United States District Court, D. Maryland, Southern Division
J. HAZEL UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Tanesha Myles-Anderson ("Plaintiff" or
"Myles-Anderson") brings smtpro se against
her former employer, the EMMES Corporation
("Defendant" or "EMMES"), for alleged
violations of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. 42
U.S.C. § 2000e et set/., Md. Code. State
Gov't § 20-606, and Montgomery Cty. Code §
27-19 arising from her November 7. 2013 termination.
Plaintiff claims that her termination was in retaliation for
her complaints of racial discrimination. Presently pending
before the Court is Defendant's Motion for Summary
Judgment, ECF No. 18. Plaintiff has not responded to
Defendant's Motion, and the lime for doing so has
expired. See ECF No. 19. No hearing is necessary.
See Loc. R. 105.6. For the following reasons.
Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment is granted.
Myles-Anderson was employed at the EMMES Corporation in
Rockville. Maryland as an Office Services Manager from
February 22. 2011 until November 7. 2013. ECF No. 18-1 at
Myles-Anderson is African American. ECF No. 1 ¶2. In her
position as Office Services Manager. Myles-Anderson was
responsible for various administrative tasks, including
entering and maintaining new hire and employee information,
ordering name plates and office supplies, and making
presentations at new hire orientations. ECF No. 18-1 at 2:
ECF No. 18-3 at 2.
of 2013. Myles-Anderson received two emails from Brian
Hochheimer. EMMES Vice President and Chief Financial Officer,
expressing his displeasure with her lack of punctuality. ECF
No. 18-1 at 2. According to Hochheime's email dated July
2, 2013. Mylcs-Anderson had arrived late to her portion of
the new hire orientation presentation. ECF No. 18-7 at 2.
Hochheimer told her. "[l]his is not acceptable. It is
our first interaction with our new hires and we need to be on
time." Id. Myles-Anderson received and
acknowledged the email. Id.On July 9. 2013. Hochheimer
again emailed Myles-Anderson about arriving late. He staled.
"On Monday, you were late arriving to work and late for
orientation. In addition. 1 understand that not all the new
hire badges were activated and ready to use. .. This is
unexcusable.'" ECF No. 18-8 at 3. Myles-Anderson
received and acknowledged this email.
IdHochheimer issued a formal written warning
to Myles-Anderson on July 10. 2013. citing her late arrivals
and unsatisfactory attention to detail. ECF No. 18-9. She was
warned that failure to correct these issues "may lead to
further disciplinary action, up to and including termination
of employment." Id.
months passed. On August 29. 2013. Myles-Anderson received a
written warning from Facilities Manager Clay Edwards. ECF No.
18-10 at 2. Edwards stated that Plaintiff "continuc[d]
to maintain individual employees'] information
incorrectly. Over the last three days I have discovered and
corrected approximately twenty employee entries which . . .
had not been correctly administered." hi.
Edwards further explained that "[y]our performance in
this area has worked to undermine the efforts of this
department and other EMMES staff." hi.
Myles-Anderson was again cautioned that failure to correct
these issues "may lead to further disciplinary action,
up to and including termination of employment."
September 18. 2013. Myles-Anderson wrote a letter to Dr. Ann
Lindblad. the President of EMMES. ECF No. 1 8-13 at 2.
Myles-Anderson told Dr. Lindblad. "I feel as the new
President of EMMF.S you need to be made aware of the behavior
being exhibited by senior management and what I and others
deem to be a 'hostile work environment/"
hi. In the letter. Myles-Anderson complained
primarily about '"harassment" from a
receptionist. Rachel Simpson. Myles-Anderson stated that
Simpson was not reprimanded by the managers for this
behavior, and she felt that "this was the culture and
it[']s always ignored w[h]ere people of color are
concerned. People of color are being held to a different set
of unspoken rules and standards." hi.
Additionally. Myles-Anderson claimed that Edwards and
Hochheimer "have either observed or been made aware of
this intolerant behavior and now my performance has been
impacted." and that their "solution to this problem
is to terminate my employment with EMMES." Id.
Myles-Anderson reiterated that she felt bullied and asked Dr.
