pl.'s Dep. at 54:13-15.) That evening, Ms. Stark left
plaintiff a voicemail message advising plaintiff of the
necessary procedures for reporting the suspicion of abuse.
(Pl.'s Dep. at 54:20-55:1, 123:15-126:11.) Plaintiff made
a report by calling ChildLine, including the information that
the guidance counselor had not yet made a report, and
completed an Interact incident report. (Pl.'s
Dep. at 56:24-57:4, 127:1-5.)
gave the incident report to Ms. Stark on October 7, 2015.
(Pl.'s Dep. at 163:8-12.) That day, plaintiff,
accompanied by Ms. Stark, informed Mr. Dennis that she had
filed the ChildLine report and was dismissed from his office.
(Pl.'s Dep. at 238:19-239:6, 251:8-15.) Ms. Stark then
conducted a regularly scheduled meeting with Mr. Dennis.
(Stark Decl. at ¶ 14.) On October 9, 2015, Ms. Stark
left a voicemail message for plaintiff indicating that Ms.
Stark was to meet with the principal that morning and sought
clarification regarding what the guidance counselor had told
plaintiff regarding the student on October 6. (Pl.'s Dep.
at 71:18-72:15, 107:7-17.) Plaintiff worked at Steel on
October 8 and 9, 2015, but did not work on Monday, October
12, 2015, as it was Columbus Day, a holiday for the School
District of Philadelphia. (Pl.'s Dep. at 225:3-23.) On
October 13, 14, and 15, 2015, plaintiff did not work because
she was ill. (Pl.'s Dep. at 226:3-10.)
Lead Clinician, plaintiff was required to maintain certain
documentation, including DAP notes, which documented an
individual student's daily progress, quarterly treatment
plans, and SALs, which were essentially timesheets.
(Pl.'s Dep. at 29:13-30:10, 150:9-24, 152:18-154:4,
154:9-158:1.) While assigned to Steel, plaintiff submitted
this paperwork to her supervisor, Ms. Stark. (Pl.'s Dep.
at 150:20-151:12, 153:23-154:6, 158:2-13.) Plaintiff
acknowledged that her paperwork contained errors. (Pl.'s
Dep. at 49:1-10.) Plaintiff also acknowledged that she had
difficulty managing her caseload while at Steel. (Pl.'s
Dep. at 50:12-51:16.) After plaintiff made the report to
ChildLine, she continued to have issues with her time
management and paperwork. (Stark Decl. at ¶ 17.)
Plaintiff sent an email to Ms. Wacyk dated October 13, 2015,
in which she requested a meeting to discuss the difficulty
she was having completing her required paperwork in a timely
manner. (Pl.'s Dep. at 39:7-40:17.) On or around October
14, 2015, Ms. Stark became convinced that the deficiencies in
plaintiff's work required that plaintiff be removed from
her assignment at Steel. See Stark Decl. at
¶¶ 18-19; Doc. 77, Exh. 4 (Stark October 14, 2015
Email); Doc. 78, Exh. H (Stark 2016 Letter). Plaintiff was
informed by Ms. Stark via text message not to report to work
at Steel on October 16, 2019. (Doc. 86, Exh. C.) On October
15 or 16, 2015, plaintiff spoke with Ms. Clark who also
informed plaintiff to no longer report to Steel. (Pl.'s
Dep. at 171:11-172:1.) After leaving Steel in October 2015,
plaintiff worked at a daycare center for several months.
(Pl.'s Dep. at 200:24-201:23.)
January 2016, plaintiff exchanged email correspondence with
Kate Call, an employee of Staffing Plus who had the title of
Senior Compliance Representative, regarding plaintiff's
certifications and clearances. (Pl.'s Dep. at
133:7-134:15, 270:15-271:2.) Plaintiff recorded a voice memo
to herself on August 31, 2016, in which she memorialized that
she had stopped by the Staffing Plus offices regarding her
certifications and was informed by a woman there that she had
been “let go back in January 2016.” (Pl.'s
Dep. at 177:13-180:12, 184:16-186:10.)
presently contends that Mr. Dennis, Ms. Stark, Ms. Wacyk, and
Ms. Clark “agreed and conspired to terminate plaintiff
due to her statutorily-required report [of suspected child
abuse], specifically because plaintiff reported all
information, including the fact that [the guidance
counselor] failed to inform the appropriate
authorities.” (Doc. 33, Pl.'s Sec. Am. Compl. at
filed this action on April 17, 2017, asserting claims of
wrongful termination, federal and state whistleblower claims,
and intentional infliction of emotional distress. (Doc. 1.)
