co-workers and supervisor ostracized her and avoided verbal contact with her, id. ¶¶ 19, 20; that plaintiff's business cards were stolen, her lumbar support pillow was hidden, and her computer was tampered with, id. ¶¶ 25(12), 25(18), 33; and that defendant did not allow plaintiff a full opportunity to pursue her discrimination complaints, did not attempt to settle her complaints in good faith, and did not accommodate her wish to have a representative present during meetings with her supervisor, id. ¶¶ 25(15), 26, 27, 34.
Defendant moved for summary judgment on, or in the alternative, dismissal of, plaintiff's claims on February 5, 2002. Pursuant to the requirements of Local Civil Rule 56.1, defendant filed a 116-paragraph Statement of Material Facts along with his motion. Plaintiff, in opposition, did not file a Statement of Genuine Issues as required by Local Civil Rule 56.1. Plaintiff later filed — without seeking leave to do so — a surreply arguing that the affidavit she had submitted functions to set forth her own version of the facts and to dispute defendant's version. Plaintiff's 26-paragraph affidavit, however, neither references the specific paragraphs in defendant's Statement of Material Facts nor "include[s] references to the parts of the record relied on." LCvR 56.1. Moreover, neither the statements in plaintiff's affidavit — many of which are conclusory — nor the exhibits she submitted cover the wide range of allegations set forth in her extensive complaint. Consequently, with respect to certain allegations, the only evidence before the Court is that submitted by defendant. Plaintiff's failure to comply with the Local Rules of this Court is inexcusable and has needlessly complicated resolution of the pending motion.
The Court held a hearing on defendant's motion on July 30, 2002. Based on the record before it, the Court now concludes that defendant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law on all of plaintiff's claims.
I. Legal Framework
A. Standard for Summary Judgment
Summary judgment is appropriate when the pleadings and the evidence demonstrate that "there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c). The party seeking summary judgment bears the initial responsibility of demonstrating the absence of a genuine dispute of material fact. See Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). The moving party may successfully support its motion by "`informing the district court of the basis for its motion, and identifying those portions of the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any,' which it believes demonstrate the absence of a genuine issue of material fact." Id. (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)).
In determining whether there exists a genuine issue of material fact sufficient to preclude summary judgment, the court must regard the non-movant's statements as true and accept all evidence and make all inferences in the non-movant's favor. See Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 255 (1986). A non-moving party, however, must establish more than the "mere existence of a scintilla of evidence" in support of its position. Id. at 252. "If the evidence is merely colorable, or is not significantly probative, summary judgment may be granted." Id. at 249-50 (internal citations omitted). Summary judgment is appropriate if the non-movant fails to offer "evidence on which the jury could reasonably find for the [non-movant]." Id. at 252.
B. The McDonnell Douglas Framework
A plaintiff has the burden of establishing a prima facie case of discrimination by a preponderance of the evidence. McDonnell Douglas Corp. v. Green, 411 U.S. 792, 802 (1973); Tex. Dep't of Cmty. Affairs v. Burdine, 450 U.S. 248, 252-53 (1981). To establish a prima facie case of discrimination, a plaintiff must demonstrate that (1) he is a member of a protected class; (2) he suffered an adverse employment action; and (3) the unfavorable action gives rise to an inference of discrimination. Brown v. Brody, 199 F.3d 446, 452 (D.C. Cir. 1999); Stella v. Mineta, 284 F.3d 135, 145 (D.C. Cir. 2002). To make out a prima facie claim of retaliation, plaintiff must establish that (1) he engaged in a statutorily protected activity; (2) the employer took an adverse personnel action; and (3) a causal connection existed between the two. Brody, 199 F.3d at 452.
If the plaintiff establishes a prima facie case, the burden then shifts to the employer to articulate a legitimate, nondiscriminatory reason for its actions. McDonnell Douglas, 411 U.S. at 802. The employer's burden, however, is merely one of production. Burdine, 450 U.S. at 254-55. The employer "need not persuade the court that it was actually motivated by the proffered reasons. It is sufficient if the defendant's evidence raises a genuine issue of fact as to whether it discriminated against the plaintiff." Id.
If the employer is successful, the burden shifts back to the plaintiff to show that the employer's stated reason was a pretext for discrimination. Reeves v. Sanderson Plumbing Prods., Inc., 530 U.S. 133, 143 (2000). The plaintiff "may attempt to establish that he was the victim of intentional discrimination `by showing that the employer's proffered explanation is unworthy of credence.'" Id. (quoting Burdine, 450 U.S. at 256). But "[p]roof that the defendant's explanation is unworthy of credence is simply one form of circumstantial evidence that is probative of intentional discrimination." Id. at 147. Thus, the trier of fact may also "consider the evidence establishing the plaintiff's prima facie case `and inferences properly drawn therefrom . . . on the issue of whether the defendant's explanation is pretextual.'" Id. (quoting Burdine, 450 U.S. at 255 n. 10). "Whether judgment as a matter of law is appropriate in any particular case will depend on a number of factors . . . includ[ing] the strength of the plaintiff's prima facie case, the probative value of the proof that the employer's explanation is false, and any other evidence that supports the employer's case and that properly may be considered on a motion for judgment as a matter of law." Id. at 148-49. As the D.C. Circuit has explained:
Assuming then that the employer has met its burden of
producing a nondiscriminatory reason for its actions,
the focus of proceedings at trial (and at summary
judgment) will be on whether the jury could infer
discrimination from the combination of (1) the
plaintiff's prima facie case; (2) any evidence the
plaintiff presents to attack the employer's proffered
explanation for its actions; and (3) any further
evidence of discrimination that may be available
to the plaintiff (such as independent evidence of
discriminatory statements or attitudes on the part of
the employer) or any contrary evidence that may be
available to the employer (such as evidence of a
strong track record in equal opportunity employment).
Aka v. Washington Hosp. Ctr., 156 F.3d 1284, 1289 (D.C. Cir. 1998) (en banc); see also Waterhouse v. District of Columbia, 298 F.3d 989, 992-993 (D.C. Cir. 2002).
Although under the McDonnell Douglas framework the "intermediate evidentiary burdens shift back and forth under this framework, `[t]he ultimate burden of persuading the trier of fact that the defendant intentionally discriminated against the plaintiff remains at all times with the plaintiff.'" Reeves, 530 U.S. at 143 (quoting Burdine, 450 U.S. at 253). Indeed, once the defendant has proffered a legitimate non-discriminatory reason for its action, the burden-shifting McDonnell Douglas framework "disappear[s], and the sole remaining issue [i]s discrimination vel non." Id. at 142-43.
II. Discrimination Based on Race, Color, and Age
Given the structure of plaintiff's complaint, it is not clear whether, in her discrimination claims, plaintiff seeks relief for particular alleged adverse actions or is merely amalgamating the alleged improper actions by defendant into a hostile work environment claim. Certainly the emphasis in plaintiff's brief suggests the latter, but the Court will initially consider whether plaintiff has a viable claim for relief based on specific alleged adverse actions.*fn3
A. Specific Alleged Adverse Employment Actions
1. Denial of Opportunities for Details, Training, and