the court's ultimate determination of plaintiff's claim hinged on these factors, it cannot be gainsaid that she would prevail. Unfortunately, however, disparate impact on the number of female employees alone is not evidence of discriminatory intent. More is needed. The plaintiff has utterly failed to submit any evidence to support a finding that the defendant had any gender based discriminatory intent when it had decided to discharge plaintiff from its employ. Simply put, there was no proof offered to show that plaintiff's discharge had anything to do with the fact that plaintiff is a woman.
Plaintiff's contention that less qualified male employees were retained even though plaintiff was better qualified is also without merit. The plaintiff while making such a contention, concomitantly failed to submit any evidence to support the contention. As a matter of fact, the evidence during trial clearly supports Agway's assertion that employees were retained based on certain legitimate, nondiscriminatory criteria and not based on gender.
The plaintiff, consequently, has failed to demonstrate a viable claim under Title VII for discriminatory discharge and therefore, such claim must be dismissed.
III. FAILURE TO REHIRE
Plaintiff has also brought a failure to rehire claim pursuant to Title VII. Under this claim, plaintiff contends that certain positions available after the reorganization were not offered to her for discriminatory reasons. There are two such positions at issue: the food specialist position and the seed buyer position.
As stated earlier, in order for the plaintiff to meet her initial burden of proof in failure to hire cases, she must demonstrate that (1) she was within a protected group; (2) she was qualified for the job but was rejected despite her qualifications; and (3) after her rejection, the position remained open and the employer continued to seek applicants from persons of plaintiff's qualifications. McDonnell Douglas, 411 U.S. at 802, 93 S. Ct. at 1824; Meiri, 759 F.2d at 995; see Hollander Co., 895 F.2d at 83.
Under this framework, in order for the plaintiff to shift the burden of production to the defendant so that the defendant may articulate some legitimate, non-discriminatory reason for the adverse employment action, the plaintiff must first establish her prima facie case.
It is the court's finding that plaintiff has successfully demonstrated her prima facie case: plaintiff is female, plaintiff was qualified for the positions available, at least minimally, and lastly, after plaintiff was rejected, the positions remained open and Agway continued to seek applicants from persons of plaintiff's qualifications.
The court also finds that Agway has sufficiently rebutted plaintiff's inference of unlawful discrimination. Agway has submitted evidence demonstrating that the positions at issue required certain qualifications which plaintiff lacked. Specifically, the food specialist position required a certain level of management and sales experience, and the seed buyer position required certain technical background and experience in horticulture. Agway found other candidates better qualified for these positions, and accordingly, plaintiff was not given an offer. Such proffered reason is a legitimate, non-discriminatory reason, and thus, Agway has rebutted plaintiff's inference of unlawful discrimination.
Plaintiff has failed to submit any evidence demonstrating pretext of Agway's proffered reason for her discharge. The evidence clearly shows that the employees ultimately hired for the positions in question better fit the criteria Agway was looking for. For example, Tim Shatraw, the male employee given the food specialist position, had a proven tract record and the required operational experience Agway was seeking. He was also the Territory Manager in the Country Foods Division since 1987, and therefore had product familiarity which Agway was looking for. As for the seed buyer position, most of the responsibilities of the position was assumed by Dean Cotton who was well qualified for such a position. Mr. Cotton was a horticulturist and received a Bachelors Degree in agriculture and horticulture from Penn State. He was exactly what Agway was looking for to fill the position. Simply put, there is nothing in the records demonstrating that Agway's proffered reason for failure to rehire plaintiff was a mere pretext for what was in truth a discriminatory reason. The fact that the two employees Agway eventually hired were both male does not affect the outcome of this case because there was a legitimate, non-discriminatory reason for their hire.
Plaintiff contends that Agway's failure to comply with its Displaced Employee Policy is an indication of discriminatory intent. The court disagrees. As stated earlier, it is now incumbent on the plaintiff to prove, not only falsity of the proffered reason given by the employer, but also that discriminatory motive was the true reason for the discharge. Hicks, 125 L. Ed. 2d 407, 1993 U.S. Lexis 4401 at *25, 113 S. Ct. 2742. Agway's alleged failure to comply with its own policies alone is not indicative of discriminatory intent, and therefore, plaintiff's Title VII claim based on failure to rehire must also fail.
It is the court's conclusion that although plaintiff was successful in demonstrating her prima facie case, the reasons offered by Agway for terminating plaintiff and not rehiring her later were legitimate non-discriminatory reasons. Furthermore, plaintiff has failed to offer any evidence to prove that the reasons articulated by Agway were pre-textual in nature, and accordingly, plaintiff's discriminatory discharge and failure to rehire claims under Title VII are hereby dismissed.
The clerk of the court is hereby ORDERED to enter judgment in favor of the defendant on all claims and close the file.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
DATED: February 12, 1994
Thomas J. McAvoy
Chief U.S. District Judge