I. THE TITLE VII CLAIMS
In cases of alleged employment discrimination, the central inquiry is whether the employer has treated "some people less favorably than others because of their race, color, religion, sex, or national origin." International Bhd. of Teamsters v. United States, 431 U.S. 324, 335 n.15, 52 L. Ed. 2d 396, 97 S. Ct. 1843 (1977). In order to "sharpen the inquiry into the elusive factual question of intentional discrimination," the Supreme Court has established an order and allocation of proof in Title VII cases alleging discriminatory treatment. Texas Dep't of Community Affairs v. Burdine, 450 U.S. 248, 256 n.8, 67 L. Ed. 2d 207, 101 S. Ct. 1089 (1981); see also St. Mary's Honor Ctr. v. Hicks, 125 L. Ed. 2d 407, 113 S. Ct. 2742, 2746 (1993). Initially, the plaintiff must establish a prima facie case of racial discrimination, see McDonnell Douglas Corp. v. Green, 411 U.S. 792, 802, 36 L. Ed. 2d 668, 93 S. Ct. 1817 (1973), which creates a rebuttable presumption of unlawful discrimination. See Burdine, 450 U.S. at 253-55. A plaintiff may establish a prima facie claim by proving that (1) he is a member of a protected class; (2) he satisfactorily performed his duties; (3) defendant provided its employees with certain rights and privileges; and (4) he was denied these privileges. See McDonnell Douglas, 411 U.S. at 802; Burdine, 450 U.S. at 254 n.6; Lopez v. Metropolitan Life Ins. Co., 930 F.2d 157, 161 (2d Cir.), cert. denied, 502 U.S. 880, 116 L. Ed. 2d 185, 112 S. Ct. 228 (1991).
If the plaintiff establishes a prima facie case, the burden shifts to the defendant to articulate some legitimate, nondiscriminatory reason for its actions. McDonnell Douglas, 411 U.S. at 802-03. Thereafter, the plaintiff must be afforded the opportunity to demonstrate by a preponderance of the evidence that the proffered reasons were a pretext for racial discrimination. Id. at 804. However, the ultimate burden of demonstrating unlawful discrimination remains at all times with the plaintiff. See Burdine, 450 U.S. at 253.
A. The Apprenticeship Program
Relying upon his numerous reassignments and referral to MAP, Smith claims that defendants unlawfully prevented him from advancing in the apprenticeship program for discriminatory reasons. SAC PP 40, 51. However, these claims lack any colorable merit. Smith graduated the apprenticeship program as scheduled in February 1992. Liebowitz Aff. P 5 Although Smith advanced only provisionally to the fifth term of his apprenticeship for failing a second-year competency test, any other apprentice would have been treated similarly in similar circumstances. SAC Exh. E., Liebowitz Aff. P 5. Moreover, the JAC has referred many apprentices, both black and white, to MAP for counseling under similar circumstances. Local 28 Rule 3(q) St. at 7; Casey Aff. P 57; Liebowitz Aff. P 12. Therefore, the defendants have established that the JAC afforded Smith the same employment opportunities as any other apprentice during his apprenticeship. Casey Aff. P 11.
Moreover, Smith has come forward with no evidence permitting any rational inference that he was treated differently, and certainly no evidence that any alleged disparity of treatment flowed from racial discrimination.
B. Payment of Wages
The implausibility of Smith's racial discrimination claims is well illustrated by his unsupported claims of wage and benefit discrimination. Smith claims that he was not paid the correct amount of wages under the terms of the CBA, and that such actions were undertaken for discriminatory purposes. SAC P 25. Under the governing CBA, however, an apprentice indentured in February 1988 should have received the following wage scales:
Time Period Term Journeyman Rate Percentage Appt. Rate
2/88 - 7/88 1st $ 23.33 x 30% $ 7.00
8/88 - 1/89 2nd $ 23.85 x 35% $ 8.34
2/89 - 7/89 3rd $ 24.32 x 40% $ 9.99
8/89 - 1/90 4th $ 24.87 x 45% $ 11.19
2/90 - 7/90 5th $ 25.32 x 50% $ 12.66
8/90 - 1/91 6th $ 26.16 x 55% $ 14.39
2/91 - 7/91 7th $ 26.71 x 60% $ 16.03
8/91 - 1/92 8th $ 27.16 x 65% $ 19.01
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