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Terrie M. Williams v. 1199 Seiu United Healthcare Workers East

April 18, 2013

TERRIE M. WILLIAMS
v.
1199 SEIU UNITED HEALTHCARE WORKERS EAST



The opinion of the court was delivered by: William M. Nickerson Senior United States District Judge

MEMORANDUM

Pending before the Court is a motion for summary judgment filed by Defendant, 1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East (1199). ECF No. 30. The motion is fully briefed. Upon consideration of the papers, facts, and applicable law, the Court determines that (1) no hearing is necessary, Local Rule 105.6, and (2) Defendant's motion will be granted.

I.FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL HISTORDY

Defendant is a labor union that represents healthcare workers in several East Coast areas, including the Maryland/D.C. region. Plaintiff began working as an Administrative Organizer for Defendant on June 16, 2008. Throughout Plaintiff's employment, the following people were employed by the Defendant: George Gresham, President; John Reid, Executive Vice President and Plaintiff's second-line supervisor; Katherine Taylor, who was initially Vice President and Plaintiff's immediate supervisor, but was later named Interim Executive Vice President; and Lisa Wallace, Vice President and Plaintiff's immediate supervisor after Ms. Taylor was named to her interim position.

Plaintiff's allegations arise from a general discontentment in the way she was treated during her employment at 1199. Plaintiff's opposition to Defendant's present motion did not contain any statement of disputed facts or otherwise suggest that there are any disputes of fact.*fn1 She did, however, submit documents revealing her correspondence with Defendant's officials. The Court has reviewed those documents as well as Plaintiff's other submissions throughout this case and, based on that review, concludes that the following facts are undisputed.

In September 2010, Plaintiff filed an EEOC claim alleging sex discrimination and hostile work environment. The EEOC dismissed that charge on September 27, 2011. On May 13, 2011, while Plaintiff's charge was pending, Plaintiff emailed Reid, Taylor, and Wallace regarding her request for scheduling accommodations in order to attend school, stating that she felt "harassed, intimated [sic] and discriminated against." ECF No. 32-3 at 2. Later that month, Plaintiff received a written warning for taking a vacation day without proper authorization because she submitted her vacation request after business hours on a Friday for the following Monday. Plaintiff was then on medical leave from June 8, 2011, until August 3, 2011.

On July 8, 2011, while on medical leave, Plaintiff filed a second EEOC claim for sex discrimination and retaliation. Defendant's staff did not learn about this claim until September 15, 2011.

After her return from medical leave, Plaintiff received a one day suspension for failing to come in to work on August 6, 2011, a Saturday. Plaintiff disputed the suspension stating that she did not know she was supposed to work on that day. The suspension was upheld following an internal grievance proceeding.

On August 12, 2011, Plaintiff was denied approval to use a personal vacation day because she failed to follow the correct procedure for requesting leave. Plaintiff's later subsequent request that she be allowed to take a vacation day was also denied on the same grounds. Also in August 2011, Plaintiff received a three-day suspension for missing work without following the call-in policy. Plaintiff texted and left a voice mail rather than speaking to her supervisor. This suspension was later overturned following an internal grievance proceeding, however, because Plaintiff's supervisor had not returned her call. In addition, Plaintiff was denied tuition reimbursement in August 2011, after failing to obtain pre-approval for her desired course. Plaintiff alleges that she was informed at the time she enrolled in the course that obtaining pre-approval was unnecessary.

In September 2011, Plaintiff's request to use vacation days was denied because three other employees had already requested vacation for the same days and Defendant would not have been able to cover the necessary business without the Plaintiff being present.

Plaintiff emailed George Gresham at Defendant's New York headquarters on October 1, 2011, outlining the alleged wrongs that she had experienced during her employment and requesting a meeting. On October 15, 2011, Plaintiff refused to attend Defendant's "MLK Keep the Dream Alive Rally," despite being told that her participation was mandatory. Plaintiff told her supervisor the day before the rally that she would not be attending because she did not believe she had received any justice at her job. Defendant terminated Plaintiff's employment on October 17, 2011, for failure to attend the rally.

On January 6, 2012, Plaintiff filed her pro se Form Complaint, ECF No. 1, alleging that Defendants violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e, et seq. (Title VII), and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, 29 U.S.C. § 621, et seq. (ADEA). The Court granted Defendant's Motion to Dismiss, in part, on July 17, 2012, and dismissed Plaintiff's claims against individuals employed by Defendant, her ADEA claims, and her Title VII claims of disparate treatment and hostile work environment. The Court denied Defendant's motion to dismiss as it related to Plaintiff's Title VII retaliation claims. ECF No. 16.

II.LEGAL STANDARD

Fed. R. Civ. P. 56 provides that summary judgment is appropriate if the moving party shows "that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and that the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." A dispute of fact is genuine when "the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party." Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 247-48 (1986). In making this determination, all justifiable inferences from the evidence must be drawn in favor of the non-moving party, id. at 255, but "the mere existence of a 'scintilla of evidence' is not enough to frustrate a motion for summary judgment." Champ v. Baltimore County, 884 F. Supp. 991, 994 (D. Md. 1995) (quoting Anderson, 477 U.S. at 252), aff'd, 91 F.3d 129 (4th Cir. 1996)); see also Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322-23 (1986). The dispute must also be over a material fact. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 247-48. A ...


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