explanation must always be assessed in light of the total circumstances
of the case . . . ." Aka v. Washington Hosp. Ctr., 156 F.3d at 1291.
B. The Undisputed Facts
Defendant does not dispute that plaintiff is a member of a protected
class — Asian/Filipino — or that she was replaced by an
African American woman and a Caucasian woman, neither of whom were
members of plaintiff's protected class.*fn1 It is also apparent that
plaintiff has presented no direct evidence that she was discriminated
against. She simply believes that her overall job performance was good
and that she therefore must have been fired for a discriminatory reason.
See Def. Mem. in Support of Summ. J., Exh. 6 (Deposition of Maria
Remedios Jose) at 208-09. The issue therefore is whether plaintiff has
sufficiently established, through circumstantial evidence or from
inferences that are fairly drawn from the facts — and drawing all
such reasonable inference sin her favor on summary judgment — that
she was qualified for her job, or whether defendant has articulated a
legitimate nondiscriminatory reason for plaintiff's termination that has
not been shown to be pretextual.
To show that she was "qualified" for the position, "plaintiff must show
that [s]he met [her] employer's legitimate expectations." Smith v.
Chamber of Commerce, 645 F. Supp. 604, 607 (D.D.C. 1986); accord Buttell
v. American Podiatric Medical Ass'n, 700 F. Supp. 592, 596 (D.D.C.
1988). As its legitimate non-discriminatory reason for plaintiff's
termination, however, the Hospital proffers that plaintiff's job
performance as IC Practitioner and EH Nurse was marked by persistent
performance deficiencies and specifically that she utterly failed in
meeting her primary responsibility to help prepare the Hospital for the
JCAHO review. The Court finds that plaintiff has not rebutted the
Hospital's asserted legitimate reason for her termination.
When plaintiff accepted her position as IC Practitioner/EH Nurse, she
was aware that she would be required to focus her attention primarily on
preparing her areas for the upcoming JCAHO accreditation survey. See
Def.'s Motion, Exh. 2 at 112. The Hospital, in support of its
unsatisfactory performance justification for termination, produced
unrebutted evidence of the host of failures leading to plaintiff's
discharge, including plaintiff's own deposition testimony and the sworn
declarations of five Hospital employees. The reasons for her termination
included: (1) her failure to revise and implement the Infection
Surveillance Plan in a timely manner;*fn2 (2) her failure to review the
JCAHO standards with the Infection Control Committee;*fn3 (3) her
failure to properly update and organize the Hospital's Infection Control
Policies and Procedures Manual; (4) her failure to collect and report
Infection Control data in a timely manner; (5) her failure to organize
and maintain accurate records with respect to Employee Health
information; and (6) her failure to discharge her duties in a
satisfactory manner despite the fact that plaintiff's supervisors,
Ms. Leyden and Ms. Bonnet, attempted to counsel her with respect to their
To counter the Hospital's proffered legitimate non-discriminatory
reason, plaintiff quibbles with specific details of her alleged
deficiencies, but she does nothing to undermine the Hospital's basic
assessment that her performance was unsatisfactory and that virtually
everything she was to do in preparation for the JACHO visit was left
undone. Plaintiff offers, for example, the assertion that the clutter in
the Employee Health office observed by Ms. Leyden was in fact neat piles
that only looked disorganized due to the cramped office space allotted to
Employee Health. Pl. Opp. to Motion for Summ. J., Exh. 1 (Declaration of
Maria Remedios Jose), ¶¶ 33-37. This information, however, does
nothing to rebut or call into question the fact that plaintiff's
supervisors observed piles of paper that led them to believe that
plaintiff was not meeting the Hospital's legitimate expectations. In any
case, this is hardly a "material fact" precluding summary judgment.
Plaintiff has otherwise offered the type of self-serving allegations
that are simply insufficient to establish pretext. See, e.g., Jose Dep.
at 208-09 ("My performance was good, my overall performance was good. I
don't see any reason why I would be fired"). Even viewing the evidence in
the light most favorable to plaintiff, the record is devoid of any direct
or circumstantial evidence from which a reasonable trier of fact could
question the defendant's legitimate non-discriminatory reason. The Court
therefore concludes that plaintiff has failed to rebut the defendant's
nondiscriminatory reason for terminating her and will grant summary
judgment in favor of defendant.
An Order and Judgment consistent with this Memorandum Opinion will be
issued this same day.