Lindblad for support.
this letter. Vice President of Human Resources Jennifer
Hester engaged an outside investigator to investigate
Myles-Anderson"s claims of discrimination. ECF No. 18-2
¶ 3; ECF No. 18 at 4. According to Hester, the
investigator interviewed eight witnesses, including
Myles-Anderson. ECF No. 18-2 ¶ 4. Myles-Anderson
"eventually identified [other] certain employees [of
color]" who had been discriminated against, but
"never provided any details or evidence supporting her
allegations." Id. ¶ 6. After completion of
the investigation, the investigator "found no evidence
of unlawful conduct." Id. ¶ 7. The results
of the investigation were shared with Myles-Anderson on
October 25. 2013. Id. ¶ 8. Although the
investigator concluded that hostilities existed between
Myles-Anderson and other EMMES employees, none of them
appeared to be racially-motivated. Id. EMMES did.
however, take "corrective action against those named by
Myles-Anderson who EMMES determined had not acted
professionally." Id. ¶ 9. Sometime during
the Fall of 2013. Myles-Anderson also filed a charge of
discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity
Commission, See Id. ¶ 11. Defendant states
that they were not aware that the EEOC charge had been filed
until February 2014. Id.
this time. Myles-Anderson received two additional emails on
September 26. 2013 and October 8. 2013 citing her performance
issues. ECF No. 18-16 at 2; ECF No. 18-17 at 2. In these
emails. Edwards informed Myles-Anderson that she had
forgotten to order several name tags, causing issues for both
the new hires and Edwards. Id. Edwards further
stated that Myles-Anderson had failed to update an issue for
an employee in the "issue tracker" and also failed
to process an order for another employee before leaving work
that day. ECF No. 18-16 at 2.
November 7. 2013. Myles-Anderson received notice of
termination from EMMES. ECF No. 18-4 at 2. The letter cited
several examples of "continued unsatisfactory work
performance." including incomplete data entry, incorrect
information posted to the Intranet, the misspelling of a new
hire's name for his wall tag. and "failure to notify
Network Services in a timely manner of new hire offer
assignments." Id. The termination letter noted
the repeated warnings bringing these issues to
Myles-Anderson's attention, and the ultimate failure to
improve her performance. Id.
filed the instant Complaint in this Court on August 20, 2015.
ECF No. 1. Myles-Anderson asserted claims under 1) Title VII
of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. 2) Md. Code. State Gov't
§ 20-606 (unlawful employment practices), and 3)
Montgomery Cty. Code § 27-19 (discriminatory employment
practices). ECF No. 1 at 2-3. Defendant filed its Motion for
Summary Judgment on May 10. 2016. ECF No. 18. The Court sent
a letter to Myles-Anderson. as a pro se plaintiff,
informing her that a dispositive motion had been filed in her
case, and advising her of her rights under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12
and 56. ECF No. 19. To date. Plaintiff has not responded.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
court "shall grant summary judgment 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(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). A genuine issue over a material fact exists "if
the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a
verdict for the nonmoving party." Id. In
undertaking this inquiry, the Court must consider the facts
and all reasonable inferences in the light most favorable to
the nonmoving party. Scotl v. Harris. 550 U.S. 372.
378 (2007). But this Court must also abide by its affirmative
obligation to prevent factually unsupported claims and
defenses from going to trial. Drewitt v. Pratt, 999
F.2d 774, 778-79 (4th Cir. 1993).
burden is on the moving party to show "that there is no
genuine issue as to any material fact. However, no genuine
issue of material fact exists if the nonmoving party fails to
make a sufficient showing on an essential element of his or
her case as to which he or she would have the burden of
proof." Benton v. Prince George'sCmty
coll., No. CIV.A. DK.C 12-1577. 2013 WL 4501324, at *3
(D. Md. Aug. 21, 2013) (citing Celotex Corp. v.
Catrett,477 U.S. 317. 322-23 (1986)). Thus, upon a
motion for summary judgment, the opposing party "may not
rest upon .. . mere allegations or denials." but rather,
"must set forth specific facts showing that there is a
genuine issue for trial. If the [opposing] party does not so
respond, summary judgment, if appropriate, shall be entered
against the [opposing] party." Tyler v. Prince