The opinion of the court was delivered by: Lechner, District Judge.
Pro se plaintiff Marlene Pittman ("Pittman") brought this
action pursuant to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 ("Title VII"),
42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq., against her former employer
Immunomedics, Inc. ("Immunomedics"), Phyllis Parker ("Parker"),
the Personnel Manager of Immunomedics, Edward Newman
("Newman"), Pittman's former supervisor and George LaFontaine
("LaFontaine"), a former employee of Immunomedics
(Immunomedics, Parker and Newman are collectively referred to
as the "Movants," and the Movants and LaFontaine are
collectively referred to as the "Defendants").
Immunomedics, Newman and Parker*fn1 move for summary
judgment of the claims against them pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P.
56.*fn2 The motion is decided on the basis of the papers
submitted pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 78.
For the reasons which follow, the motion for summary
judgment is granted. Additionally, the complaint against
LaFontaine is dismissed sua sponte pursuant to Rule 4(j) of the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
Pittman was hired as a temporary trainee by Immunomedics on
11 August 1986 "in accordance with the Job Training
Partnership Act and a program of the Mayor's Office of
Employment and Training." Immunomedics. Answer at 1. She was
hired by Immunomedics as a full-time regular employee on 2
February 1987 as an Animal Technician. Id. at 1, 3. The
position of Animal Technician requires a high school diploma or
equivalency diploma. Investigation Findings at 5. The
employment of Pittman by Immunomedics was terminated on or
around 13 May 1988. Immunomedics Answer at 5; Investigation
Findings at 2.
The DCR issued a Verified Complaint against Immunomedics.
The Verified Complaint alleged Immunomedics subjected Pittman
to sexual harassment and unlawfully discharged her on the
basis of her gender. The Verified Complaint also reiterated
the allegations of Pittman that LaFontaine made sexual remarks
to her and that she believed she was discharged because she
rejected his sexual advances. See Verified Complaint.
Additionally, the DCR issued a document request to
Immunomedics, see Document and Information Request, to which
Immunomedics responded. Parker Aff. ¶ 6.
The DCR held a Fact-Finding Conference on 14 November 1988.
Present at the Fact-Finding Conference were Adlerstein,
Parker, LaFontaine and Pittman. See Conference Notes. The DCR
investigator interviewed Parker, LaFontaine and Pittman. Parker
Aff., ¶ 7. In addition, Pittman questioned Parker and
LaFontaine through the investigator. Id.*fn3 LaFontaine denied
he made any sexual remarks to Pittman and alleged that it was
Pittman who was sexually forward with him. In addition,
LaFontaine denied he was ever the supervisor of Pittman. Id.
Immunomedics contended it was in possession of affidavits
from three witnesses supporting its assertion that it was
Pittman who was sexually forward with LaFontaine. Id. It also
asserted Frank Ostello was hired not as a replacement for
Pittman, but as a Research Assistant, a position requiring a
bachelors degree with a concentration in biology. Id.
Immunomedics asserted Pittman was discharged because her job
was eliminated due to a lack of work and that the positions of
four others, both males and females, were also eliminated.
On 2 May 1989, the DCR notified Pittman it needed additional
substantiation of her charges in order to make a
recommendation on her behalf. See 2 May 1989 DCR Letter to
Pittman. Pittman provided the DCR with the names of additional
witnesses at Immunomedics. See 9 May 1989 Notes. The DCR
contacted the witnesses it was able to locate at Immunomedics
but was unable to elicit information substantiating the
allegations of Pittman. See 12 June 1989 Notes. On 25 July
1989, the DCR issued to Pittman a Finding of No Probable Cause
pursuant to N.J.S.A. 10:5-14 (the New Jersey Law Against
Discrimination, or the "LAD"*fn5) and N.J.A.C. 13:4-6.1(d).
See Finding of No Probable Cause.
On 8 February 1990, the EEOC issued a "right to sue" letter
to Pittman which notified her of its adoption of the findings
of the DCR and of her right to file a federal court action.
See EEOC Determination.