Plaintiff then filed a First Amended Complaint on June 27,
2017, see Doc. 18, and a Second Amended Complaint on
June 13, 2018, see Doc. 33. Defendants SDP, Mr.
Dennis, Staffing Plus, and Ms. Clark filed motions to
dismiss. See Doc. 34, 44, 45. In a decision dated
October 15, 2018, the Honorable Jan E. DuBois denied the
motions as to defendants SDP, Mr. Dennis and Staffing Plus,
but granted the motion to dismiss with respect to the
wrongful termination claim against Ms. Clark. See Parker
v. Sch. Dist. of Philadelphia, 346 F.Supp.3d 738, 745
n.2 (E.D. Pa. 2018).
9, 2019, the parties consented to jurisdiction before the
undersigned and the case was referred for trial. (Docs. 71,
72.) At plaintiff's request, the court granted an
extension of the discovery deadline. (Docs. 74, 75.)
Defendants then filed the motions for summary judgment that
are presently before the court, asserting that summary
judgment should be entered in their favor on all claims
brought against them. (Docs. 77, 78, 79, 80.)
responses to the motions for summary judgment, plaintiff
withdrew several of her claims. That is, plaintiff
voluntarily withdrew the wrongful termination claim presented
in Count II against Ms. Stark and Ms. Wacyk. See
Doc. 86 at 22. Additionally, plaintiff has voluntarily
withdrawn Count III of the Second Amended Complaint against
defendant SDP which presented a claim pursuant to Monell
v. Dep't of Soc. Servs. of New York, 436 U.S. 658,
690 (1978). See Doc. 85 at 9.
the claims that remain before the court are: the claim for
First Amendment retaliation under § 1983 in Count I
alleged against all defendants, and the claim for wrongful
termination in Count II presented against defendants Staffing
Plus and Interact.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
judgment is proper “if the movant shows that there is
no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is
entitled to a judgment as a matter of law.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). A factual dispute is material when
“it might affect the outcome of the suit under
governing law, ” and genuine when “the evidence
is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the
non-moving party.” Anderson v. Liberty Lobby,
Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). The moving party has the
initial burden of informing the court of the basis for the
motion and identifying those portions of the record that
demonstrate the absence of a genuine issue of material fact.
Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323, 325
(1986). There is no genuine issue as to any material fact if
the non-moving party “fails to make a showing
sufficient to establish the existence of an element essential
to that party's case, and on which that party will bear
the burden of proof at trial.” Id. at 322-23.
“[T]he burden on the moving party may be discharged by
‘showing' -- that is, pointing out to the district
court -- that there is an absence of evidence to support the
nonmoving party's case.” Id. at 325.
defeat summary judgment, however, the non-moving party
“must do more than simply show that there is some
metaphysical doubt as to the material facts.”
Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co., Ltd. v. Zenith Radio
Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586 (1986). “The non-moving
party must oppose the motion and, in doing so, may not rest
upon the mere allegations or denials of [her] pleadings.
[Her] response . . . must set forth specific facts showing
that there is a genuine issue for trial. Bare assertions,
conclusory allegations, or suspicions will not
suffice.” D.E. v. Cent. Dauphin Sch. Dist.,
765 F.3d 260, 268-69 (3d Cir. 2014) (internal citations and
quotations omitted); Williams v. Borough of W.
Chester, 891 F.2d 458, 460 (3d Cir. 1989) (the party
adverse to summary judgment cannot survive by relying on
unsupported assertions, conclusory allegations, or mere
suspicions). A mere “scintilla of evidence . . . will
be insufficient; there must be evidence on which the jury
could reasonably find for the plaintiff.”
Anderson, 477 U.S. at 252.
considering a motion for summary judgment, the evidence must
be considered in the light most favorable to the non-moving
party, and all inferences must be drawn in that party's
favor. Celotex Corp., 477 U.S. at 322. However, if
“the evidence [offered by the non-moving party] is
merely colorable or is not significantly probative, summary
judgment may be granted.” Anderson, 477 U.S.
