The opinion of the court was delivered by: DENNY CHIN, District Judge
In this employment discrimination case, plaintiff Samuel Mason
alleges that defendant New York City Transit Authority ("NYCTA")
failed to promote him because of his race and age, in violation
of federal law. Defendant moves for summary judgment dismissing
all claims. For the reasons set forth below, the motion is
Construed in the light most favorable to plaintiff, the non-moving party, the facts are as follows:*fn1
Mason is an African-American man, born on February 13, 1957.
Mason received a Bachelors degree in General Studies from the
University of Michigan in 1979, a Master of Science degree in
Administration from Central Michigan University in 1993, and a
Master of Science degree in Transportation Management from
Polytechnic University in 2002. (Mason Dep. at 19; Pl. Ex. 4; Pl.
Mem. at 1). Mason is a member of the high-IQ society "Mensa,"
having scored in the top two percent of the general population in
standardized intelligence tests. (Mason Dep. at 19, 65). Mason
was hired as an Associate Staff Analyst by NYCTA on November 1,
1993,*fn2 the position that he retains today. (Def. Ex. 5;
Mason Dep. at 5). During his employment with NYCTA, Mason has
completed numerous internal training classes. (Pl. Ex. 4). Mason
has never been promoted. (Mason Dep. at 6). 2. Plaintiff's Job Performance
Mason has been moved among units within NYCTA throughout his
employment with defendant. He has been transferred at least six
times among units within the Paratransit Division. (Def. 56.1
Statement ¶¶ 2, 4-8). Mason's supervisors at his multiple
assignments universally have expressed dissatisfaction with
Mason's job performance. Beverly Morris an African-American
woman, older than Mason supervised Mason in his first
assignment as an Associate Staff Analyst in the Planning Unit of
the Paratransit Division, from 1993 through 1998, during which
time she "realized that plaintiff failed to meet work time
schedules or produce quality work without constant and careful
scrutiny and supervision . . . [and] underachieved to the extent
of just doing enough to meet the minimum standards for job
performance." (Morris Aff. ¶ 2-3). James Wilson,*fn3 head of
the Standards and Compliance Unit during Mason's various
assignments in that unit,*fn4 commented that "Mason's
overall work product was mediocre and he seemed to make
relatively straight forward jobs into major projects." (Wilson
Aff. ¶ 2).
In 2001, upon Mason's transfer back to the Planning Unit of the Paratransit Division, Anthony Spicola an Hispanic
man, older than Mason assigned Mason to two relatively simple
projects based on Mason's reputation as "unmotivated and lacking
initiative." (Spicola Aff. ¶ 2). One of the projects involved
riding Access-A-Ride vehicles and completing surveys on whether
the vehicles performed trips on time, a task usually performed by
part-time college interns. (Id.; Barnes-Chung Aff. ¶¶ 2-3). In
this study, Mason was directly supervised by Zulema Barnes-Chung,
an African-American woman. Contrary to instructions, Mason did
not complete the surveys while in the field, but instead did so
later at his desk. Mason also would disappear from the office for
an hour at a time. (Barnes-Chung Aff. ¶ 3).
Later, Mason was sent "on loan" to the Eligibility
Determination Unit to perform a task sorting and scanning
documents, a job usually performed by temporary employees.
Mason's supervisors (a Hispanic woman, 45 years old, and a Black
woman, 46 years old) "found that plaintiff frequently left the
work area" and could not be found "for periods of time"; "asked
questions over and over regarding simple tasks that were
performed successfully by unskilled temporary workers with little
[sic] if any questions asked"; and "often seemed to be idle and
gave the sense that he was not motivated."*fn5 (Mullins Aff.
¶ 2; Malave Aff. ¶ 2).
3. Plaintiff's Applications for Promotions
Plaintiff's complaint focuses on four positions for promotion
that were denied to him.
i. Job Posting # 1284*fn6
Mason applied for a promotion to the position of Principal
Transportation Planner in the Eligibility Determination Unit,
Paratransit Division, posted on December 28, 2001 as Job # 001284
(Job # 1284). (Pl. Mem. at 11; Def. 56.1 Statement ¶ 9; Def. Ex.
2). The selection panel for the position consisted of Noel
Malave, Elese Mullins, and Anthony Spicola, all three of whom had
previously supervised Mason. (Malave Aff. ¶¶ 2-3; Mullins Aff. ¶¶
2-3; Spicola Aff. ¶¶ 2-3). Malave is Hispanic and forty-five
years of age; Mullins is African-American and forty-six years
old; and Spicola is Caucasian and fifty years old. (Malave Aff. ¶
4; Mullins Aff. ¶ 4; Spicola Aff. ¶ 4). Mullins and Malave reviewed the resumes and selected the
candidates for interviews. Thirty-eight individuals applied for
this position (Pl. Mem. at 12), six of whom were granted
interviews. Four of the six candidates interviewed were
African-American; of those four, one was forty-five years of age
and two were forty-three years of age.*fn7 Mullins and
Malave did not select Mason for an interview; while neither
remembers reviewing Mason's resume, both were familiar with
Mason's work and believe they did not select him based on their
negative experiences working with him. (Mullins Aff. ¶ 3; Malave
Aff. ¶ 3).
The successful candidate was a Caucasian man, age 39, who
already worked within the Eligibility Determination Unit as an
analyst, was familiar with the responsibilities of the job, and
had previous supervisory experience with NYCTA. (Def. 56.1
Statement ¶ 9).
On March 15, 2002, NYCTA posted a job vacancy notice for job
#001350 ("job #1350"), a Principal Transportation Planner in the
Contract Management Unit, Paratransit Division. (Def. Ex. 6). The
position "required skills in the area of contracts, procurement,
financial analyses and budget, as it involved the oversight of
outside contractors' vouchers and invoices amounting to
multi-millions of dollars." (Salerno Aff. ¶ 2). The three members
of the selection panel were all Caucasian males, older than plaintiff. (Id.). The panel selected five candidates for
interviews, all of whom showed experience in these skills, while
plaintiff's resume did not reflect such experience. (Id.). The
five candidates selected for interviews were African-American
and/or age forty or older. (Id.).
Plaintiff was not selected for an interview. The three members
of the panel at the time of the selection were "aware of
plaintiff's reputation within Paratransit management as a worker
who was not highly productive." (Id.). The successful candidate
was a Caucasian man, age forty, who "had experience in ...