The opinion of the court was delivered by: Urbina, District Judge.
GRANTING THE DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR
SUMMARY JUDGMENT ON ALL CLAIMS
OF PLAINTIFF CAROLYN GREEN
These race-discrimination and retaliation cases began with 132 current
and former employees of Bell Atlantic Corp. (now Verizon) suing their
employer and its subsidiaries (collectively, "the defendants" or "Bell
Atlantic") under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended,
42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq. ("Title VII"), and 42 U.S.C. § 1981.
Although the court has not consolidated these two cases, they have been
mediated together and briefed together because of the similarity in
claims, counsel, and parties.*fn1 Through the diligence
and persistence of the parties, the lawyers, and alternative dispute
resolution, only three plaintiffs remain in the case.
The defendants have filed motions for summary judgment against all
three remaining plaintiffs. In this case, the defendants move for summary
judgment on all claims of Carolyn Green ("the plaintiff" or "Ms.
Green"). For the reasons that follow, the court will grant the
defendants' motion for summary judgment.
Carolyn Green has worked for Bell Atlantic-Maryland, Inc. ("Bell
Atlantic") from October 26, 1977 until the present. See Mot. for Summ.
J. at 3. She began as a directory assistance operator, received a
promotion to customer service representative in 1979, and remained in that
position until 1986, when she received a promotion to Frame Attendant. See
id. On February 25, 1990, Ms. Green received a promotion to Central
Office Technician ("COT"), and on June 29, 1997, she received a promotion
to Engineering Assistant. See id. On December 1, 1999, the company
promoted her to management (Specialist), where she currently remains. See
In April 1991, the company assigned Ms. Green, then a COT, to the Voice
Mail crew, which maintains and monitors the company's voice-mail system.
See Mot. for Summ. J. at 3. In February 1996, Bell Atlantic manager Peter
Bogdan made the decision to reassign Ms. Green from the Voice Mail crew
to the Electronic Switching Team ("5ESS team"). See id. at 4. The parties
offer different reasons from Mr. Bogdan's decision. The plaintiff charges
that "unlike similarly situated white associates in Ms. Green's
workgroup, she was not asked whether or not she would voluntarily accept
reassignment to the electronic switching system team. . . ." See Pl.'s
Statement of Material Facts As to Which There Are Genuine Disputes
("Pl.'s Statement") at 1.
The defendants counter that one technician needed to be reassigned
because there was a sufficient amount of work to keep all the voice-mail
technicians busy while the 5ESS team needed more workers to meet its
demands. See Mot. for Summ. J. at 4. Bell Atlantic explains that when
reassigning associates, Mr. Bogdan normally investigates whether one
employee has job knowledge "that would make that associate a logical
choice for reassignment." See id. If no employee fits this description,
Mr. Bogdan asks for volunteers. See id. If no employee volunteers, he
then selects the crew member with the least seniority at Bell Atlantic.
See id. In this case, the company states that no technician had
specialized job knowledge, nobody volunteered for the reassignment, and
Mr. Bogdan simply selected Ms. Green because she had the least tenure at
Bell Atlantic. See id. at 4-5. The company says "Green's reassignment did
not affect her title, pay or benefits." Id. at 5.
Ms. Green makes a number of allegations against Bell Atlantic. First,
she claims she was segregated from her white co-workers, and excluded
from company parties, anniversaries of co-workers, and recognition
breakfasts. See Pl.'s Statement at 2. Second, Ms. Green claims she
requested but was denied on-the-job training. See id. Third, she alleges
that the company retaliated against her when Mr. Bogdan involuntarily
transferred her to the 5ESS team. See id. Fourth, Ms.
Green claims the company denied her equal access to the tools and
facilities associated with her job, such as a personal computer and, in
some instances, a desk phone. She also states she was not given a key to
the "quiet room" at her work location. See id. at 3. Fifth, she asserts
that the company denied her both regular and emergency overtime that was
given to similarly situated white employees. See Pl.'s Statement at 4.
Sixth, Ms. Green claims that Bell Atlantic falsely evaluated her by
rating her as an employee who only "meets some" requirements in several
categories in her 1995 year-end performance appraisal. See id. Seventh,
she claims she applied for more than 200 positions but was unfairly
denied promotions. See id. at 5. Lastly, she alleges that the combination
of many of these things subjected her to a hostile work environment. See
Pl.'s Opp'n to Defs.' Mot. for Summ. J. ("Pl.'s Opp'n") at 8.
The defendant denies all the allegations. In terms of Ms. Green's
attempts to obtain a promotion, the company states that before it
eliminated the Business Management Abilities Test ("BMAT") in May 1998,
Ms. Green had taken the test several times and never earned a qualifying
score. See Mot. for Summ. J. at 5. The company notes that it promoted
Ms. Green to the management position of Specialist on December 1, 1999.
See id. The company also points out that of the "103 positions which
Green sought that were filled by someone other than Green, 27% of the
placements were African-American." See id.
The defendants now move for summary judgment on all the claims of Ms.
Summary judgment is appropriate when "the pleadings, depositions,
answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the
affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as to any
material fact and that the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a
matter of law." FED. R. Civ. P. 56(c); Celotex Corp. v. Catrett,
477 U.S. 317, 322, 106 S.Ct. 2548, 91 L.Ed.2d 265 (1986); Diamond v.
Atwood, 43 F.3d 1538, 1540 (D.C.Cir. 1995). To determine what facts are
"material," a court must look to the substantive law on which each claim
rests. See Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248, 106 S.Ct.
2505, 91 L.Ed.2d 202 (1986). A "genuine issue" is one whose resolution
could establish an element of a claim or defense and, therefore, affect
the outcome of the action. See Celotex, 477 U.S. at 322, 106 S.Ct. 2548;
Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248, 106 S.Ct. 2505.
In ruling on a motion for summary judgment, the court must draw all
justifiable inferences in the nonmoving party's favor and accept the
nonmoving party's evidence as true. See Anderson, 477 U.S. at 255, 106
S.Ct. 2505. A nonmoving party, however, must establish more than "the
mere existence of a scintilla of evidence" in support of its position.
See id. at 252, 106 S.Ct. 2505. To prevail on a motion for summary
judgment, the moving party must show that the nonmoving party "fail[ed]
to make a showing sufficient to establish the existence of an element
essential to that party's case, and on which that party will bear the
burden of proof at trial." See Celotex, 477 U.S. at 322, 106 S.Ct. 2548.
By pointing to the absence of evidence proffered by the nonmoving party,
a moving party may succeed on summary judgment. See id.
In addition, the nonmoving party may not rely solely on allegations or
conclusory statements. See Greene v. Dalton, 164 F.3d 671, 674 (D.C.Cir.
the nonmoving party "must come forward with specific facts" that would
enable a reasonable jury to find in its favor. See id. at 675,
164 F.3d 671. If the evidence "is merely colorable, or is not
significantly probative, summary judgment may be granted." Anderson, 477
U.S. at 249-50, 106 S.Ct. 2505 (citations omitted). Finally, the D.C.
Circuit has directed that because it is difficult for a plaintiff to
establish proof of discrimination, the court should view summary-judgment
motions in such cases ...