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January 31, 1983

ANNIE L. BETTS, Plaintiff,

The opinion of the court was delivered by: MCLAUGHLIN

McLAUGHLIN, District Judge.

 Plaintiff brings this discrimination action, arising under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act ("the Act"), alleging that defendants violated the Act by discriminatory failure to promote her and by retaliatory termination of her employment. During a four-day trial, plaintiff fully presented her case; defendants called four witnesses in rebuttal. Both sides have submitted pre-trial and post-trial briefs, and have furnished proposed Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law. For the reasons developed below, judgment will be entered for the defendants. The request for attorneys' fees, however, is denied.


 Plaintiff, a black female, was employed by Sperry Division of Sperry Rand Corporation ("Sperry") from 1966 to 1980. Between 1966 and 1970, she was promoted from typist, to secretary-steno, to full secretary. The most significant career advance came in 1970, when she attained the management position of Equal Employment Administrator. In 1972, she was transferred to the position of Placement Representative. Her career continued to progress. In 1973, Sperry selected her to participate in a management conference in Florida where she was recognized as having made the best presentation among forty speakers.

 A. Failure to Promote

 The series of events which gave rise to this litigation began in 1975. In August, 1975, there was a surplus of personnel in the Employment Department. Accordingly, plaintiff and another Placement Representative (Mr. Thomas Bellingham, a white male) were transferred. She became a Training Coordinator; he became a Salary and Personnel Systems Analyst. Both moves were lateral, involving neither a promotion nor a salary increase. Bellingham had a Bachelor's degree in Economics and Business and a Masters degree in Business Administration. Plaintiff, on the other hand, had no background in economics or accounting, although she had earned some credit toward a college degree.

 Plaintiff testified at trial that there were four positions for which she was qualified: (1) Labor Relations task force member; (2) Employee Relations Supervisor; (3) Employee Relations Manager; and (4) Senior Placement Representative. It is her contention that, in 1975, Sperry should have promoted her to one of those positions rather than reassigning her to the Training Coordinator's position.

 (1) John Markowski and Damon Lupu, two other employees of Sperry, were transferred to the newly-created Labor Relations task force. Neither received a salary increase. Markowski, a white male, was serving as Training Administrator in August 1975, when he was temporarily assigned to the task force. The stated purpose of the task force was to assist Sperry in upcoming collective bargaining negotiations. Markowski had a degree in Engineering, had worked in the Engineering Department for three years, had been a member of Sperry's largest bargaining unit, and had worked in the management development area. Lupu, also a white male, was serving as Salary and Wage Administrator in August, 1975, when he was assigned to the task force. He held a Masters in Business Administration, had served as Salary and Wage Analyst and was familiar with the compensation practices of the company.

 (2) (3) Clifford Emmerich, a white male, was promoted in September, 1975, from Supervisor, Employee Relations, to Manager, Employee Relations. Emmerich had a Bachelor's degree in Business, and prior experience as Employment Planning Coordinator and Personnel Manager, as well as three years' experience as Supervisor, Employee Relations. No one was promoted to fill the resulting vacancy in the position of Supervisor; that position has remained open to this day.

 (4) Finally, the position of Senior Placement Representative was simply not available at the time of plaintiff's transfer. Mr. Patrick Smith, who had held that position since 1973, continued to do so during 1975. *fn1" No one else held, or was promoted to, the office of Senior Placement Representative.

 In August, 1976, plaintiff was reassigned to her previous position as Placement Representative, where she remained until she was discharged in November, 1980.

 B. Retaliatory Discharge

 Sperry bases its dismissal of plaintiff in 1980 on a series of events that commenced in 1976, shortly after plaintiff claims she should have been promoted. Plaintiff counters by drawing the Court's attention to certain charges she brought against the company: charges which, in her estimation, caused Sperry to terminate her.

 On May 10, 1976, plaintiff filed charges of employment discrimination with the New York State Division of Human Rights and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), alleging discriminatory failure to promote in August, 1975. A ...

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