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Dici v. Com. of Pa.

July 31, 1996

JUDITH S. DICI,

APPELLANT,

v.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA; PENNSYLVANIA STATE POLICE BUREAU OF LIQUOR CONTROL ENFORCEMENT; FRANK H. MONACO; STEVEN B. BRISON



On Appeal from the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania

(Civil Action No. 93-1845) Argued May 23, 1996

Before SLOVITER, Chief Judge, SAROKIN and OAKES, *fn* Circuit Judges

OAKES, Senior Circuit Judge

(Filed July 31, 1996)

OPINION OF THE COURT

Judith S. Dici ("Dici") appeals from a summary judgment entered on September 27, 1995, by the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania in favor of Appellees Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania State Police, Bureau of Liquor Enforcement, Frank H. Monaco ("Monaco"), and Steven Brison ("Brison"). Dici sought monetary and injunctive relief under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. Section(s) 2000e et seq. (1994), and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act, 43 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. Section(s) 951 et seq. (1991 & Supp. 1994) ("PHRA"), for several alleged incidents of sexual harassment and racial bias. On appeal, Dici contends that the district court erred in finding her claims precluded by a previous state workmen's compensation determination arising out of many of the same incidents alleged by Dici in this case. Dici further claims that genuine issues of material fact prevent entry of summary judgment in favor of the Appellees. For the reasons stated below, we affirm in part, reverse in part, and remand.

BACKGROUND

Dici began working as a liquor enforcement officer for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania on October 19, 1975. In 1978, Dici became an employee of the Pennsylvania State Police when it assumed the responsibilities of the Bureau of Liquor Enforcement. Dici's duties included conducting undercover investigations of premises licensed by the Commonwealth for violations of the liquor law and patrolling for underage drinkers. In 1989 and 1990, Dici taught driver training to Liquor Control Enforcement cadets at the State Police Academy. Appellee Brison was also a liquor enforcement officer during the time period at issue. Appellee Monaco supervised Dici during her employment with the State Police.

Dici claims that on August 26, 1990, she became physically ill and totally disabled as a result of the Appellees' conduct. *fn1 On June 14, 1991, Dici sought state workmen's compensation for the mental and physical disorders she alleged to have suffered as a result of sexual and racial harassment on the job. In both the case presently before us and the state workmen's compensation proceeding, Dici alleged the following incidents of harassment and bias:

(1) In November 1988, at a graduation party for transitional training, fellow employee Jerome Farmer, who dated Dici in the past, said to Dici "Why don't you and I get together and I'll show you just how much I like you." Dici walked away and reported the incident the next day. Farmer denied the incident occurred.

(2) In August 1989, Farmer said to Dici, "Jude, we'll get together and I'm sure we can work something out." Dici declined, and later reported the incident to Monaco. Monaco informed her that she could not directly contact the Affirmative Action Officer (whose duties included handling reports of sexual harassment). Monaco claimed that when he later learned that officers could contact the Affirmative Action Officer directly, he went to Dici and told her of the mistake. Dici claimed Monaco never approached her with the information. Farmer denied the incident occurred.

(3) Dici inquired of Monaco about teaching a public speaking class in Harrisburg. Monaco, who knew that Dici had also applied for an auditing position in Harrisburg, said, "Harrisburg, where you want to be." Dici interpreted this statement to be a comment on her dating relationship with Captain Clanaghan, a black officer stationed in Harrisburg. Monaco denied the statement was made.

(4) On April 15, 1989 (a weekend day), two officers took Dici into the men's bathroom at the district office and showed her a drawing of a nude woman kneeling down and leaning forward with her mouth open. Dici's name was scrawled above the drawing. Dici complained to Monaco the following Monday. Dici claimed Monaco told her that the drawing was flattering and there was nothing he could do about the drawing because the bathroom was public. Monaco claimed never to have made such a statement and notes that the drawing was removed on that Monday. Other witnesses stated that the drawing had been on the wall since 1987 and only recently had been modified to include Dici's name.

(5) In September or October 1989, Dici was a driving instructor for Brison, an officer trainee at the time. Brison told Dici that he did not like being taught how to drive by a woman.

(6) In April 1990, when Brison and Dici were on patrol for underage drinkers, Brison told Dici that "the only [underage drinker] you would catch would be one with a broken leg."

(7) In July 1990, Dici approached Brison to attempt to reconcile their differences. Brison told Dici that women did not belong in law enforcement.

(8) On July 20, 1990, while on patrol, Brison said to Dici, "a lot of good you would try to be if they run away." Dici responded, "I've got a lot of patience but it's wearing thin, maybe your ego needs its ass kicked." Brison replied, "who higher up in the department do you have in mind to do it for you?" Dici said, "no one, I'd try it myself."

(9) On July 29, 1990, Dici was informed by another officer that Brison had made negative racial comments about a black trainee under Dici's supervision.

(10) Dici claimed to have heard about, but not seen, a family photograph brought into the office by Brison depicting Ku ...


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