Count I - First Amendment Retaliation
Count I of the Second Amended Complaint, plaintiff asserts
that her First Amendment rights were violated when defendants
retaliated against her by terminating her employment after
she reported a suspicion of child abuse to ChildLine.
Plaintiff's Count I claim, presented against all
defendants, fails for several reasons.
establish any claim under § 1983, a plaintiff must
demonstrate that: (1) the conduct at issue was committed by a
person acting under the color of state law, and (2) the
complained-of conduct deprived the plaintiff of rights
secured under the Constitution or federal law. Baloga v.
Pittston Area Sch. Dist., 927 F.3d 742, 752 (3d Cir.
2019) (citing Kaucher v. Cty. of Bucks, 455 F.3d
418, 423 (3d Cir. 2006)). “A defendant in a civil
rights action must have personal involvement in the alleged
wrongs; liability cannot be predicated solely on the
operation of respondeat superior.” Rode v.
Dellarciprete, 845 F.2d 1195, 1207-08 (3d Cir. 1988).
“Personal involvement can be shown through allegations
of personal direction or of actual knowledge and
acquiescence.” Id. at 1207.
Interact, Ms. Stark, Ms. Wacyk, Staffing Plus, and Ms. Clark
each asserted in their motions for summary judgment that they
are not state actors, and therefore, cannot be liable on
plaintiff's First Amendment claim. See Doc. 77
at 8-10 and Doc. 79 at 4-7. Defendants' respective state
actor arguments are compelling.
determine whether state action exists, the court must
consider: “(1) whether the private entity has exercised
powers that are traditionally the exclusive prerogative of
the state; (2) whether the private party has acted with the
help of or in concert with state officials; and (3) whether
the state has so far insinuated itself into a position of
interdependence with the acting party that it must be
recognized as a joint participant in the challenged
activity.” Borrell v. Bloomsburg Univ., 870
F.3d 154, 160 (3d Cir. 2017) (internal citations and
quotations omitted), cert. denied sub nom. Borrell v.
Richer, 138 S.Ct. 2028 (2018). Plaintiff claims that
defendants Interact, Ms. Stark, Ms. Wacyk, Staffing Plus, and
Ms. Clark are state actors because each was a “willful
participant in Plaintiff's removal with a state actor,
Defendant, Dennis.” (Doc. 84 at 6-8; Doc. 86 at 7).
the evidence in a light most favorable to plaintiff, the
record simply does not establish that Mr. Dennis made the
decision to remove plaintiff from Steel. Rather, Ms.
Stark's July 25, 2019 declaration reflects that she made
the determination to remove plaintiff from Steel due to
deficiencies in plaintiff's work. See Stark
Decl. at ¶¶ 18-20. This is supported by the October
14, 2015, email from Ms. Stark to Ms. Wacyk that reflects the
same, see Doc. 77, Exh. 4, as does an October 14,
2016 letter authored by Ms. Stark, see Doc. 78, Exh.
H. In addition, Mr. Dennis has represented that he did not
know the reason plaintiff was removed from Steel. (Doc. 78,
Exh. E at ¶¶ 5-6.) Moreover, plaintiff acknowledged
at her deposition that no one from Staffing Plus or Interact
told plaintiff that Mr. Dennis directed them not to bring
plaintiff back to Steel. (Pl.'s Dep. at 240:19-241:7.)
Plaintiff's assertion that Mr. Dennis instructed other
defendants to remove plaintiff from Steel is pure conjecture.
addition, the evidence does not support that there was some
agreement amongst all defendants to remove plaintiff from
Steel because she contacted ChildLine, including the
information that the guidance counselor had not contacted
ChildLine. At her deposition, plaintiff testified that she
believes there was a conspiracy among defendants to retaliate
against her for the call to ChildLine. (Pl.'s Dep. at
241:19-243:2.) Plaintiff offers as evidence the fact that
plaintiff was escorted to Mr. Dennis' office and was
instructed to tell Mr. Dennis that she was the individual who
contacted ChildLine, and that Ms. Stark then met with Mr.
