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Anthony Sanchez Successfully Defends Local School District

10/3/2017

DMC attorney Anthony G. Sanchez has successfully defended the Penn Hills School District in a civil matter brought before the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania. In Nyamekye v. Penn Hills School District (W.D. Pa. 2:15-CV-01219), Judge David Stewart Cercone granted the District’s motion for summary judgment and dismissed the matter with prejudice.

Plaintiff, a substitute custodian, alleged that she was the victim of age, race, and national origin discrimination as well as retaliation. Her age discrimination claim was dismissed prior to the Court’s summary judgment decision. By way of a motion to dismiss, the District had successfully argued that Plaintiff failed to exhaust her administrative remedy for her age discrimination claim. With regard to the remaining race and national origin claims, Plaintiff maintained that the failure to hire her for full-time custodian positions on two occasions constituted discrimination. Plaintiff also contended that the failure to hire her was the result of retaliation.

The District asserted that Plaintiff was not hired for a full-time position because a subcontractor did not recommend her for hire based on complaints and concerns about her job performance. Plaintiff argued that this reason for the personnel decisions was a pretext for discrimination because she was never disciplined, never provided a performance review or given prior notice of her alleged deficiencies. In rejecting this argument, Judge Cercone found that Plaintiff’s mere belief that she was subject to discrimination was not enough to suggest that the District’s reason for her non-selection was a pretext for discrimination. The Court found Plaintiff’s retaliation claims not viable for the same reason:  she was unable to demonstrate that the District’s legitimate, non-discriminatory reason for their hiring decisions was a pretext for retaliation.

No appeal has been taken in this matter.