Gethers v. PNC Bank, 051220 FED3, 18-1293

Docket Nº:18-1293
Opinion Judge:RESTREPO, Circuit Judge.
Party Name:JALAINE GETHERS, Appellant v. PNC BANK
Judge Panel:Before: RESTREPO, ROTH, and FISHER, Circuit Judges.
Case Date:May 12, 2020
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit




No. 18-1293

United States Court of Appeals, Third Circuit

May 12, 2020


Submitted Pursuant to Third Circuit L.A.R. 34.1(a) December 13, 2019

On Appeal from the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania (D.C. Civil Action No. 2-15-cv-01559) District Judge: Honorable Nora Barry Fischer

Before: RESTREPO, ROTH, and FISHER, Circuit Judges.


RESTREPO, Circuit Judge.

Jalaine Gethers appeals the District Court's grant of summary judgment in favor of defendant PNC Bank, as well as the denial of her motions to reconsider and conduct additional discovery. We agree Gethers failed to establish prima facie claims of employment discrimination and retaliation and therefore affirm the District Court's ruling. We further hold the Court's refusal to reconsider the judgment or allow for additional discovery did not constitute an abuse of discretion. We therefore will affirm the denial of all relief.


Gethers, an African American woman, was hired by PNC in 1996. App. 28a. She and her coworker Rosalind Jackson processed Automated Clearing House ("ACH") return transactions for PNC. App. 29a. Gethers was promoted to the position of Funds Transfer Work Lead on the ACH Returns team in 2010. App. 28a-29a.

PNC has a written policy for processing ACH returns to ensure that the bank complies with the Federal Reserve's Regulation E ("Reg E"), which sets forth the requirements for electronic fund transfers. App. 29a. PNC's policy dictates that the ACH Returns team wait for the bank's Reg E Dispute Resolution Group to investigate and authorize the consumer return transaction before it reverses the debit. App. 29a-30a. While Gethers and Jackson maintain that PNC employees with PNC accounts can submit return transactions directly to the ACH Returns team, PNC insists that employees follow the written procedures for customers and wait for the Reg E Group to authorize the debit. App. 30a.

On July 25, 2013, Gethers processed two return transactions for Jackson. Neither dispute that they did not follow PNC's written procedure. App. 30a. Gethers' direct supervisor reported their conduct to PNC's Employee Relations Information Center. App. 31a. PNC Senior Employee Relations investigator Jean Olenak conducted an internal investigation that revealed that Gethers processed at least nine transactions for Jackson between May and July of 2013 without following PNC's procedure. App. 31a. Olenak's investigation concluded that Gethers and Jackson violated PNC's Code of Business Conduct and Ethics ("Code of Ethics"), specifically the provisions regarding conflicts of interest, and she recommended their termination. App. 31a. Gethers was terminated August 7, 2013 for violating PNC's Code of Ethics. App. 33a.

Gethers filed suit pro se alleging that PNC violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 ("Title VII"). App. 25a. She argued her firing was discriminatory because other similarly situated employees were not terminated. App. 33a. Gethers further alleged her termination was in retaliation for filing a complaint against Duane Fahrion, Operations Manager for PNC's ACH Returns team, after he promoted a white employee instead of Gethers. App. 36a-37a. The District Court granted summary judgment in favor of PNC on May 9, 2017. App. 2a. Gethers obtained counsel and filed motions to reconsider the judgment and conduct additional discovery. App. 58a. The District Court denied both motions on January 23, 2018 and Gethers appealed. App. 3a, 5a, 73a-76a.


The District Court had jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1331, and we have jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1291. We exercise plenary review over the District Court's order granting summary judgment. Blunt v. Lower Merion School Dist., 767 F.3d 247, 265 (3d. Cir 2014). Summary judgment is appropriate "if the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is...

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