Dennis. (Pl.'s Dep. at 242:16-23,
251:98-15.) Plaintiff also points to an October 9,
2015 voicemail in which Ms. Stark indicated that she was
going to meet with Mr. Dennis regarding the incident.
(Pl.'s Dep. at 242:24-243-2.) However, plaintiff
acknowledged that she did not know what Ms. Stark and Mr.
Dennis said in this meeting. (Pl.'s Dep. at
251:17-252:7.) In contrast, Ms. Stark has represented that
she and Mr. Dennis did not discuss “whether plaintiff
should be removed due to her ChildLine report or reporting
that the guidance counselor failed to disclose the suspected
abuse.” (Stark Decl. at ¶ 16.) Moreover, Mr.
Dennis represented in his answers to interrogatories that he
“had weekly or biweekly conversations with [Ms.] Stark
regarding students that were being serviced by [plaintiff]
and other Intercommunity representatives. Those conversations
did not involve [plaintiff's] performance.” (Doc.
78, Exh. E. at ¶¶ 11-12.) Thus, the evidence shows
that Ms. Stark and Ms. Dennis met on October 7 and 9, 2015,
but does not establish that they discussed the removal of
plaintiff from Steel during those meetings, and certainly
does not establish that they discussed the removal of
plaintiff from Steel for the reasons that she alleges.
evidence in no way establishes that Ms. Stark and Mr. Dennis
agreed to remove plaintiff from Steel because she made a
report to ChildLine. Plaintiff's theory that defendants
Interact, Ms. Stark, Ms. Wacyk, Staffing Plus, and Ms. Clark
are state actors because each was a “willful
participant in Plaintiff's removal with a state actor,
Defendant, Dennis” finds no support in the record other
than plaintiff's conclusory allegations in her
deposition. That is, plaintiff only offers unsupported
evidence - her own deposition testimony and her responses to
interrogatories. See, e.g., Doc. 86, Exhs. A, B. The
record on summary judgment is devoid of any facts supporting
plaintiff's claim that Mr. Dennis was involved in the
decision to remove plaintiff from Steel, or that defendants
acted in agreement to do so. “[U]nsupported deposition
testimony, which is contradicted by the record, is
insufficient to defeat summary judgment.” Thomas v.
Delaware State Univ., 626 Fed.Appx. 384, 389 n.6 (3d
Cir. 2015) (not precedential) (citing N.L.R.B. v. FES, (a
Div. of Thermo Power), 301 F.3d 83, 95 (3d Cir. 2002))
(“Roche's testimony . . . amounts to an
unsupported, conclusory assertion, which we have held is
inadequate to satisfy the movant's burden of proof on
summary judgment.”) and Arrington v. United
States, 473 F.3d 329, 343 (D.C. Cir. 2006)
(“[S]ummary judgment is most likely when a
plaintiff's claim is supported solely by the
plaintiff's own self-serving testimony, unsupported by
corroborating evidence, and undermined . . . by other
credible evidence. . . .” (internal quotations and
emphasis omitted)). See Owens v. Coleman, 629
Fed.Appx. 163, 168 (3d Cir. 2015) (not precedential)
(“A party resisting a [summary judgment] motion cannot
expect to rely merely upon bare assertions, conclusory
allegations or suspicions.”) (citing Gans v.
Mundy, 762 F.2d 338, 341 (3d Cir. 1985)).
Whether Plaintiff Engaged in Constitutionally Protected
arguendo that plaintiff has demonstrated that
defendants are state actors, to establish a First Amendment
retaliation claim, plaintiff must prove that “(1) [s]he
engaged in ‘constitutionally protected conduct,'
(2) the defendant engaged in ‘retaliatory action
sufficient to deter a person of ordinary firmness from
exercising his constitutional rights,' and (3) ‘a
causal link [existed] between the constitutionally protected
conduct and the retaliatory action.'” Palardy
v. Twp. of Millburn, 906 F.3d 76, 81 (3d Cir. 2018),
cert. denied sub nom. Twp. of Millburn N.J. v.
Palardy, 139 S.Ct. 2011 (2019). “If a plaintiff
satisfies these elements, the government may avoid liability
if it can show by a preponderance of the evidence that it
would have taken the adverse action even in the absence of
the protected conduct.” Baloga, 927 F.3d at
752 (internal citations and quotations omitted).
