of such individual's . . . sex." 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-2(a)(1). A 1978 amendment to the Act clarified that "because of sex" includes "because of or on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions; and women affected by pregnancy, childbirth, or other related medical conditions shall be treated the same for all employment related purposes." 42 U.S.C. § 2000e(k).
Plaintiff's other federal claim is for violation of the Equal Pay Act of 1963 (the "EPA"). See 29 U.S.C. § 201 et seq. The EPA prohibits employers from paying employees of one sex at a rate different than employees of another sex for work requiring equal skill, effort, and responsibility, unless certain conditions are met. See 29 U.S.C. § 206(d).
As a threshold objection, defendant asserts that this Court lacks jurisdiction over plaintiff's Title VII harassment and wage disparity claims because these claims were not contained in plaintiff's EEOC charge. See Panken Aff. Ex. A. "A district court only has jurisdiction to hear Title VII claims that are either included in an EEOC charge or are based on conduct subsequent to the EEOC charge which is "reasonably related" to that alleged in the EEOC charge." Butts v. New York Dep't of Hous. Preservation & Dev., 990 F.2d 1397, 1401 (2d Cir. 1993). See Stewart v. United States Immigration & Naturalization Service, 762 F.2d 193, 198 (2d Cir. 1985); Brown v. City of New York, 869 F. Supp. 158, 169 (S.D.N.Y. 1994). Claims not alleged in the EEOC charge have been found to be "reasonably related" if the conduct complained of would fall within the "scope of the EEOC investigation which can reasonably be expected to grow out of the charge of discrimination." Butts, 990 F.2d at 1402 (quoting Smith v. American President Lines, Ltd., 571 F.2d 102, 107 n.10 (2d Cir. 1978).
Plaintiff's EEOC charge focuses on her allegedly discriminatory termination. See Panken Aff. Ex. A. But, in the EEOC charge, like in her complaint filed in this Court, plaintiff details the allegedly harassing conduct which led up to this termination. Included are the breakfast meeting during her maternity leave and her feeling of being isolated by the firm after her return from maternity leave. Based upon these facts, the Court does have jurisdiction to hear plaintiff's Title VII harassment claim because it is "reasonably related" to her EEOC charge.
Plaintiff does not argue in her EEOC charge that part of this discriminatory treatment included a disparity in her salary compared to similarly experienced male associates. Therefore, because this claim is not "reasonably related" to her EEOC charge, the Court lacks jurisdiction to hear plaintiff's Title VII wage disparity claim. Of course, the Court does have jurisdiction to hear plaintiff's Equal Pay Act claim. See infra Part IC.
B. Summary Judgment and Title VII
Rule 56(c) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides that summary judgment "shall be rendered forthwith if the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law." Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322, 91 L. Ed. 2d 265, 106 S. Ct. 2548 (1986); see also Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 247, 91 L. Ed. 2d 202, 106 S. Ct. 2505 (1986); Lang v. Retirement Living Pub. Co., 949 F.2d 576, 580 (2d Cir. 1991). The burden of showing that no genuine factual dispute exists rests on the party seeking summary judgment. See, e.g., Adickes v. S.H. Kress & Co., 398 U.S. 144, 157, 26 L. Ed. 2d 142, 90 S. Ct. 1598 (1970); Chambers v. TRM Copy Ctrs. Corp., 43 F.3d 29, 36 (2d Cir. 1994). In assessing the record to determine whether there is a genuine issue as to any material fact, "the evidence of the non-movant is to be believed, and all justifiable inferences are to be drawn in his favor." Anderson, 477 U.S. at 255; accord Chambers, 43 F.3d at 36. The Court draws all inferences in favor of the nonmoving party only after determining that such inferences are reasonable, considering all the evidence presented. See, e.g., Apex Oil Co. v. DiMauro, 822 F.2d 246, 252 (2d Cir.), cert. denied, 484 U.S. 977, 98 L. Ed. 2d 487, 108 S. Ct. 489 (1987). The trial judge's function in response to a summary judgment motion is not to weigh the evidence and determine the truth of the matter, but to determine whether there is a genuine issue for trial. See Gallo v. Prudential Residential Servs., Ltd. Partnership, 22 F.3d 1219, 1224 (2d Cir. 1994). "The mere existence of some alleged factual dispute between the parties will not defeat an otherwise properly supported motion for summary judgment; the requirement is that there be no genuine issue of material fact." Anderson, 477 U.S. at 247-48 (emphasis in original). Unsupported allegations will not suffice to create a genuine issue of material fact; rather, there must be sufficient evidence to allow a reasonable jury to find in favor of the non-moving party. See id.; see also Gallo, 22 F.3d at 1224; Cruden v. Bank of New York, 957 F.2d 961, 975 (2d Cir. 1992) ("only when no reasonable trier of fact could find in favor of the nonmoving party should summary judgment be granted"); accord Taggart v. Time, Inc., 924 F.2d 43, 46 (2d Cir. 1991).
In a Title VII employment discrimination case, the plaintiff has the initial burden of establishing a prima facie case of discrimination. See St. Mary's Honor Ctr. v. Hicks, 125 L. Ed. 2d 407, 113 S. Ct. 2742, 2746-47 (1993); Cronin v. Aetna Life Ins. Co., 46 F.3d 196, 203 (2d Cir. 1995); Chambers, 43 F.3d at 37. In order to defeat a motion for summary judgment, the showing the plaintiff must make as to the elements of a prima facie case is "de minimis." See, e.g., Cronin, 46 F.3d at 196; Chambers, 43 F.3d at 37. Through direct, statistical, or circumstantial evidence, the plaintiff must show: (1) that she belongs to a protected class; (2) that she was performing her duties satisfactorily; (3) that she was discharged; and (4) that her discharge occurred in circumstances giving rise to an inference of discrimination based on her membership in the protected class. See Chambers, 43 F.3d at 37; Rosen v. Thornburgh, 928 F.2d 528, 532 (2d Cir. 1991) (religious discrimination in violation of Title VII).
It is unusual to find direct evidence of an employer's intent to discriminate. Rather, most cases go forward based on circumstantial evidence. The Second Circuit has used this realization to direct trial court's to tread cautiously when considering an employer's motion for summary judgment in a discrimination case. In Gallo, the Court said:
Because writings directly supporting a claim of intentional discrimination are rarely, if ever, found among an employer's corporate papers, affidavits and depositions must be carefully scrutinized for circumstantial proof which, if believed, would show discrimination.