On 9 November 1989, after the time for appeal of the DCR's
findings had passed, Pittman filed a Motion for Leave to File
a Notice of Appeal nunc pro tune. The motion was denied. See
Moving Brief at 3. Pittman's subsequent motion for
reconsideration, filed 12 December 1989, was granted on 11
January 1990. Id. at 4. Pittman submitted several briefs and
extensive written documentation to the Appellate Division in
support of her appeal. Id. In an opinion filed 5 October 1990,
the Appellate Division affirmed the decision of the DCR. In
doing so, it held:
Dr. LaFontaine did not work with plaintiff; he
was not her supervisor and he played no role in
her termination. . . . Plaintiff's employment, as
well as two males and two other females, was
terminated due to a lack of work.
See Appellate Division Opinion at 2-3.
On 28 March 1990, Pittman filed her complaint in this court
against Immunomedics, LaFontaine, Parker and Newman pursuant
to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 ("Title VII"), 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-5.
Pittman alleged LaFontaine "was responsible for lay
offs in his department of in vitro manufacture. In repraisal
for rebuking his demand for sex occuring on our about April 18,
1988 after subjecting the Plaintiff to public humiliation."
Complaint, ¶ 2. As to Parker, Pittman alleged: "Coherse Phillis
Parker, the personnel manager to take the plaintiff out of her
department of in vivo studies and her protected position of
Research Assistant in biological research to demote her from
position of Research Assistant and fire her along with the in
vitro manufactoring staff that had been targeted for lay
off[.]" Id. As to Newman, Pittman alleged: "The Plaintiff was
subjected to intentional discrimination by Ed Newman who hired
her with some research experience and no background in Nuclear
Medicine and at a lower salary then he would have been
compelled to pay to Ellen Rubin who also interviewed for the
position of Research Assistant." Id., ¶ 13.
In addition, Pittman appeared to reiterate her claim that
Research Assistant Frank Ostello, a male employee whom she
allegedly trained, was discriminatorily hired to replace her.
Pittman alleged she "was subjected to disparate treatment with
regards to training requirements and salary in that she was
trained to do the duties of a Research Assistant under the
false title of animal technician . . .," complaint, ¶ 14, that
she "was subjected to intentional discrimination and disparate
treatment when her assistant a male with no background in
Nuclear Medicine relying on her training to do the work was
employed at a higher starting salary . . .," complaint, ¶ 15,
and that she was "subjected to disparate treatment in salaries"
in that her "male assistants" received a higher starting salary
than she did. Complaint, ¶ 16.
Pittman apparently also asserted common law causes of
action, including the intentional infliction of emotional
distress and a claim that she suffered work-related injuries.
Complaint, ¶¶ 17-20, 25-27. She also apparently alleged
defamation. Complaint, ¶¶ 22-23.
To prevail on a motion for summary judgment, the moving
party must establish "there is no genuine issue as to any
material fact and that [it] is entitled to judgment as a
matter of law." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c). The district court's task
is to determine whether disputed issues of fact exist, but the
court cannot resolve factual disputes in a motion for summary
judgment. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242,
249-50, 106 S.Ct. 2505, 2510-11, 91 L.Ed.2d 202 (1986). All
evidence submitted must be viewed in a light most favorable to
the party opposing the motion. See Matsushita Electric
Industrial Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587, 106
S.Ct. 1348, 1356, 89 L.Ed.2d 538 (1986). See also Todaro v.
Bowman, 872 F.2d 43 (3d Cir. 1989); Joseph v. Hess Oil,
867 F.2d 179, 182 (3d Cir. 1989).
Although the summary judgment hurdle is a difficult one to
overcome, it is by no means insurmountable. As the Supreme
Court has stated, once the party seeking summary judgment has
pointed out to the court the absence of a fact issue,
its opponent must do more than simply show that
there is some metaphysical doubt as to the
material facts. . . . In the language of the
Rule, the non-moving party must come forward with
`specific facts showing that there is a
genuine issue for trial.' . . . Where the record
taken as a whole could not lead a rational trier ...