LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT

Gender Discrimination • Wrongful Discharge • Retaliatory Termination

Kamara v. Rosemont College, PICS Case No.14-0512 (E.D. Pa. March 31, 2014) Bartle, J. (7 pages).

Kamara sued her former employer and several current or former employees of Rosemont alleging wrongful retaliatory termination, gender discrimination, and violation of the Sixth Amendment. Rosemont moved to dismiss the complaint under Rule 12(b)(6) and 12(b)(1). Granted.

Kamara was employed by Rosemont College in Pennsylvania as an at-will employee. She was terminated on July 28, 2011 for “inappropriate and unwelcome touching of students,” unprofessional communication with students and “lack of confidence” in staff she supervised. Her allegation of wrongful retaliatory termination was a common law count for wrongful termination in violation of Pennsylvania public policy. Pennsylvania does not recognize such a claim for an at-will employee. Such a claim would be allowed only where the firing violated a clear public policy articulated in the constitution, in legislation or a judicial decision. Kamara’s only allegation was that she complained to her supervisor about the resident assistant staff and about the way a co-worker’s complaint was handled. Even if she were fired in retaliation for these actions, no Pennsylvania public policy was implicated.

Kamara also alleged gender discrimination. Pennsylvania does not recognize a common law claim for wrongful discharge where specific statutory remedies are available for those claims. In her complaint, Kamara alleged violations of the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination and “Title VII of Pennsylvania.” She failed to state a claim under New Jersey law because her employment and the alleged discrimination and violations occurred in Pennsylvania. She failed to state a claim under Title VII and federal law because she failed to file an administrative charge with the EEOC or the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission.

Her claim under the Sixth Amendment failed because the Sixth Amendment applies to criminal prosecutions and has no relevance in a civil lawsuit against private entities or persons.

Her claims against the four former or current employees of Rosemont failed because Title VII does not provide a remedy against such individuals. Thus, all Kamara’s Title VII and Pennsylvania Human Relations Act claims were dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.