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TENEYCK v. OMNI SHOREHAM HOTEL

September 11, 2002

LILLIE TENEYCK, PLAINTIFF,
V.
OMNI SHOREHAM HOTEL, DEFENDANT



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Walton, District Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION

This matter comes before the Court on defendant's motion for summary judgment. Having considered defendant's motion, plaintiff's opposition, and the record in this case, the Court will deny the motion.

I. Background.

On or about September 8, 1996, Lillie Teneyck, a 61-year old African-American woman, applied for a position as a housekeeper at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C. Omni Shoreham Hotel's Memorandum of Points and Authorities in Support of its Motion for Summary Judgment ("Defendant's Motion"), Ex. A ("Teneyck Deposition"), pp. 23, 31. Plaintiff sought a part-time housekeeping position at the hotel because she was scheduled to retire from the United States Department of the Treasury.*fn1 Teneyck Deposition, p. 23. At that time there was a part-time housekeeping position open. Teneyck Deposition, p. 31. Plaintiff filled out an application, and had a preliminary interview with Paula Nesmith, an administrative assistant whose duties included the screening of applicants for housekeeping positions. Defendant's Motion, Ex. B (Nesmith Affidavit), ¶¶ 1-3.

Shortly thereafter, plaintiff was referred to Freweini Kahasay, the hotel's Executive Housekeeper, for an interview. Teneyck Deposition, p. 39; Lillie Teneyck's Opposition to Motion for Summary Judgment ("Teneyck Opposition"), Ex. A (Teneyck Affidavit), ¶ 4; Nesmith Affidavit, ¶ 3; Defendant's Motion, Ex. C (Kahasay Affidavit), ¶ 3. Ms. Kahasay discussed the job with plaintiff, and told plaintiff to call back the next day. Teneyck Deposition, pp. 40-42, 47. When plaintiff called as instructed, she alleges that Ms. Kahasay refused to speak with her, as was the case when plaintiff called a second time on that same day. Teneyck Deposition, pp. 53-58. Plaintiff was not hired, and did not return to the hotel. Teneyck Deposition, p. 59.

In this action, plaintiff alleges that "defendant has discriminated against her based on her age, in violation of the [Age Discrimination in Employment Act]." Amended Complaint, ¶ 16. Further, she alleges that the "defendant failed to select plaintiff for a housekeeping position on the basis of her race (African-American) and national origin (U.S. born)" in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Id., ¶ 18.

II. Discussion

A.

Summary judgment should be granted to the movant if it has shown, when the facts are viewed in the light most favorable to the non-movant, that there are no genuine issues of material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317 (1986); Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c). A material fact is one "that might affect the outcome of the suit under the governing law." Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). When evaluating a summary judgment motion the Court must view the evidence in the light most favorable to the non-moving party, and draw all reasonable inferences in favor of the non-moving party. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. at 255. "Credibility determinations, the weighing of the evidence, and the drawing of legitimate inferences from the facts are jury functions, not those of a judge." Id.; Reeves v. Sanderson Plumbing Products, Inc., 530 U.S. 133, 150 (2000). The party opposing a motion for summary judgment "may not rest upon the mere allegations or denials of his pleading, but . . . must set forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial." Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. at 248; see also Jackson v. Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, 101 F.3d 145, 150 (D.C. Cir. 1996).

B.

It is plaintiff's burden in a Title VII action to establish a prima facie case of discrimination by a preponderance of the evidence. McDonnell Douglas v. Green, 411 U.S. 792, 802 (1973). In McDonnell Douglas, the Supreme Court set forth a model for how a plaintiff can establish a prima facie case. The model requires a plaintiff to show:

(i) that [s]he belongs to a racial minority;

(ii) that [s]he applied and was qualified for a job for which the employer ...

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