United States District Court, D. Maryland, Southern Division
J. HAZEL United States District Judge.
Nadine Godbolt brings claims against her former employer,
Defendant Trinity Protection Services. Inc.
("Trinity"), for discrimination on the basis of sex
in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
("Title VII"), 42 U.S.C. § 2000e el
seq., and discrimination on the basis of a disability in
violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments
Act of 2008 ("ADAAA"). 42 U.S.C. § 12101
et seq. ECF No. 27. Defendant's Motion for
Summary Judgment. ECF No. 48. came before the Court for a
hearing on May 22. 2017. Loc. R. 105.6 (D. Md. 2016). For the
reasons that follow. Defendant's Motion for Summary
Judgment is granted.
was employed by Trinity, a security services contracting
corporation, as a Contract Security Officer CCSO") from
July 30, 2011, until her termination on July 18, 2012. ECF
No. 48-6 at 1; ECF No. 48-15 at 1. During that time period.
Trinity provided security services to the government and
private entities. ECF No. 48-2 ¶ 4.
was hired to staff a contract that Trinity had received from
the Department of Defense ("DOD") to provide
security services at various government buildings.
Id. ¶ 11; see also ECF No. 48-6 at 1.
The DOD contract required that security personnel meet
certain physical requirements, adhere to specific standards
of conduct, and follow a dress code. Id. ¶ 13;
see also ECF No. 48-5. Godbolt's offer letter
stated that she would be paid on an hourly basis and that her
"work duties, work location, shift and post assignment
and supervisor are...subject to change at [Trinity's]
discretion." ECF No. 48-6 at 1. She signed the letter,
indicating acceptance of an assignment at "One Liberty
Center." Id. at 2.
states that she requested various schedule changes from her
supervisor. Sabrina Currie. such as picking-up additional
hours, trading shifts with other employees and changing to a
new shift, but was denied. ECF No. 48-10 at 9; ECF No. 51-2.
Godbolt states that on at least three occasions, the shift
she requested was then given to a male employee. ECF No. 51-2
at 2. Similarly. Godbolt states that male employees were
allowed to trade shifts while she was not. ECF No. 51-7.
her deposition. Godbolt provided additional details regarding
the timing of these events. She stated that around August 1.
2011 she requested to pick-up additional hours that were
available because other workers did not show up or called in
sick. ECF No. 48-10 at 4. Godbolt stated that she made a
second request "days after" the first request,
id. at 5. and a third request, a week or two later.
Id. at 6. Godbolt stated that all the requests
"happened within a three-week span."
respect to her requests to trade shifts, Godbolt stated in
her deposition that the first time she and another officer
sought to trade shifts occurred during the second week of
August 2011. ECF No. 48-10 at 10. In a letter written to
Trinity's Human Resources Department on September 26.
2011. Godbolt stated that on September 23. 2011. she asked
Currie to clarify whether or not she would allow Godbolt and
another officer to trade shifts, and Currie stated that she
would not approve the switch. ECF No. 51-2 at 4.
with respect to changing to a new shift. Godbolt stated that
a new shift became available in early September. ECF No.
48-10 at 8. Godbolt does not specify in her affidavit or
deposition when she requested this new shift for herself.
However, the fact that she did not receive this new shift,
and that it was instead given to other officers, is mentioned
in her September 26. 2011 letter to Trinity. ECF No. 51-2 at
September 23. 2011, an incident occurred between Godbolt and
Currie after their discussion regarding Godbolt"s
request to trade shifts with another officer. ECF No. 48-8:
ECF No. 51-1 ¶ 14. Although both parties describe a
hostile exchange, they differ over their interpretation of
the events, with Godbolt stating that Currie was the
instigator and Trinity claiming the reverse. Id.
Currie wrote a report of the incident and recommended that
Godbolt be terminated for insubordination. ECF No. 48-8. In a
letter dated September 26. 2011. Godbolt provided her version
of the incident and detailed the discriminatory treatment she
felt she had suffered while working under Currie, including
Currie's denial of her requested schedule changes. ECF
October 6, 2011, Godbolt was instructed by the Director of
Human Resources to report to work as scheduled. ECF No. 48-9;
ECF No. 51-1 ¶¶ 22-23. However, upon her arrival.
Currie did not permit Godbolt to work. Id. Godbolt
refused to leave as requested, and this incident, along with
the prior September 23, 2011 incident, was referred to
Trinity's Human Resources Department for further action.
ECF No. 48-2 ¶ 23.
October 10. 2011. Trinity's Director of Human Resources
issued a letter resolving the prior incidents by transferring
Godbolt from One Liberty Center to National Center, effective
October 12. 2011. ECF No. 48-9 at 2. Shortly after
Godbolt's transfer, one of the three buildings that
composed National Center was shut down due to the government
downsizing its operations. ECF No. 55-1 ¶ 7. As a
result. Godbolt's schedule was reassigned. Id.
¶ 10. Godbolt alleges that Trinity removed her from her
new post to accommodate a male officer whose post had closed.
ECF No. 27 ¶ 17. Trinity agrees that Godbolt was
replaced by a male employee, but states that they were
required to do so because they were bound by a collective
bargaining agreement. which stated that Trinity must reassign
senior officers to new positions at Trinity's remaining
facilities if their post closes. ECF No. 55-2 ¶ 9.
Trinity states that Godbolt was a junior officer. and that
her schedule was reassigned to a senior officer who happened
to be male. Id. ¶ 10. As of December 3. 2011,
Godbolt was placed on an on-call/part-time status until a new
site opened because no other positions were available.
