On October 15, 1996, a female official employed by the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association, Inc., ("PIAA") filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 ("Title VII"), Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 ("Title IX"), and the Equal Rights Amendment of the Pennsylvania Constitution ("ERA") against PIAA and Delaware Valley Athletic Association ("Del Val"). Plaintiff, represented by private and public interest counsel, claimed that defendants violated state and federal law by engaging in gender-based discrimination in their assignments to her of high school interscholastic games to officiate.
Following negotiations, plaintiff and Del Val entered into a settlement agreement whereby Del Val committed to assigning at least five boys' and five girls' varsity games to the plaintiff annually for seven years and instituting a gender neutral system of evaluating officials and assigning games. Plaintiff's action against Del Val was terminated on July 10, 1998, with the Court maintaining limited jurisdiction over the settlement agreement. However, the District Court (Judge William H. Yohn, Jr.) also approved a consent decree on July 10, 1998. At a minimum, the decree required defendants to evaluate and assign officials without regard to gender. The District Court retrained and exercised jurisdiction to enforce it.
On August 6, 1998, the District Court (Judge Yohn) issued an opinion granting in part and denying in part parties' motions for summary judgment. Kemether v. Pa. Athletic Assoc., Inc., 15 F.Supp.2d 740 (E.D. Pa. 1998). After trial from in December of 1998, the jury returned a verdict against the defendant on all counts and awarded damages in the amount of $314,000.00.
PIAA renewed its motion for judgment as a matter of law, or, in the alternative, motion for new trial on January 5, 1999. The District Court (Judge Yohn) denied both motions and entered judgment for the plaintiff in the amount of $314,000.00, as awarded by the jury in its verdict on December 28, 1998. Kemether v. Pa. Athletic Assoc., Inc., No. 96-6986, 1999 WL 1012957 (E.D. Pa. Nov. 8, 1999).
Also on November 8, 1999, the District Court (Judge Yohn) enjoined PIAA from refusing to assign female officials to boys' basketball games on the basis of their gender, and from otherwise discriminating against female officials on the basis of their gender in any respect. It also ordered PIAA to adopt policies and regulations prohibiting gender discrimination and requiring several provisions in the new policies, including a reporting mechanism for violations of the new requirements and a prohibition of retaliation against any person who participated in the instant litigation. Kemether v. Pa. Athletic Assoc., Inc., No. 96-6986, 1999 WL 1012948 (E.D. Pa. Nov. 8, 1999). The case was terminated on November 8, 1999.
On December 21, 1999, PIAA filed an appeal in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. On February 17, 2000, the District Court (Judge Yohn) denied plaintiff's motion for attorney fees without prejudice to her to reinstate the same upon letter request after disposition of defendants' appeal in the Third Circuit. The parties filed a stipulation dismissing the appeal with prejudice and without costs against any party on June 6, 2000.
In 2004, a female official contacted plaintiff's counsel and described Del Val's assignors' refusal to assign her to boys' varsity games. Counsel concluded that Del Val's conduct violated the consent decree entered into in 1998 and represented this official as a movant in the instant case. On June 23, 2004, movant asked the District Court to enforce Del Val's 1998 agreement to evaluate and assign officials without regard to gender. After settlement negotiations, on April 15, 2005, movant withdrew this motion. This was the last activity on this case.Heather Turner - 06/02/2014