has met her initial, de minimis burden of establishing a prima facie case of discrimination. As a Spanish-speaking immigrant from Ecuador, Sanyer falls within a protected class. She completed the training course and was sent on assignments; therefore, she was qualified to hold the position from which she was terminated. Further, she has identified her inability to speak English well as a factor in her receiving difficult assignments and in her problems in dealing with her supervisors at Kimberly. She claims that other trainees who spoke better English than she were given better assignments. Given that Sanyer's burden of demonstrating a prima facie case is slight, and keeping in mind her pro se status, the Court concludes that she has satisfied this initial requirement.
The Court determines, however, that Kimberly has articulated legitimate non-discriminatory reasons for its treatment of Sanyer while she was employed by Kimberly. Kimberly relies largely upon the transcript of Sanyer's deposition in support of its motion. With regard to Sanyer's claim regarding the manner in which cases were assigned, she admitted at her deposition that (1) she had been informed at the time she applied for the training course that she would need to submit proof that she had been vaccinated for rubella, and (2) after she completed the course, she was told by Kimberly employees that her medical records were not complete and that they were also having trouble contacting her references. Sanyer's complaints about the cases to which she was assigned center upon the neighborhoods in which her clients lived and the difficulty she experienced in locating their residences. There is evidence in the record before this Court that fully one-half of the trainees in Sanyer's class were Hispanic and that they were assigned to cases immediately after completion of the course and without incident. The Court concludes that Kimberly has demonstrated legitimate, nondiscriminatory reasons for the manner in which they assigned cases to Sanyer.
As to Sanyer's claim that she was terminated for discriminatory reasons, Sanyer admitted at her deposition that she arrived late at her assignment at the Davis home on August 31 and left early on September 1, but nonetheless submitted a time sheet indicating that she had worked her entire 12-hour shift on both days. She also indicated that she had submitted an inaccurate time sheet because in her opinion, she was not being paid enough. As noted above, the disciplinary form that was completed by Kimberly at the time of Sanyer's discharge indicates that she was terminated because of her lateness, her submission of an inaccurate time sheet, her failure to seek authorization to leave early, and her failure to notify Kimberly regarding her absences from the Davis home. Based upon the foregoing, the Court concludes that Kimberly has demonstrated legitimate, non-discriminatory reasons for Sanyer's discharge.
Having concluded that Kimberly satisfied its burden of production, the burden shifts to Sanyer to show that her national origin motivated Kimberly's decision to terminate her employment. Fields, 115 F.3d at 120-121. Sanyer may proffer additional evidence or may rely upon the evidence comprising her prima facie case, without more. See Chambers, 43 F.3d at 38. Here, Sanyer has proffered no evidence in support of her claim that Kimberly discriminated against her based upon her national origin. Her arguments in that regard are conclusory, without the slightest shred of documentary support, and are wholly belied by the record in this case, which demonstrates that Sanyer admittedly arrived late and left early from her assignment at the Davis home and then falsified her time sheet so that she would be paid for two full 12-hour shifts. Although she claims that she was treated differently from trainees who spoke better English than she did, this claim is pure conjecture. The Second Circuit has held that "purely conclusory allegations of discrimination, absent any concrete particulars," will be insufficient to withstand a defendant's summary judgment motion. Meiri v. Dacon, 759 F.2d 989, 998 (2d Cir. 1985); see also Gottlieb v. County of Orange, 84 F.3d 511, 518 (2d Cir. 1996); Goenaga, 51 F.3d at 18.
Accordingly, as Sanyer has failed to respond to Kimberly's "properly supported showing sufficient to suggest the absence of any genuine issue as to a material fact" with "evidence sufficient to support a jury verdict in [her] favor," Goenaga, 51 F.3d at 18, Kimberly's motion for summary judgment is granted and the complaint dismissed.
The Court grants Kimberly's motion for summary judgment and accordingly dismisses Sanyer's complaint.
United States District Judge
Dated: Brooklyn, New York
July 18, 1997
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