Doe v. Mercy Catholic Medical Center, No. 16-1247 (3d Cir. 2017)Annotate this Case
Doe, a second-year student, joined the residency program at Mercy, a private teaching hospital in Philadelphia. Doe alleged the director of that program, Roe, sexually harassed her and retaliated against her for complaining about his behavior. Doe claims that Mercy’s human resources department repeatedly referred Doe to a psychiatrist and eventually told Doe that to remain in the program, she would have to agree to a corrective plan, while Roe’s conduct escalated. Doe received a termination letter. She and Roe appeared before an appeals committee, which upheld Doe’s dismissal. She declined another appeal and quit the program. No other residency program has accepted her, precluding her full licensure. Doe sued two years later, alleging retaliation, quid pro quo, and hostile environment under Title IX of the Education Amendments, 20 U.S.C. 1681. She never filed a charge with the EEOC under Title VII, 42 U.S.C. 2000e. The district court dismissed, holding that Title IX does not apply because Mercy is not an “education program or activity” and that Doe could not use Title IX to “circumvent” Title VII’s administrative requirements. The court also found Doe’s hostile environment claim untimely. The Third Circuit reversed in part, reinstating Doe’s Title IX retaliation and quid pro quo claims. Mercy’s program is subject to Title IX. Her hostile environment claim is time-barred.