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CONROY v. ANCHOR SAV. BANK

January 13, 1993

LUCILLE A. CONROY, Plaintiff,
v.
ANCHOR SAVINGS BANK, FSB, Defendant.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: STERLING JOHNSON, JR.

 JOHNSON, District Judge:

 Plaintiff Lucille Conroy ("Conroy") brings this action under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, 29 U.S.C. § 623 et. seq. ("ADEA"). Defendant now moves for summary judgment under Fed. R. Civ. P. 56 and for sanctions under Fed. R. Civ. P. 56 (g). For the reasons set forth below, Defendant's motion for summary judgment is granted and the motion for sanctions is denied.

 I. BACKGROUND

 Conroy began her employment with Anchor on January, 5, 1970 as a key punch operator in the Compubank Department. In 1976, she became the Senior Clerk of the Archives Department, and in 1982, Supervisor of the Records Management Department. Her final promotion to Senior Supervisor of the Records Management Department occurred in 1986.

 The Records Management Department processed and stored the raw data generated by the Bank's branches in Long Island, New Jersey, Florida, and Georgia. After the records were processed into microfilm and microfiche, the Records Management Department distributed them to the branches or sent them to Albion, New York, for long-term storage.

 When Conroy began working at the Records Management Department in 1986, the department headquarters were located in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn In October 1987, as part of an intensive effort to diminish expenses, Anchor relocated the majority of the records management functions, including permanent storage, to a new records center in Albion, New York. This relocation required that ten positions be transferred from Bay Ridge to Albion. The Bay Ridge office, thereafter consisting of three full-time employees, remained as the clearing center and was responsible for the verification of all microfiche and microfilm. This office checked the accuracy of the processed information and ultimately forwarded the information to Albion for long-term storage. Anchor retained the Bay Ridge office because of its proximity to Anchor's computer center in Wayne, New Jersey.

 The following employees remained at the Bay Ridge office: Conroy, age 56, Senior Supervisor; Arlene Wilson, age 56, Department Specialist; and Guyatri Kissoon, age 34, Department Clerk. Conroy was responsible for performing the aforementioned duties as well as supervising the work of Ms. Wilson and Ms. Kissoon. *fn1" Wilson and Kissoon checked the accuracy of the information on the microfilm and microfiche by comparing it with the original raw data of Anchor's departments. Afterwards, they distributed the processed information to their respective departments or to Albion. Kissoon, however, also prepared statistical computer reports and the typewritten work for the department. The Bay Ridge Records Management Department answered to Donald Cowan of the Albion office.

 In late 1989, Robert Moore, the Vice President of Security for Anchor, in accordance with Anchor's plan to diminish expenses, requested a report from Cowan regarding the cost-effectiveness of transferring the Bay Ridge functions to Albion. Cowan submitted a proposal, dated January 19, 1990, recommending that Anchor transfer Bay Ridge branch of the Records Management Department to Albion to eliminate the cost of overhead in the Bay Ridge office and the duplication of certain verification duties in both offices Cowan also suggested that Conroy, Wilson, and Kissoon be transferred to Albion to continue to perform their assigned duties. This proposal specifically stated that Conroy play a supervisory role at Albion. Additionally, the report included an organizational chart of the proposed consolidated office in Albion that listed Conroy as well as her subordinates in their present position Cowan also recommended that the transfer take place in the middle of March of 1990.

 Upon reviewing the report, Moore decided to implement Cowan's proposal of consolidating the entire Records Management Department in Albion. He proceeded to make a written recommendation of the department transfer to his immediate supervisor, Patricia Dawley, Executive Vice President and Secretary of Anchor, again emphasizing the goal of cost-effectiveness. Dawley soon approved said recommendation.

 Moore then contacted John Coughlin, First Vice President, Human Resources, and Sharon Taylor, Assistant Vice President, regarding the announcement and implementation of the consolidation. Anchor implemented the following policy on relocating a position or a department. First, the Bank would offer the employee a transfer within the same position. Second, the Bank would offer the employee any other available positions for which the employee was qualified. Third, if no positions were available or the employee did not accept the open positions, Anchor would offer layoff with severance pay. Severance benefits consisted of one week's pay for each year of service.

 Pursuant to Anchor's relocation policy, Coughlin, Taylor, and Alpert proceeded to review the personnel files of Conroy, Wilson, and Kissoon to determine if they were qualified for any available positions at Anchor. At that time, two types of positions were available: Department Specialist in the Retail Banking Department in Manhattan and Teller at the Bay Ridge branch. *fn2" The Department Specialist position required personal computer experience, specifically knowledge of Data Base III, Lotus 1-2-3 and Multi Mate software as well as excellent typing skills. The Teller position required no special skills.

 Kissoon's file indicated that she had completed short computer courses at the American Institute of Banking, Introduction to IBM PC/DOS and Introduction to Lotus 1-2-3. In addition, Kissoon had regularly worked with a personal computer as a Department Clerk in the Records Management Department. Kissoon's file also noted that she was capable of typing 50 words per minute. The personnel files of Conroy and Wilson reflected no personal computer experience or typing skills. Anchor decided to offer Conroy and Wilson the following alternatives to layoff with severance: transfers to Albion where they would retain their present position and Teller Positions in Bay Ridge. Anchor would offer Kissoon a similar transfer to Albion and the Department Specialist position.

 Subsequently, on March 16, 1990, Moore and Alpert met with the three employees, beginning with Conroy, to inform them of the department transfer and discuss their alternatives. Moore informed Conroy that Anchor was transferring her department to Albion. First, he offered her a transfer to Albion at her current salary and grade level. Moore also offered Conroy $ 2,500 to assist her with her moving expenses. Conroy immediately refused this offer. Moore also offered Conroy the position of Teller at the Bay Ridge location. The salary of Teller position was $ 150 per week less than Conroy's current salary because it fell within a lower grade. Conroy also ...


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