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Delores Ivey-Paige v. One Communications

July 26, 2011

DELORES IVEY-PAIGE, PLAINTIFF,
v.
ONE COMMUNICATIONS, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Michael A. Telesca United States District Judge

DECISION and ORDER

INTRODUCTION

Plaintiff, Delores Ivey-Paige ("Plaintiff"), proceeding pro see, brings this action against her prior employer, One Communications ("Defendant" or "One Communications"), claiming that One Communications improperly discriminated against her because of her race and retaliated against her for engaging in a protected activity in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964,

42 U.S.C. §2000e, et seq. ("Title VII"). Specifically, Plaintiff alleges that she was not promoted due to her race, and that after she filed a charge of discrimination against her employer with the New York State Division of Human Rights, she was retaliated against by being subjected to a warning and criticism from One Communications.

Defendant denies Plaintiff's allegations and moves for summary judgment pursuant to Rule 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure ("Rule 56") on the grounds that Plaintiff has not stated a prima facie case for retaliation or racial discrimination. See Defendants Memorandum of Law at 7, 18. Defendant contends that Plaintiff was not promoted because the promotion she sought was given to an employee who was more qualified. Further, Defendant contends that the reprimands and criticism Plaintiff received were not adverse employment actions, and were not related to Plaintiff's engaging in a protected activity. Plaintiff opposes Defendant's motion for summary judgment, arguing that there are genuine issues of material fact indispute. For the reasons set forth below, I grant Defendant's motion for summary judgment and Plaintiff's Complaint is dismissed with prejudice.

BACKGROUND

Plaintiff began her employment with One Communications in 2000. See Statement of Undisputed Facts. ("Statement of Facts") ¶¶1, 7. Plaintiff worked as a "PortOut Provisioner" and was responsible for handling port out and toll free requests for One Communications' operational support systems. In July, 2008, Plaintiff applied for the position of Team Leader. Plaintiff was one of four employees to apply for this position. Each applicant for the position was interviewed by a One Communications' manager. Each applicant was asked the same questions and the responses were scored by the One Communications' manager. Following the interview and selection process, Plaintiff was informed that another applicant was selected for the Team Leader position. After being informed of this decision, Plaintiff reported to her superiors that she felt discriminated against. See Statement of Facts ¶7. As a result of this report, a meeting was arranged between Plaintiff and the One Communications Human Resource Director. During this meeting, Plaintiff reported her belief that she felt discriminated against but did not offer any evidence other than her failure to be promoted. In response to Plaintiff's complaints, the One Communications Human Resource Director conducted an investigation and determined that no discrimination had taken place. See Statement of Facts ¶8. Thereafter, on August 14th, 2008, Plaintiff filed a charge of discrimination with the New York State Division of Human Rights. See Statement of Facts ¶9.

Plaintiff continued working for One Communications and in November, 2008, she and several other employees received written warnings from their superior, for excessive personal telephone use. See Statement of Facts ¶11. Plaintiff denied that she had made any personal calls. In response to Plaintiff's denial of personal phone use, One Communications conducted an investigation. This investigation resulted in a finding that Plaintiff had not used the phones for personal use. The investigation found that an error had been made in the system that logs telephone calls made by employees. The logs had associated Plaintiff's name with a different phone number which was assigned to someone else. When this error was discovered, the written warning that was sent to Plaintiff was rescinded and was removed from Plaintiff's personnel file. See Statement of Facts ¶ 12.

On February 9th, 2009, Plaintiff's discrimination charge made against her employer with the New York State Division of Human Rights was dismissed on the basis that there was no probable cause to believe that discrimination had occurred.

On April 28th, 2009, Plaintiff resigned from her job with One Communications and began working as an Associate Consultant of Appeals with Maximus Federal Services. Plaintiff then filed this action on July 15th, 2009, alleging discrimination on the basis of race, and retaliation.

DISCUSSION

I. Standard for Summary Judgment under Rule 56(c) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure

Summary judgment is appropriate pursuant to Rule 56 where "there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law" Fed. R. Civ. P. 56. The court must view all facts in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party, but "only if there is a 'genuine' dispute as to those facts." Scott v. Harris, 500 U.S. 372, 380-81 (2007). "When opposing parties tell two different stories, one of which is blatantly contradicted by the record, so that no reasonable jury could believe it, a court should not adopt that version of the facts for purposes of ruling on a motion for summary judgment." Id. at 1776.

A genuine issue of material fact exists if "the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party." Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). However, the nonmoving party may not rely on "[c]onclusory allegations, conjecture, and speculation," Kerzer v. Kingly Mfg., 156 F.3d 396, 400 (2d Cir. 1998). "When no rational jury could find in favor of the nonmoving party because the evidence to support its case is so slight, there is no genuine issue of material fact and a grant of summary judgment is proper." Gallo v. ...


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