Third Circuit recently explained the constraints that a
public employee faces when presenting a First Amendment
retaliation claim as follows:
Not all First Amendment activity is constitutionally
protected in the public workplace. “When a citizen
enters government service, the citizen by necessity must
accept certain limitations on his or her freedom.”
[Garcetti v. Ceballos, 547 U.S. 410, 418 (2006)
(citation omitted)]. Insofar as workplace speech is
concerned, the Supreme Court has long held that public
employees only receive First Amendment protection from
retaliation in the workplace when they speak out on a matter
of public concern and their interest in speaking outweighs
the government's interest in promoting workplace
efficiency and avoiding disruption. See Connick v.
Myers, 461 U.S. 138, 147, 103 S.Ct. 1684, 75 L.Ed.2d 708
(1983); Pickering v. Bd. of Educ., 391 U.S. 563,
568, 88 S.Ct. 1731, 20 L.Ed.2d 811 (1968). In
Garcetti, the Court added a further wrinkle to its
workplace speech jurisprudence, holding that “when
public employees make statements pursuant to their official
duties, the employees are not speaking as citizens for First
Amendment purposes, and the Constitution does not insulate
their communications from employer discipline.”
Garcetti, 547 U.S. at 421, 126 S.Ct. 1951. Following
Garcetti, then, “[a] public employee's
statement is protected activity when (1) in making it, the
employee spoke as a citizen, (2) the statement involved a
matter of public concern, and (3) the government employer did
not have ‘an adequate justification for treating the
employee differently from any other member of the general
public.'” Hill v. Borough of Kutztown, 455
F.3d 225, 241-42 (3d Cir. 2006) (quoting Garcetti,
547 U.S. at 418, 126 S.Ct. 1951).
Palardy, 906 F.3d at 81. The first prong of this
three-part test, whether plaintiff spoke as an employee or as
a citizen when she made the suspicion of abuse report to
ChildLine, is of particular import to the case at bar.
Lane v. Franks, 573 U.S. 228, 240 (2014), the
Supreme Court stated that “the mere fact that a
citizen's speech concerns information acquired by virtue
of his public employment does not transform that speech into
employee - rather than citizen - speech.” The Court
explained that the “critical question” is
“whether the speech at issue is itself ordinarily
within the scope of an employee's duties, not whether it
merely concerns those duties.” Id. Third
Circuit case law following this Supreme Court precedent has
“focused its inquiry on whether a public employee's
speech was informed by or the result of his or her primary
job duties.” Javitz v. Cnty. of Luzerne, 940
F.3d 858, 864 (3d Cir. 2019). A court must “make a
practical inquiry and assess whether the speech at issue is
itself ordinarily within the scope of an employee's
duties.” De Ritis v. McGarrigle, 861 F.3d 444,
453 (3d Cir. 2017) (internal citations and quotations
omitted). See Flora v. Cty. of Luzerne, 776 F.3d
169, 179 (3d Cir. 2015) (“[T]he responsibility of a
district court in evaluating whether a public employee's
speech was made as a private citizen is to ask whether the
speech at issue was outside the scope of his ordinary job
responsibilities.”) (internal citation omitted). The
Third Circuit has reasoned that “[w]hether a person
speaks as a citizen depends less on the subject matter --
though that is relevant -- than on the manner of speech,
specifically whether the plaintiff is ‘expected,
pursuant to [his or her] job duties,' to make the speech
that is at issue.” Jerri v. Harran, 625
Fed.Appx. 574, 580 (3d Cir. 2015) (not precedential) (citing
Foraker v. Chaffinch, 501 F.3d 231, 241 (3d Cir.
2007), abrogated on other grounds by Borough of Duryea,
Pa. v. Guarnieri, 564 U.S. 379 (2011)). In
Javitz, the Third Circuit recently explained that in
analyzing the citizen speech issue, it considered who the
plaintiff spoke to, what she spoke about, and why she spoke,
to determine whether the speech fell outside the scope of the
plaintiff's primary job duties. 940 F.3d at
these standards to the present case, it is clear that
plaintiff spoke as an employee and not as a citizen when
making the report of suspected abuse; therefore, ...