of disparate treatment discrimination is denied.
D. THE CITY'S LEGITIMATE, NON-DISCRIMINATORY REASONS
An analysis of each of Sanders's claims, in light of all the
credible evidence introduced at trial, convinces the Court that
a reasonable jury could have found that Sanders failed to
establish a prima facie case under any of the three theories
advanced above. On this basis alone, Sanders's motion for
judgment as a matter of law should be denied. Nevertheless, the
Court feels compelled to underscore the overwhelming evidence
presented at trial as to the City's legitimate,
non-discriminatory reasons for Sanders's transfer.
Assuming for purposes of this analysis that Sanders had been
able to establish a prima facie case for any one of her claims,
the burden would then shift to the City to introduce credible
evidence of a legitimate, non-discriminatory reason for its
actions. McDonnell Douglas, 411 U.S. at 802, 93 S.Ct. 1817. In
this case, such evidence was abundant. The City's witnesses
established that the addendum to Sanders's 1993 performance
evaluation was for all intents and purposes expunged and that
the only remaining copy of the addendum resided in a
confidential HRA Equal Employment Office file. Furthermore,
Sanders's transfer occurred in a City-wide budget crisis that
prompted an overall downsizing and eventual dissolution of the
specific unit from which Sanders was transferred. The City
introduced credible testimony from Celeste Cummings that the
transfer was in accordance in all respects with standard civil
service transfers based purely on rank and experience. Ms.
Cummings further testified that she did not have access to an
employee's full personnel file, that she had never seen the
addendum to Sanders's evaluation and that she could not have
seen it because confidential HRA Equal Employment Office files
may not be released for the processing of a standard transfer.
At the close of evidence, Sanders arguably established no more
than that a negative addendum was once placed on, and quickly
expunged from, an evaluation almost ten years ago; that she was
transferred pursuant to a City-wide downsizing to a location
which was poorly maintained and which lengthened her commute;
and that her transfer was accompanied by modified duties all
within the ambit of her civil service rank. During the relevant
time period of this dispute, Sanders was never demoted to a
lower rank, never suffered a reduction in pay, and continued to
work as a civil servant for the City, for which she was
compensated in accordance with her rank.
For the sake of argument, then, even if Sanders had been able
to establish a prima facie case under Title VII on any of her
claims, a reasonable jury could have concluded that the City's
evidence of legitimate, non-discriminatory reasons for its
actions was simply overwhelming and uncontroverted.
CONCLUSION AND ORDER
For the reasons set forth above, it is hereby
ORDERED that Sanders's motion for judgment as a matter of
law pursuant to Rule 50(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure is DENIED in its entirety.
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