United States District Court, District of Columbia
N. MCFADDEN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Jo Ann Wilkerson claims that her former employer, the Federal
Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”),
discriminated against her on the basis of her race, sex, and
age, and requests relief under Title VII of the Civil Rights
Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq., and the
Age Discrimination in Employment Act, 29 U.S.C. § 633a.
Am. Compl. ¶ 1, ECF No. 10. The FDIC moved for summary
judgment. Upon consideration of the pleadings, relevant law,
related legal memoranda in opposition and in support, and the
entire record, the Court finds that no genuine issue of
material fact exists and that the FDIC articulated
legitimate, non-discrimination reasons for its actions, which
Ms. Wilkerson has not rebutted as pretextual. Accordingly,
the Defendant's motion for summary judgment will be
Ms. Wilkerson's Employment at the FDIC
Wilkerson is a 58 year old,  African-American woman who served
as a Senior Community Affairs Specialist within the
FDIC's Outreach and Program Development Section (the
“Section”). Id. ¶ 5. She held this
role, a CG-15 level position, as a term employee for four
years, between February 2011 and February 2015. Id.
¶ 8. Ms. Wilkerson describes her responsibilities to
include “conduct[ing] research on community development
issues of concern to financial institutions, and 
develop[ing] educational/outreach material to help facilitate
bank investment in economic and community development
projects.” Id. One of the educational
materials on which she worked was a handbook called
“Strategies for Community Banks to Develop Partnerships
with Community Development Financial Institutions” (the
“CDFI Guide”). See id. ¶¶ 9,
her tenure at the FDIC, Ms. Wilkerson's first-level
supervisor was Section Chief Luke Reynolds, who Ms. Wilkerson
characterizes as “a white male in his late 30s.”
Id. ¶ 8. For most of her tenure, Ms.
Wilkerson's second-level supervisor was Elizabeth Ortiz,
Deputy Director of the FDIC's Division of Depositor and
Consumer Protection, but Janet Gordon, Associate Director of
the Section, became her second-level supervisor for the last
nine months of her term (i.e., June 2014 to February
2015). Def.'s Statement of Material Facts as to Which
There is No. Genuine Dispute (“Def.'s SOMF”)
¶¶ 4-5, ECF No. 17.
Ms. Wilkerson's Complaint - Discrimination
Wilkerson alleges that the FDIC discriminated against her on
the basis of her race, sex, and age, particularly as compared
to a “younger white male colleague, ” James
Yagley, who held the same position as Ms. Wilkerson and was
another of Mr. Reynolds' direct reports. Am. Compl.
¶ 9. Her discrimination claims fall into three
Ms. Wilkerson claims that in the time leading up to November
2014, she received disparate treatment than Mr. Yagley, such
as: (i) being told that she was not permitted to travel to
meetings and conferences as a term employee; (ii) being
denied access to certain shared electronic resources (e.g.,
computer drive, Community Affairs folder, CARDs system);
(iii) not being given a laptop; (iv) not being provided
opportunities to present at meetings of the Regional
Community Affairs Officers or moderate national webinars; (v)
not being able to attend the meetings of the FDIC
Chairperson's Advisory Committee of Economic Inclusion;
and (vi) being denied attendance at the Community
Reinvestment Act training held in March 2012 and the
FDIC's Examination School for Non-Examiners held in
February 2015. Id. ¶ 10. She also alleges
that her performance rating of “III - Accomplished
Practitioner” on her 2013 performance evaluation was
lower than she previously received. Id.
Ms. Wilkerson argues that her 2014 performance evaluation,
where she received a “III - Accomplished Practitioner,
” was lower than she deserved vis-à-vis Mr.
Yagley's performance that year, for which he was rated a
“IV.” Id. ¶ 9; Mot. for Summ. J.
Ex. 4 (Aff. of Luke Reynolds) at 9, ECF No. 17-2. The 2014
evaluation period covered September 2013 to August 2014, and
was delivered to Ms. Wilkerson in November 2014. Id.
Ex. 3, ECF No. 17-2; Am. Compl. ¶ 9.
Ms. Wilkerson claims that her work in 2014 on the CDFI Guide
deserved a monetary award since Mr. Yagley received
“substantial cash awards for much less important
work” at the FDIC. Id. ¶¶ 9-10.
Ms. Wilkerson's Complaint - Retaliation Claims
a week before her term at the FDIC concluded, Ms. Wilkerson
filed a formal complaint of discrimination with the
FDIC's Office of Minority and Women Inclusion.
Id. ¶ 11. A few days later, she applied to be a
permanent Community Affairs Specialist at either the
Lexington, Kentucky or Raleigh, North Carolina positions,
both CG-13 level postings. Id. ¶ 13. Ms.
Wilkerson conducted two rounds of interviews for the
positions, but was not selected for either. Id.
¶¶ 13-14. She claims that her second-level
supervisor, Ms. Gordon, was aware of her discrimination
complaint and retaliated against her by not selecting Ms.
Wilkerson for either position. Id. ¶14.
prevail on summary judgment, the movant must show an absence
of a genuine issue of material fact and that the movant is
entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a);
see also Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S.
242, 247-48 (1986); Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477
U.S. 317, 322 (1986). A genuine issue of material fact is one
that would change the outcome of the litigation.
Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248. The Court views the
evidence in the light most favorable to the non-moving party.
Johnson v. Perez, 823 F.3d 701, 705 (D.C. Cir.
and retaliation claims are evaluated under the framework
explained in McDonnell Douglas Corporation v. Green,
411 U.S. 792 (1973). Under this framework, the plaintiff must
first establish a prima facie case; the burden then
shifts to the employer to “articulate a legitimate,
non[-]discriminatory and/or non-retaliatory reason for the
adverse employment action;” whereupon the burden shifts
back to the plaintiff to “demonstrate that the offered
non-discriminatory reason was, in fact, pretext for a
prohibited reason.” Mokhtar v. Kerry, 83
F.Supp.3d 49, 70 (D.D.C. 2015). In this Circuit, at the
summary judgment stage, a court need not decide whether the
plaintiff actually made a prima facie case under
McDonnell Douglas. Brady v. Office of Sergeant
at Arms, 520 F.3d 490, 494 (D.C. Cir. 2008). The central
inquiry is whether the employee has “produced
sufficient evidence for a reasonable jury to find that the
employer's asserted non-discriminatory reason was not the
actual reason and that the employer intentionally
discriminated against the employee on the basis of race,
color, religion, sex, or national origin.” Id.
To answer this, the court considers the “total
circumstances of the case, ” including “any
evidence the plaintiff presents to attack the employer's
proffered explanation for its actions, and  any further
evidence of discrimination that may be available to the
plaintiff . . . or any contrary evidence that may be
available to the employer.” Evans v. Sebelius,
716 F.3d 617, 620 (D.C. Cir. 2013).
Ms. Wilkerson's claims fail as a matter of law because
she has not presented sufficient evidence to demonstrate that
the FDIC's articulated, non-discriminatory and