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Giles v. Transit Employees Credit Union

United States District Court, D. Columbia.

March 27, 2014

LORIE A. GILES, Plaintiff,
v.
TRANSIT EMPLOYEES CREDIT UNION, Defendant

Page 67

For LORIE A. GILES, Plaintiff: Richard Paul Goldberg, LEAD ATTORNEY, LAW OFFICE OF RICHARD P. GOLDBERG, Washington, DC.

For TRANSIT EMPLOYEES FEDERAL CREDIT UNION, Defendant: Neil Stuart Hyman, LEAD ATTORNEY, LAW OFFICES OF NEIL S. HYMAN, LLC, Bethesda, MD.

Page 68

MEMORANDUM OPINION

AMY BERMAN JACKSON, United States District Judge.

Plaintiff has sued her former employer, Transit Employees Federal Credit Union (hereafter " TEFCU" ), for wrongful termination. In her amended complaint, plaintiff claims that defendant discriminated against her and subjected her to retaliation in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (" ADA" ), 42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq. (Count I), the District of Columbia Human Rights Act (" DCHRA" ), D.C. Code § 2-1402.01 et seq. (Count II), and the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (" ERISA" ), 29 U.S.C. § 1101 (Count IV). Plaintiff also claimed that her wrongful discharge violated District of Columbia public policy (Count III), but that claim was dismissed by Order of October 10, 2012 [Dkt. # 30].

Defendant moved for summary judgment under Rule 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure on the remaining counts of the complaint. Def.'s Mot. for Summ. J. [Dkt. # 43]. Following a period of discovery, plaintiff filed an opposition, Pl.'s Opp'n to Def.'s Mot. for Summ. J. [Dkt. # 49], defendant filed its reply [Dkt. 58], and plaintiff was permitted to file a surreply [Dkt. # 62]. Upon consideration of the parties' submissions and the relevant parts of the record, the Court will grant defendant's motion and enter judgment accordingly. Plaintiff has articulated her own theory of why she was discharged, but at the summary judgment stage, she is obliged to come forward with the evidence to prove it, and this she has failed to do.

I. BACKGROUND

As indicated in Plaintiff's List of Genuine Issues (" Pl.'s Facts" ) [Dkt. # 49-1], plaintiff admits the following facts that were set out in Defendant's Statement of Material Facts Not in Dispute (" Def's Facts" ) [Dkt. # 43-1]: plaintiff was hired as a temporary employee in December 2005 and as a full-time receptionist in September 2006. As a full-time employee, plaintiff participated in defendant's health insurance program and, as is the case for all participants, she paid 20 percent of the monthly premiums while defendant paid 80 percent. Plaintiff selected Blue Preferred Option 1/Preferred Dental/Drug coverage, and defendant's per-employee costs were the same for all employees who elected this plan.

Plaintiff suffers from Multiple Sclerosis for which she was treated while employed at TEFCU. From 2007 to October 2009,

Page 69

plaintiff received Tysabri infusion treatments, which were discontinued because of other health complications. Plaintiff used her accrued sick leave when she needed to take time off for the treatments and doctor's appointments, but she " never took a large amount of sick leave." Def's Facts ¶ 18. In her final year of employment, plaintiff " only took 37.5 hours of sick leave." Id.

In 2008, plaintiff " was counseled [] at least twice . . . for improper behavior towards [credit union] members. " Id. ¶ 24. On July 9, 2008, she was issued a verbal warning " for accosting a member and insisting that he return a pen when he attempted to leave the credit union after completing his business." Id. ¶ 25. On October 1, 2008, she was issued " a written warning" and a two-day suspension without pay " for insisting that a member exit the credit union and reenter through the proper door." Id. ¶ 26. That year, plaintiff received " a substandard performance rating" of " Partial Achieved Requirements (PAR)." Id. ¶ 27.

In November 2009, Rita Smith replaced Percys Felder as the Credit Union's President and Chief Executive Officer, id. ¶ 31, and plaintiff was fired on November 24, 2009. Am. Compl. ¶ 28. Plaintiff " was advised by her doctor that she is 'totally disabled' " as of November 25, 2009. Def.'s Facts ¶ 35. " Plaintiff has not had a single job interview since she was terminated by the credit union." Id. ¶ 37.

Plaintiff denies the following facts:

o As a receptionist, plaintiff was " expected" to cross train for other duties, including those of a teller. Def's Facts ¶ 4.
o Plaintiff was unable to perform the duties of a teller and was limited to working as a receptionist. Id. ¶ 5
o Defendant's health insurance costs for its employees rose each year during and after plaintiff's employment. Id. ¶ 10.
o Plaintiff was moved from receptionist to scanning specialist in October 2008 because of her " subpar performance and [] repeated confrontations with members." Id. ¶ 28.
o Plaintiff received a rating of PAR in 2009 as to her scanning duties. Id. ¶ 29.
o Plaintiff " made repeated mistakes as the scanning specialist." Id. ¶ 30.
o As part of the change in management, a number of employees were terminated in late 2009 and 2010, two of whom were fired the same day as plaintiff. Id. ¶ 32.
o Plaintiff's medical condition " has been stable since she left the credit union." Id. ¶ 38.

Pl's Facts ¶ 2. These disputed facts are not material to any issue that would defeat summary judgment.

II. ANALYSIS

A. Summary Judgment Standard

Summary judgment is granted " if the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). The moving party must support the assertion that no facts are in dispute by " citing to particular parts of materials in the record, including . . . affidavits." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(1)(A). The non-moving party has the burden " to produce admissible evidence establishing a genuine issue of material fact." Bush v. District of Columbia, 595 F.3d 384, 386, 389 U.S.App.D.C. 227 (D.C. Cir. 2010), citing Celotex v. ...


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