Id., ¶ 11. Godbolt states that she was left
with "no work hours and no income." ECF No. 51-1
March 2012. Godbolt was placed at another location in
Rosslyn, Virginia, where she remained until her termination.
ECF No. 48-2 ¶ 27. At this new location. Godbolt was
supervised by Miriam Haigler, an African-American female.
Id.: see also ECF No. 51-1 ¶ 30. During her
time at this new post. Godbolt was cited for additional
disciplinary infractions, the last of which led to her
termination. ECF No. 48-2 ¶¶ 28-31.
1, 2012. Trinity's government client wrote to Trinity,
stating that Godbolt had violated the DOD contract by taking
a "rover log" home,  wearing an improper uniform and
failing to cooperate in an investigation into an anonymous
call about suspicious activity at the site. Id.
¶ 28: see also ECF No. 48-11. Godbolt wrote to
Trinity's Program Manager, admitting that she had taken
the rover log home, but stating that she had done so
accidentally. ECF No. 48-12. Godbolt now asserts that she was
forced to write that letter. ECF No. 51-1 ¶ 32.
also states that Godbolt arrived to work late on May 1, 2012,
and falsified her timesheet to state that she arrived earlier
than she actually did. ECF No. 48-2 ¶ 29. Godbolt disputes
this, saying that a supervisor ordered two other officers to
change their time cards to make it look like she arrived
late. ECF No. 51-1 ¶¶ 40-44. In support of her
argument. Godbolt attaches a statement from Officer Bryant
stating that he was instructed by his supervisor to sign out
at 8:05 am to "show that CSO Godbolt was late." ECF
No. 51-11. She also submits an email of a text message, where
Officer Bryant again states that his supervisor made him sign
out at 8:05 am. ECF No. 51-12. Notably, neither
Godbolt"s affidavit nor the statements of the other
officers affirmatively state that she arrived on time that
day and, thus, do not contradict Trinity's statement.
Human Resources Department investigated Godbolt's
tardiness and her removal of the rover log, and issued a
letter to Godbolt on May 9. 2012. detailing their
conclusions. ECF No. 48-13. In the letter. Trinity's
Director of Human Resources stated that their investigation
revealed that Godbolt willfully committed both infractions,
which violated both Trinity's contract with DOD and
Trinity's Employee Handbook. Id. Trinity stated
that Godbolt would be reprimanded instead of terminated for
these infractions, but cautioned that "[a]ny future
infractions of the same or another nature will result in your
immediate termination." Id. As a consequence of
these infractions. Godbolt was suspended from work for five
days and was placed on a 90-day probationary period.
Id. Godbolt states that this suspension was without
pay. ECF No. 51-1 at'¶32.
claims that this punishment was discriminatory since a male
officer. Officer Oduro, was not punished when he failed to
turn in a rover log. Id. Ostensibly in support of
this claim. Godbolt submits a statement from Officer Oduro.
explaining that a sergeant told him to complete a different
form instead of the rover log. ECF No. 51-8. Godbolt also
submits a statement from Officer Lynch, who says that he was
"not aware of any other [CSO] being formally
disciplined, suspended or terminated due to a failure to
prepare or update a "Roving Officer Log."" ECF
No. 51-14. Finally, a statement by Officer Kidwell, also
allegedly in support of this proposition, generally refers to
the "unjust & excess corrective action singling out
Godbolt." without reference to any specific act. ECF No.
final incident which led to Godbolt's termination
occurred on July 9. 2012. That morning, Officer Beasley, an
employee of the government client, observed Godbolt with her
hat on the back of her gun belt rather than on her head. ECF
No. 48-14. The officer informed Godbolt that she was required
to wear her hat while on duty, and Godbolt responded by
stating. "I am hot and I am getting a paper towel to
wipe my head." Id. Ten minutes later, the
officer observed Godbolt again without her hat on.
Id. The officer informed Godbolt's supervisor.
Miriam Haigler. of the incident, and Haigler instructed
Godbolt to put on her hat. Id. The officer stated
that Godbolt then placed the hat on her head "in a
position not consistent with wearing a baseball style
hat" before removing the hat completely. Id.
states she was experiencing an asthma attack during this
period, and had requested to take off her hat to increase her
air flow. ECF No. 27 ¶ 24. Godbolt further states that
Haigler was aware of her condition and initially "made a
semblance of recognition of [her] need for medical
attention** by offering her bottles of cold water.
Id. In her deposition, Godbolt admitted that that
she had never experienced a similar episode before. ECF No.
48-10 at 11.
11, 2012. Godbolt filed a complaint with the Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission ("EEOC"), alleging in
relevant part, discrimination based on sex and disability.
ECF No. 51-7. With respect to her sex discrimination claim.
Godbolt stated that preferential schedules were given to male
officers: male officers were allowed to trade shifts; after
her site closed, she was put on an on-call list and a male
officer was given her schedule; and she was suspended for
five days. Id. She also describes the July 9, 2012
incident which led to her termination, stating that she had
an "allergic reaction" due to working near a
construction site and had told her supervisors about her
"bronchitis-related condition"" in June 2012.
18. 2012. Trinity mailed Godbolt a letter of termination,
stating that Godbolt was being terminated for the uniform
violation, dress code violation and insubordination that
occurred on July 9. 2012. ECF No. 48-15. The letter also
indicated that Godbolt had been warned in the May 9. 2012
letter of reprimand that any further infractions would result
in her termination. Id. In support of their argument
that Godbolt was not singled out for termination because of
her sex. Trinity states that between September 2011 and
September 2012 they ...