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HAYWOOD v. HERITAGE CHRISTIAN HOME

September 15, 1997

LAMONT HAYWOOD, Plaintiff,
v.
HERITAGE CHRISTIAN HOME, INC., and SUSAN TURNQUIST, Defendants.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: LARIMER

DECISION AND ORDER

 This is a discrimination law suit, brought pursuant to Title VII, 42 U.S.C. § 2000-e et seq., 42 U.S.C. § 1981, and New York Executive Law § 296. Plaintiff Lamont Haywood ("plaintiff" or "Haywood") claims that defendants Heritage Christian Home, Inc. ("Heritage") and Susan Turnquist ("Turnquist") (collectively "defendants") refused to hire him because of his race. Pending before the Court is defendants' motion for summary judgment.

 BACKGROUND

 In July 1994, Haywood, a black male, responded to a newspaper advertisement placed by Heritage for full-time and part-time resident counselors for disabled individuals. At this time, Haywood had a full-time day job, but was interested in obtaining a second job. According to Haywood, he was qualified for the position, having worked previously with disabled individuals.

 On August 4, 1994, Turnquist interviewed plaintiff for the available positions, which required employees to start work at 4:00 p.m. at the latest and to work some overnight shifts from 12:00 midnight until 8:00 a.m. During the interview, Turnquist apparently made two notations on plaintiff's interview form that are relevant to this action. First, with respect to plaintiff's current job, Turnquist noted "work schedule 7:30-4:30--possibly he could get out early." Second, Turnquist noted on the bottom of the form "attitude would be a problem--he knows it all!" On August 11, 1994, Haywood received a letter, informing him that more qualified candidates had been selected for the positions.

 A week or so later, another advertisement appeared in the newspaper for full-time and part-time resident counselor positions with Heritage. Haywood maintains that he called Heritage and was told by Turnquist that the advertisement was out dated and that there were, in fact, no positions available. Moments later, Haywood's girlfriend, Melissa Anzalone, allegedly called Heritage and was told by Turnquist that there were many positions available, and she was invited to come down for an interview. Haywood claims that even though his girlfriend, who is white, had no prior experience working with disabled individuals, had a full-time day job, and was taking at least two evening classes, she was offered a position.

 Further, just prior to Haywood's interview, Zenrose Genias, a black woman, interviewed for the resident counselor position. Genias, who had extensive experience working with disabled individuals, was told by Turnquist that she was overqualified for the position.

 Plaintiff commenced the instant action, alleging that he was discriminated against in employment because of his race in violation of Title VII, 42 U.S.C. § 1981, and New York Executive Law § 296. Defendants move for summary judgment on the grounds that plaintiff is unable to establish a prima facie case of discrimination. Further, even if plaintiff were able to establish a prima facie case of discrimination, defendants claim that plaintiff is unable to rebut their legitimate, nondiscriminatory reasons for the decision not to hire him and establish that race was the motivating factor. Defendants also move for summary judgment on plaintiff's Title VII claim against Turnquist on the ground that Turnquist may not be sued in her individual capacity under Title VII.

 DISCUSSION

 I. Legal Standards

 A. Summary Judgment

 Summary judgment will be granted if the record demonstrates 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." Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c). A genuine issue of material fact exists only if the record, taken as a whole, could lead a reasonable trier of fact to find in favor of the non-movant. Altman v. New York City Health & Hosps. Corp., 100 F.3d 1054, 1060-61 (2d Cir. 1996).

 The burden of demonstrating the absence of any genuine issue of material fact rests on the moving party, Henry v. Daytop Village, Inc., 42 F.3d 89, 94 (2d Cir. 1994), and all ambiguities and inferences that may be reasonably drawn from the facts must be viewed in the light most favorable to the non-moving party. Gallo v. Prudential Residential Servs., 22 F.3d 1219, 1223 (2d Cir. 1994). To defeat summary judgment, however, the non-moving party must go beyond ...


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