The opinion of the court was delivered by: Urbina, District Judge.
GRANTING THE DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
On May 18, 2001, Howard filed a motion for summary judgment on
all three counts, arguing that Mr. Ben-Kotel has failed to make
prima-facie cases of national-origin discrimination under Title
VII and the DCHRA, and of intentional infliction of emotional
In August 1999, the Department of Modern Languages and
Literatures ("the Department") at Howard needed to hire teachers
to teach some Spanish classes left unassigned because of
last-minute resignations of several faculty members. See Mot.
for Summ. J. at 4. Dr. Alphonse Frost, the Interim Chairman of
the Department at the time, asked Professor Amelia Mondragon,
the Coordinator of the Spanish section, to find part-time
teachers to teach the unassigned classes. See id. at 2-4;
Frost Dep. at 48. Professor Mondragon, in turn, asked Professor
Aleida Rodriguez to contact the Department of Spanish and
Portuguese at the University of Maryland ("UMD") in search of
part-time teachers. See id. at 5; Pl.'s Opp'n to Mot. for
Summ. J. ("Pl.'s Opp'n") at 2; Mondragon Dep. at 42. Professor
Rodriguez called UMD and requested that notes be placed in
Teaching Assistants' mailboxes announcing the vacant positions
at Howard. See Mot. for Summ. J. at 5. These notes referred
interested parties to Professor Rodriguez. See id.
A student at UMD's doctoral program in Spanish, Mr. Ben-Kotel
called Professor Rodriguez in response to her inquiry. See
Ben-Kotel Dep. at 48. During the telephone conversation, held
entirely in Spanish, Professor Rodriguez told Mr. Ben-Kotel to
call Professor Mondragon. See id. at 50. In his conversation
with Professor Mondragon, also held entirely in Spanish,
Professor Mondragon told Mr. Ben-Kotel to send in his resume and
to call Dr. Frost. See Mot. for Summ. J. at 5-6; Ben-Kotel
Dep. at 52, 54. Mr. Ben-Kotel called Dr. Frost, and during this
conversation, held entirely in English, Dr. Frost stated that he
needed to interview him. See Mot. for Summ. J. at 6; Ben-Kotel
Dep. at 58-59.
Shortly thereafter, Mr. Ben-Kotel had his interview with Dr.
Frost. See Mot. for Summ. J. at 6; Ben-Kotel Dep. at 59.
During this meeting, also held entirely in English, Dr. Frost
gave Mr. Ben-Kotel an application form and told him to submit
three references. See Mot. for Summ. J. at 6; Frost Dep. at
49-50; Ben-Kotel Dep. at 70. Accompanied by his wife, Mr.
Ben-Kotel personally delivered the completed application to Dr.
Frost and discussed, among other things, the classes he would be
teaching. See Mot. for Summ. J. at 7; Frost Dep. at 62;
Ben-Kotel Dep. at 75. Dr. Frost wanted Mr. Ben-Kotel to teach
Intensive Spanish One and Two. See id. Finally, Dr. Frost told
Mr. Ben-Kotel to call Paul Logan, the Associate Dean for the
Humanities in the College of Arts and Sciences at Howard. See
id. at 2, 7; Logan Dep. at 10.
After this second meeting, Mr. Ben-Kotel called Professor
Mondragon and told her that his interview with Dr. Frost went
well and that Dean Logan would interview him next. See Mot.
for Summ. J. at 8; Mondragon Dep. at 61. In response, Professor
Mondragon indicated that the interview with Dean Logan would
probably be a formality, discussed the textbook used in the
Intensive Spanish class, and invited
Mr. Ben-Kotel to a faculty meeting. See Ben-Kotel Dep. at 84;
Mondragon Dep. at 61.
Soon thereafter, Dean Logan interviewed Mr. Ben-Kotel over the
telephone. See Mot. for Summ. J. at 8; Pl.'s Opp'n at 4; Logan
Dep. at 60; Ben-Kotel Dep. at 90. This interview was held
entirely in English. See Mot. for Summ. J. at 8; Ben-Kotel
Dep. at 90. After the interview, Dean Logan expressed concerns
about Mr. Ben-Kotel to Dr. Frost. See Mot. for Summ. J. at 11.
Specifically, Dean Logan complained that he had difficulty
understanding Mr. Ben-Kotel's responses to questions. See id;
Logan Dep. at 62-66; Frost Dep. at 76. Dr. Frost agreed. See
Mot for Summ. J. at 11. Dean Logan was concerned that students
would not understand Mr. Ben-Kotel when he would have to explain
Spanish grammar in English and, therefore, told Dr. Frost that
he should not go forward with Mr. Ben-Kotel's application. See
Dr. Frost called Mr. Ben-Kotel and explained that his
application would not move forward because of concerns about his
ability to explain Spanish grammar in English. See id. at 12;
Frost Dep. at 76-77. According to Mr. Ben-Kotel, however, Dr.
Frost told him that his application would not proceed because of
his accent. See Pl.'s Opp'n at 5.
Howard states that at this time, it stopped seeking candidates
for the part-time position, and that existing faculty juggled
their schedules and taught the previously unassigned classes.
See Mot. for Summ. J. at 12; Frost Dep. at 84-85.
Believing that he was discriminated against on the basis of
his national origin, Mr. Ben-Kotel wrote to Howard seeking
reconsideration and clarification of why it had rejected his
application. See Pl.'s Opp'n at 6. In response, Dr. Clarence
Lee, the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Howard,
advised Mr. Ben-Kotel that his letter had been forwarded to
Howard's General Counsel. See id.
Receiving no further response from Howard, Mr. Ben-Kotel filed
a Complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
("EEOC") and the D.C. Human Rights Commission. See id. at 6-7.
The EEOC determined that there was reasonable cause for a
discrimination claim under Title VII.*fn1 See EEOC
Determination dated February 15, 2000. On June 8, 2000, the EEOC
issued a letter giving Mr. Ben-Kotel ...