The opinion of the court was delivered by: Charles J. Siragusa, United States District Judge
Plaintiff raises claims under the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title VII,
the Family & Medical Leave Act and the New York State Human Rights law.
Previously, on January 17, 2002, this Court entered a decision and order
granting plaintiff's application to amend her complaint. The case is now
before the Court on defendants' motion for summary judgment (docket # 19)
seeking dismissal of the Amended Complaint. For the reasons stated
below, defendants' motion is granted in part and denied in part.
Plaintiff was employed by Rochester Manpower, Inc., from November 15,
1995, until June 8, 1999. Robert Capo was the manager of the Fairport*fn2
branch of Rochester Manpower, Inc., from approximately December 1998
through January 2001 and was also one of plaintiff's supervisors at or
near the time of her termination.
In 1997, plaintiff had a child and took a six-week maternity leave from
her employment. Plaintiff was not required to submit a written request to
take maternity leave. Mullin dep. at 55. At that time, she was a "Service
Representative" at the Fairport branch. In January 1998, upon her return
to work following her maternity leave, Rochester Manpower, Inc., agreed
to adjust her work schedule to allow her more time with her newborn. This
accommodation in her working hours was granted by her then supervisor,
Giannina Naylon, who cleared it with Maryann Dee. Mullin dep. at 57-59.
Approximately in June 1998, plaintiff was promoted to the position of
"branch supervisor" at the Fairport office. On or about August 1, 1998,
plaintiff's annual salary was increased from $27,875.00 to $30,000.00.
On about May 19, 1999, plaintiff confidentially informed her
supervisor, Capo, that she was pregnant. In that regard, she testified in
her deposition as follows:
I did tell him that I just learned, I believe that day
I had gotten off the phone with my doctor's office and
I just learned that I was pregnant. I knew that, you
know, we'd have to have a plan in place. he had been
talking about Debbie Delaney who was a part-time
interviewer, perhaps bringing her upon in the fall as
a service representative. And I said, you know, maybe
if that was — I said with me being pregnant that
might be a good time to train, get her up and
running, et cetera. I said I know that there would be
a lot of plans that would need to be made so I wanted
to let him know right away. And I asked him not to say
anything, as I had miscarried before my daughter was
born. So I said, "A lot of things can happen to first
trimester. Can we please just keep it between us but
keep it in mind, as we'll have to have a plan in place
for the rest of the year."
Mullin dep. at 99. Capo asked her when she was due, and she responded
that she was only about five weeks along and her due date would not be
until January. Mullin dep. at 100.
On or about June 7, 1999, Capo asked plaintiff what her commitment was
to the office and stated to her that he needed a "what ever-it-takes
attitude" from her and, further, needed to know if she was "with him."
Mullin affidavit at 2. The following day, Capo informed plaintiff she was
being terminated for financial reasons. Mullin affidavit at 2. The day
after that, Capo informed plaintiff she was being terminated for both
financial and performance reasons. Then, two days later, on June 11,
1999, Dee told her she was being terminated for financial, not
performance-related, reasons. Mullin affidavit at 2. However, in
26, 1999, letter from defense counsel to plaintiff's counsel, it was
represented that after reviewing plaintiff's work history and discussing
the matter with the president of Rochester Manpower, Inc., Robert G.
Lewis, the plaintiff was being terminated for both financial and
performance reasons. Id. On Sept. 21, 1999, defendants reported to the
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that plaintiff's work performance
was questionable, and she was being terminated for financial reasons.
Id. Mullin affidavit at 3. Yet, in a deposition on May 1, 2001, Capo
described plaintiff as a "good worker." Capo dep. at 83.
Steve Schiano, the Controller or Chief Financial Officer of Rochester
Manpower, Inc. since May 1995, in an affidavit submitted in support of
defendants' application for summary stated,
[a]s a result of poor performance in the second
quarter and the fact that staff expenses remained well
above the benchmark, I recommended that staff be cut
at the Fairport branch in order to improve the
financial condition of the branch. I made this
recommendation at a meeting with Lewis, Robert Capo .
. ., and Dee at some point during the second quarter
Schiano aff. at 2-3 (emphasis). There is no dispute that the second
quarter was not complete ...