On Appeal from the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania. (D.C. No. 01-cv-02179). District Judge: Honorable Maurice B. Cohill, Jr.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Roth, Circuit Judge
Before: ROTH, and CHERTOFF*fn1, Circuit Judges and SHAPIRO*fn2, District Judges.
This case is an appeal from the District Court's grant of summary judgment for Defendant Butler County Family YMCA in a gender-based employment discrimination suit brought by a former employee, Cherie Hugh.
I. Jurisdiction and Standard of Review
The District Court had subject matter jurisdiction of this case pursuant to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000 et seq and 28 U.S.C. § 1331. We have appellate jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1291.
We exercise plenary review over the District Court's grant of summary judgment and apply, de novo, the same standard that the District Court applied. Doe v. Cty. of Centre, Pa., 242 F.3d 437, 446 (3d Cir. 2001). A grant of summary judgment is appropriate where the moving party has established that there is no genuine dispute of material fact and "the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322, 106 S.Ct. 2548, 91 L.Ed. 2d 265 (1986) (citing Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c)). Where the defendant is the moving party, the initial burden is on the defendant to show that the plaintiff has failed to establish one or more essential elements to her case. Celotex, 477 U.S. at 323-24. On a motion for summary judgment, a district court must view the facts in the light most favorable to the non-moving party and must make all reasonable inferences in that party's favor. See Marzano v. Computer Sci. Corp., 91 F.3d 497, 501 (3d Cir. 1996).
To survive a motion for summary judgment, the non-moving party cannot solely rest upon her allegations in the pleadings, but rather must set forth specific facts such that a reasonable jury could find in the non-moving party's favor, thereby establishing a genuine issue of fact for trial. Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(e). While the evidence that the non-moving party presents may be either direct or circumstantial, and need not be as great as a preponderance, the evidence must be more than a scintilla. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 251, 106 S.Ct. 2505, 91 L.Ed. 2d 202 (1986).
In January 1998, Hugh was hired as a part time volunteer recruiter by the Butler County Family YMCA and, in June 1999, she was made a full time volunteer coordinator. In May 2000, she was named Director of the Big Brothers, Big Sisters program at the YMCA. In April 2001, Hugh was informed that she was being terminated for poor performance because she was lacking in leadership skills. Specifically, Hugh's supervisor stated that she was terminated because she had cancelled a meeting, because a sign for the program had not been completed, and because she had dressed inappropriately for a meeting. In neither the termination letter nor a subsequent termination meeting did the YMCA inform Hugh that she was being terminated due to her lack of qualifications for the position.
The YMCA's Employee Handbook specifically requires an employee's supervisor to attempt to resolve any problems and provide written notification prior to termination. Hugh received no negative performance reviews or criticisms, by written notification or otherwise, prior to her discharge. Hugh was replaced by a male employee at a higher salary than Hugh had been paid.
Hugh timely filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and received a right to sue letter in August 2001. She then filed this complaint seeking ...