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TOWNSEND v. WASHINGTON METRO. AREA TRANSIT AUTH.

August 30, 1990

CHRISTINE M. TOWNSEND, Plaintiff,
v.
WASHINGTON METROPOLITAN AREA TRANSIT AUTHORITY, Defendant



The opinion of the court was delivered by: RICHEY

 The plaintiff is suing the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority ("WMATA") for intentional sex discrimination and retaliation in violation of Title VII, 42 U.S.C. ยง 2000e et seq. The plaintiff alleges that in 1984, instead of promoting her, WMATA appointed two males to the position of Curriculum Development Specialist ("CDS") and that WMATA subsequently retaliated against her for filing a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. At a bench trial, the plaintiff presented evidence to make out a prima facie case of sex discrimination, and WMATA put on evidence to show that it had legitimate, nondiscriminatory reasons for its refusal to promote her to a CDS position, which the plaintiff attacked as pretextual. Upon consideration of the evidence adduced at trial, the parties' oral and written arguments, and the underlying law, the Court holds that, while her retaliation claim must fail, the plaintiff has carried her ultimate burden of persuasion on the discrimination claim by showing that WMATA's proffered legitimate, nondiscriminatory reasons were mere pretexts for intentional discrimination.

 I. Findings of Fact

 After receiving her B.S. degree from Ball State University in 1971, the plaintiff taught English to fourteen-to-eighteen year old students in the Prince William County, Virginia public school system until 1980. In the spring of 1982 the plaintiff taught Scholastic Aptitude Test preparatory classes at the Fairfax County Adult Education Center. In September 1982 the plaintiff began working in WMATA's Rail Service Department ("Rail Service") as a clerk-typist, and in April 1983 WMATA promoted her to the position of librarian (grade TA-12) in Rail Service's new technical library. As the first librarian, the plaintiff's responsibilities included setting up the new technical library, ordering reference materials, helping to administer tests to mechanics, and working with the Training Instructors in putting together their lesson plans.

 In the spring of 1984, two new Curriculum Development Specialist ("CDS") positions (grade TA-18) became available in the Rail Training branch of Rail Service. WMATA's posting described the CDS position, in pertinent part, as follows:

 
DEFINITION OF CLASS:
 
This is employee training and development work involving curriculum development, instructional methodology and related training activities. A [CDS] is responsible for developing training courses for employees engaged in Metrorail operations and services including technical maintenance training . . .; [CDS's] also train course instructors in instructional theory, principles and methods. [CDS's] serve as members of a training team assigned responsibility for a functional training area. . . .
 
EXAMPLES OF DUTIES:
 
. . . .
 
Develops criteria, standards and guidelines for rail service training programs. Serves as a principal member of a course development team made up of a subject matter specialist, a training aids specialist and a [CDS].. . .
 
. . . .
 
KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS AND ABILITIES:
 
Considerable knowledge of curriculum development procedures and adult education programs, and training courses available.
 
. . . .
 
Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively orally and in writing; demonstrated ability to gain the confidence of rail service instructors. . . .
 
Demonstrated ability to solicit useful feedback from rail service instructors and to respond to a need for curriculum ...

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