The opinion of the court was delivered by: VINCENT L. BRODERICK
VINCENT L. BRODERICK, U.S.D.J.
With respect to the Title VII claim, plaintiff appears to present a triable case against the employer by the thinnest of margins; the motion to dismiss that claim as against the employer is denied.
Plaintiff worked for the employer for more than eleven years, from May 26, 1981 to July 24, 1992. She was discharged for failing to return to work on July 21, 1993. Plaintiff had been absent from work because of illness for approximately three (3) months, from April 6, 1992 up to the date of her termination. When dismissed, plaintiff was a production specialist responsible for inspecting products for imperfections. IBM expressed no dissatisfaction concerning her performance prior to the onset of her illness.
While the employer's medical staff stated that plaintiff could work after the onset of her illness, a medical examiner chosen by the employer stated that she would require accommodations and restrictions. Plaintiff had appeared at the employer's premises on July 20, but claimed to be ill. July 21 was the first and only specific date on which her return was demanded but not fulfilled.
Plaintiff cites instances of more favorable treatment toward employees of differing perceived ethnicity,
but neither plaintiff nor the employer has established with significant reliability whether or not there was indeed a pattern of disparate treatment of employees in similar circumstances but of differing ethnicity or gender.
Plaintiff argues initially that summary judgment is inappropriate in virtually all cases alleging employment discrimination. This is erroneous. The Federal Rules create the same procedural structure for all cases regardless of the nature of the claim. Leatherman v. Tarrant County, 113 S. Ct. 1160, 122 L. Ed. 2d 517 (1993).
In employment discrimination cases, a plaintiff "opposing . . . a motion [for summary judgment] must produce sufficient evidence to support a rational finding that . . . more likely than not [illegal discrimination] was the real reason for" the unfavorable decision by the employer. Woroski v. Nashua Corp, 31 F.3d 105 (2d Cir. 1994), Slip Op 6141, 6149 (age discrimination case). See Oey v. Delta Airlines, 1994 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 670, 1994 WL 24656, (SDNY January 24, 1994), aff'd without opinion # 94-7204 (2d Cir. August 12, 1994).
Title VII flows from various sources which ultimately led to congressional action in 1964: the Declaration of Independence and the Fourteenth Amendment equal protection clause; the Fair Employment Practices Committee (FEPC) during the Second World War; and the Report of the President's Committee on Civil Rights in 1948.
If plaintiff's argument were accepted Title VII would become available as a tool for litigation in employment disputes generally, whether or not significant evidence of invidious discrimination existed. Inclusion within the scope of Title ...