Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

HARDY v. MARRIOTT CORP.

May 1, 1987

William S. Hardy, Plaintiff
v.
Marriott Corporation, Defendant


Thomas F. Hogan, United States District Judge.


The opinion of the court was delivered by: HOGAN

MEMORANDUM OPINION

Thomas F. Hogan, United States District Judge.

 Plaintiff, a black male, brought this action claiming disparate treatment based on race in the conditions of his employment, his performance evaluations and his eventual discharge by defendant Marriott Corporation ("Marriott" or "the corporation") in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq. This case was tried before the Court, without a jury, over an eleven day period. At the conclusion of the trial, the Court requested the parties to submit proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law. The Court took the matter under advisement and herein issues its findings of fact and conclusions of law. Upon lengthy and careful consideration of all the evidence, the Court finds that plaintiff has failed to meet his burden under Title VII.

 FINDINGS OF FACT

 Plaintiff William Smith Hardy was hired by defendant on March 28, 1973, as a Personnel Director for the Twin Bridges Marriott Hotel ("Twin Bridges") in Arlington, Virginia. As a hotel personnel director, plaintiff was responsible for recruitment, orientation programs, benefits and insurance administration, employee and labor relations, implementation of corporate policy, and maintenance of records. Plaintiff was a unit level manager and as such was a member of the executive committee which oversaw the daily operations of the hotel. During his tenure at Twin Bridges, Mr. Hardy was the only black individual on the seven man executive committee. Within the Marriott heirarchy, plaintiff reported to Terry Barlow (white male), the General Manager, later succeeded by Thomas Gowman (white male), and to Robert Hill (black male), the Regional Personnel Director responsible for, among others, the Twin Bridges Hotel. Mr. Hill reported to James Ward (also known as Bud Ward) (black male), Vice President of Personnel, who in turn reported to James Durbin (white male), President of the Hotel Division.

 Plaintiff initially interviewed with Terry Barlow for the personnel director position at the Twin Bridges property. At the conclusion of the interview, Mr. Barlow offered plaintiff the job and Mr. Hardy accepted. Several days later, Robert Hill and another Regional Personnel Director, a white male, met with plaintiff in what appeared to be a second interview. All the two men knew about plaintiff, though, was that he was to begin work the next day. During the meeting plaintiff seemed agitated and annoyed. He became increasingly hostile towards the white Regional Personnel Director, at which point Mr. Hill asked Mr. Hardy how well he worked with white people in the sense of supervising them. Mr. Hill also inquired about plaintiff's family, a question plaintiff found inappropriate in a business meeting. During his two years at Twin Bridges, Mr. Hardy took great offense at any questions concerning his family, despite the friendly nature of the inquiries.

 B. Plaintiff's Performance

 Periodically the General Manager of a Marriott hotel conducts a review of an employee's performance, setting forth the individual's strengths and weaknesses. On September 20, 1973, Mr. Barlow evaluated plaintiff, in a Personnel Action Form ("PAF"), rating him above average but noting that in the future Mr. Hardy must complete assigned tasks in a timely fashion, learn all personnel policies and procedures, and conduct himself in a gentlemanly manner at all times. On October 23, 1973, Mr. Barlow issued a Management Performance Appraisal on plaintiff which advised Mr. Hardy that he needed to promptly complete work assignments, learn to anticipate project complications or problems, carry out instructions reliably, reduce employee turnover, and aid employees and management in better training programs.

 On September 24, 1974, Mr. Barlow sent a memorandum to Thomas Gowman, his successor as General Manager, listing the strengths and weaknesses of Mr. Hardy. Since Mr. Gowman had been at the Twin Bridges facility for only a short time, he needed some basis for completing a PAF on plaintiff and, therefore, requested evaluations from Mr. Barlow and Mr. Hill. *fn1" Among his strengths Mr. Barlow noted that plaintiff displayed excellent loyalty to the General Manager, worked long hours, and had won the respect of the vast majority of employees throughout the hotel. His weaknesses included occasional temperamental behavior, untimeliness in completing reports, and an aversion to handling the administrative tasks of his job. Mr. Hardy denied that he displayed any of the weaknesses Mr. Barlow attributed to him, although he does not claim that Mr. Barlow discriminated against him.

 On September 25, 1974, Mr. Hill, too, wrote an evaluation of Mr. Hardy for Mr. Gowman. Mr. Hill found that plaintiff's problems included an inability to perform consistently, hypersensitivity, and failure to undertake necessary personnel services such as recruiting new employees, staffing the property, or initiating employee meetings. In addition, Mr. Hill credibly testified that a full property audit with Mr. Hardy had not been possible as plaintiff was always too unprepared to conduct such an audit with Mr. Hill. Despite many meetings with Mr. Hill, plaintiff never complained to him or sought guidance about audits or work problems. On October 3, 1974, Mr. Hill again addressed a memorandum to Mr. Gowman suggesting that plaintiff be directed to develop a three-month Plan of Action and a one-year Personal Plan to improve his performance.

 On October 9, 1974, Mr. Gowman gave plaintiff a performance review, adopting the evaluations of Mr. Barlow and Mr. Hill and directing plaintiff to put together the performance improvement plans suggested by Mr. Hill. Mr. Gowman informed plaintiff he would have to "adopt more of the traditional role of a Director of Personnel in a hotel situation and concentrate more on serving the management's personnel needs in following through on corporate employee programs." Def. Exh. F. Mr. Gowman gave plaintiff an "above-average" rating partly in acquiescience to Mr. Hardy when plaintiff objected to the suggestion that he deserved a lower rating. Mr. Hill testified that he recommended an above-average rating for plaintiff because plaintiff indicated he needed a ten percent pay increase; an above average rating was generally a necessary prerequisite to such an increase. Mr. Hill sought to appease Mr. Hardy as the relationship between the two men had been somewhat antagonistic.

 Plaintiff failed to submit a Plan of Action pursuant to the October 9, 1974 PAF. The exhibit plaintiff offered at trial as proof that he did submit a Personal Plan relates to Fiscal Year 1974 and not Fiscal Year 1975, as required by the October, 1974 PAF. The document is an apparent attempt by plaintiff to assert he prepared the Personal Plan although it is inherently incredible, as are plaintiff's explanations.

 At trial plaintiff denied that his performance warranted the negative evaluations he received. Plaintiff pointed to numerous programs in which he was involved to establish that his performance as Personnel Director was above average. To provide open communications between management and employees, for example, plaintiff organized a program entitled "Rap It To The Man." This program built on and improved the system already in place for exchanges between management and employees. Similarly, Mr. Hardy also assisted in the Employee Opinion Surveys conducted at the Twin Bridges property on June 6, 7, and 8, 1973 and June 5, 6, and 7, 1974. Although he contributed to the high response rate of the surveys, the evidence demonstrated that plaintiff was not solely responsible for the success.

 While at Marriott Mr. Hardy tried to alleviate the inordinate amount of paper work accumulating at the property. He also enthusiastically attempted to recruit first offenders for employment at the hotel and actively sought the career progression of minorities and women. Mr. Barlow testified, however, that plaintiff "appeared overzealous to promote people into jobs that others didn't think they were really competent or qualified for, and that required the approval of Mr. ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.