The opinion of the court was delivered by: ANDREW PECK, Magistrate Judge
Plaintiff Richard C. Williams brings this pro se Title VII and
ADEA action against the City of New York claiming unequal terms
and conditions of his employment, termination due to gender,
race, and age discrimination, and retaliation. (Dkt. No. 2:
Compl. ¶¶ 4, 7.) The parties have consented to disposition of
this action by a Magistrate Judge pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c).
(Dkt. No. 18.) Presently before the Court is defendant's summary
judgment motion. For the reasons stated below, the motion (Dkt.
No. 28) is GRANTED.
Richard Williams was hired by the New York Police Department
("NYPD") in May 2001 as a School Safety Agent Level I. (See
Dkt. No. 29: City SJ Br. at 2; Dkt. No. 30: Winefsky Aff. Exs. B,
C; Dkt. No. 30: Kam Aff. ¶ 4.) Williams attended the Training
Academy until August 2001 when he was assigned to the High School
of Graphic Communication Arts in New York City. (Kam Aff. ¶ 4;
Winefsky Aff. Exs. B, C.) His immediate supervisor was Rosalyn
Burns, a School Safety Agent Level III. (Dkt. No. 30: Burns Aff. ¶¶ 1-2; Kam Aff.
¶ 3.) Burns supervised a total of nine employees including
Williams, five females and four males. (Burns Aff. ¶ 2; Kam Aff.
Williams complains that Ms. Burns gave him two poor performance
evaluations and that she did not treat similarly situated female
employees in the same way. (Winefsky Aff. Ex. G: Williams NYCCHR
Compl. ¶ 5.) Williams asserts that Ms. Burns screamed at him in
front of students and that she called him "out of . . . name like
boy instead of calling [him] by Agent Williams." (Compl. Attached
Handwritten pages; Dkt. No. 37: Williams SJ Opp. Ex. D: 11/23/04
Letter from Teacher Patricia Crespino: "I witnessed Sgt. Burns
refer to Officer Williams as a `boy' by saying `Boy, where is
At the training academy, Williams received five demerits
resulting in two Command Disciplines for which he as found guilty
as charged. (Kam Aff. ¶ 5; Winefsky Aff. Ex. A.) Williams asserts
that the demerits were "baseless and ungrounded." (Williams SJ
Opp. at 1.) Williams received a "Below Standards" formal written
evaluation from Burns for the May-September 2001 period. (Kam
Aff. ¶ 6; Winefsky Aff. Ex. B.) Of the nine male and female
school safety agents supervised by Burns, only Williams received
a "`Below Standards' evaluation." (Kam Aff. ¶¶ 6, 11.) Williams
was investigated by the Internal Affairs Bureau for
"fraternization with students," although the charges were found
to be unsubstantiated. (Williams SJ Opp. Att.: IAB Reports;
Winefsky Aff. Exs. C, H.)
While Burns submitted her evaluation of Williams, she did not
make a recommendation as to whether his employment should be
terminated or continued. (Burns Aff. ¶ 5.) Stephen Kam
recommended Williams' termination, "based on his disciplinary
history." (Kam Aff. ¶ 7.) Executive Officer Samuel Willis reviewed and concurred in
Kam's recommendation. (Kam Aff. ¶ 8; Winefsky Aff. Ex. C:
10/23/01 Willis Memo.) That was endorsed by Administrative School
Safety Manager Gary Armstead. (Kam Aff. ¶ 9; Winefsky Aff. Ex.
D.) Williams was terminated effective December 5, 2001. (Kam Aff.
¶ 10; Winefsky Aff. Ex. E: 12/5/01 Termination Letter.) He was
still a probationary employee at the time. (Id.)
On March 26, 2002, Williams filed a complaint with the New York
City Commission on Human Rights ("NYCCHR"). (Winefsky Aff. Ex. G;
see also id. Ex. H.) Williams' complaint, under the City
Human Rights Law and Title VII, asserted only claims for
gender/sex discrimination. (Id.) The Commission "determined
that there is no probable cause to believe that the respondents
engaged in the unlawful discriminatory practices alleged."
(Winefsky Aff. Ex. H at 1.) The NYCCHR found:
In order to remain a school safety officer,
[Williams] was required to receive a rating of "meets
standards" on his performance evaluation form during
his one-year probationary period. [Williams] was
evaluated by respondent and was found to fall "below
standard" in several categories. . . .
[Williams] fails to point to any incidents or fact or
otherwise that would tend to support a conclusion
that his termination was the result of his gender and
not the result of his "below standard" performance. . . .
There is no evidence of preferential treatment
toward similarly situated female school safety
officers or unfair treatment to similarly situated
(Winefsky Aff. Ex. H: NYCCHR Decision at 2.)
The EEOC adopted the NYCCHR's findings. (Winefsky Aff. Ex. J:
EEOC Dismissal and Notice of Rights.)
Williams' timely-filed pro se complaint in this Court asserts
claims under Title VII and the ADEA based on race, gender/sex and
age, and retaliation. (Dkt. No. 2: Compl. page 1 & ¶¶ 4, 7.) At his deposition, Williams explained that as to age, he was
older (44) than the other employees, and as a result he had
children and needed to work overtime, and other agents (not
Burns) made fun of his age. (Winefsky Aff. Ex. I: Williams Dep.
at 87-91.) As to his claim of race discrimination, when asked his
basis for that claim, he responded: "I don't have any answer."
(Williams Dep. at 91.) His basis for his retaliation claim is
that when he found a gun on a student, he should have been
congratulated but he was not, and instead was fired. (Williams
Dep. at 97: "I think they retaliated against me for the findings
of the gun, that's what I think.")
Most telling is Williams' summary judgment opposition filing,
where he stated:
Please note that for some reason unknown to me,
Sergeant Burns, my immediate supervisor, has taken an
irrational dislike to me, and that the problems have
stemmed from that.
(Williams SJ Opp. at 2; see also Compl. Att.: Williams
handwritten statement that as to Burns, it "seems like we had
some kind of communication problem.")
I. LEGAL PRINCIPLES GOVERNING DISCRIMINATION CASES*fn1 A. Summary Judgment Standards in Employment Discrimination
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."
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c); see also, e.g., Celotex Corp. v.
Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322, 106 S. Ct. 2548, 2552 (1986);
Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 247,
106 S. Ct. 2505, 2509-10 (1986); Weinstock v. ...