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JACKSON v. EBASCO SERVS.

May 27, 1986

KATIE JACKSON, Plaintiff,
v.
EBASCO SERVICES INCORPORATED, Defendant



The opinion of the court was delivered by: SPRIZZO

SPRIZZO, D.J.:

OPINION AND ORDER

 The following constitutes the Court's findings of fact and conclusions of law on the issue of defendant's liability pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 52.

 FACTS

 This action was brought by the plaintiff, Katie Jackson, a black woman, against the defendant, Ebasco Services Incorporated ("Ebasco"), for employment discrimination. The plaintiff initiated this action pro se. The trial of this matter was bifurcated, and the liability phase was tried before the Court without a jury. Jurisdiction is invoked pursuant to and under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as amended, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e through 2000e-17 (1982), and 28 U.S.C. § 1343, in conjunction with the Civil Rights Act of 1966, 42 U.S.C. § 1981. Jurisdiction is conceded.

 Ebasco is an engineering corporation engaged in the design and construction of facilities used in the generation of electric power. The plaintiff commenced her employment with Ebasco as a clerk typist on November 18, 1973, and that employment continued until she was laid off on February 12, 1982. See Pre-Trial Order ("PTO") at 1, 5(a); Trial Transcript ("Tr.") at 8-10. She was promoted to the position of Administrative Assistant in the Engineering Services Department (Department 610) in January of 1980. See PTO at 2, P 5(g); Tr. at 10. When the plaintiff's employment at Ebasco was terminated, her direct supervisor was Joseph Gueci, the manager of the Engineering Services department. At the time of plaintiff's termination, Gueci was responsible for the overall supervision of three departments in addition to the one in which the plaintiff was employed. See PTO at 1, P 5(b).

 The reduction in force which led to the plaintiff's termination on February 12, 1982, see id. at 1, P 5(c), was instituted as a result of an economic downturn in the construction industry and a decline in the defendant's business. See id. at 2, P 5(e); Tr. at 44. Gueci was given instructions to do whatever was required to reduce overhead. See Tr. at 44-45. Gueci determined that one Administrative Assistant position could be eliminated. See id. at 59. Gueci also decided which Administrative Assistant would be laid off. See PTO at 2, P 5(d). Before the plaintiff was terminated, the following employees holding the title of Administrative Assistant were employed in Department 610: two black females (Bouyer and Jackson), two white males (O'Rourke and Tama), and one white female (Tufano). See id. at 2, P 5(g).

 Personnel records were maintained by Ebasco for its employees. These records included "Personnel Performance Appraisals," by which supervisors evaluated the job performance of each employee. These personnel evaluations are relevant to the issues raised by plaintiff's complaint. The level of performance was rated on a scale of 1 through 5. A rating of "1" is considered exceptional, while a "5" denotes unsatisfactory performance. In November of 1981, the Administrative Assistants in Department 610 received the following overall ratings: Bouyer 3 (performance is effective); O'Rourke 3; Tama 4 (performance is acceptable); Jackson - 4; Tufano - 3. See id. at 2, P 5(h). However, a review of several of these evaluations is necessary to determine whether plaintiff was treated differently from others similarly situated. The plaintiff's overall performance appraisals during her employment as an Administrative Assistant were as follows: *fn1" Date of Appraisal Rating April 29, 1980 2-Performance is frequently outstanding November 20, 1980 3-Performance meets overall requirements November 11, 1981 4-Performance is acceptable

 Gueci prepared plaintiff's November 11, 1981 evaluation. In the evaluation category entitled "Administrative Support Services Functions," plaintiff received two "3" ratings and two "4" ratings. In the evaluation category entitled "Review of Job Behavior" plaintiff received one "3" rating and three "4" ratings. Plaintiff compiled an unsatisfactory attendance record. However, she received no other unsatisfactory ratings.

 At trial, Bouyer testified that plaintiff was knowledgeable in the Administrative Assistant position. See Tr. at 120. Bouyer also noted that plaintiff was always willing to help Bouyer and the others in her group. See id. at 119. Bouyer stated that she felt uncomfortable assigning clerical tasks to plaintiff because both women held the same job title. See id. at 119-120. Bouyer also testified that Ebasco had requested that she sign an affidavit stating that Jackson was not helping out. Bouyer refused to sign the affidavit because it was not true. See id. at 120. *fn2" The Court finds Bouyer's testimony very credible. Joseph Tama received the following overall performance appraisals from 1980 through 1982: *fn3" Date of Appraisal Rating March 21, 1980 4-Performance falls short of meeting re- quirements; improvement should be made before next review March 24, 1981 4-Performance is acceptable May 27, 1982 3-Performance is effective

 Joseph Tama's evaluation of March 24, 1981 contains an overall rating of "4", with an unsatisfactory performance rating of "5" in the evaluation category entitled "Quality and Quantity of Work." Tama received ratings of "4" in the evaluation categories entitled "Participation/Interface," "Job Knowledge and Application," and "Job Behavior." In the category entitled "Managerial and Supervisory Functions," Tama received one "4" rating and one "5" rating. Finally, Tama compiled an unacceptable absence record and an acceptable lateness record.

 In Tama's evaluation of May 27, 1982, Gueci commented that Tama's performance had improved since his last evaluation. The May 27, 1982 evaluation includes an overall rating of "4" in the category entitled "Quality and Quantity of Work," an overall rating of "3" in the category entitled "Participation/Interface," an overall rating of "3" in the category entitled "Job Knowledge and Application" and an overall rating of "3" in the category entitled "Job Behavior." However, on November 1, 1982, less than six months later, Gueci wrote the following in a memorandum to D.J. Dorf concerning Tama's performance:

 
I [Gueci] informed him [Tama] that he is not performing at a level adequate for him to meet the requirements for support of the Engineering Services Department. I told him that there are many items/ tasks which he has been given responsibility for that are continually delinquent and require additional follow-up on my part to determine their status. I informed him that unless an improvement is made in his performance in the near future, I will reassign him to a different position.

 Lillian Tufano's "3" rating must be explored by reviewing her performance records from the time she became an Administrative Assistant. *fn4" On January 5, 1978, Tufano's promotion to the position of Administrative Assistant of the Electrical Engineering Department was announced. However, a form entitled "Employee Potential Evaluation," dated December 12, 1979, stated that due to relocation and the creation of the Engineering Administration Group, Tufano's position would no longer be needed. This form indicates Tufano's desire to work as a receptionist or typist. A form entitled "Employee Development Plan," also dated December 12, ...


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