United States District Court, D. Maryland
Xinis United States District Judge.
in this employment discrimination case is Defendant Medstar
Montgomery Medical Center's motion for summary judgment.
ECF No. 29. Plaintiff Tyanna Montgomery has opposed the
motion, and the matter is now ripe for decision. See
D. Md. Loc. R. 105.2. The Court now rules because no hearing
is necessary. See D. Md. Loc. R. 105.6. Upon
consideration of the parties' briefing and the evidence
in the record, the Court GRANTS Medstar's motion.
Montgomery (“Montgomery”), an African-American
woman, worked at Medstar Montgomery Medical Center
(“Medstar”) as a Security Officer from August
2010 until her termination on April 17, 2017. ECF No. 29-2,
Dep. Ex. 2; Montgomery Dep. 13:2-7 ECF No. 29-2. Security
Officers at Medstar were expected to “effectively
resolve confrontation situations, ” maintain order on
the Medstar premises, and assist Medstar visitors and
patients. See ECF No. 29-2 (Montgomery Dep.
16:14-23); ECF No. 29-2, Dep. Ex. 2.
2013 through her termination, Montgomery was supervised by
Salvatore Michael Mancuso, a Caucasian male. ECF Nos. 22 at
¶ 40 & 35-1 at ¶ 3. Medstar asserts that
Montgomery was terminated for well-documented performance
issues, including chronic tardiness and a negative demeanor,
while Montgomery argues that she was treated adversely
because of her gender,  and that her alleged tardiness and poor
attitude is pretextual for Medstar's discriminatory
treatment and retaliatory termination. The facts that follow
are taken from the record and construed in the light most
favorable to Montgomery.
February 2016 - August 2016 Incidents
February 24, 2016, Montgomery engaged in a verbal
confrontation with a hospital volunteer, Terry Sheetz
(“Sheetz”). Montgomery witnessed Sheetz, an
elderly white woman, attempting to prevent a visitor from
seeing a relative who was a patient at the hospital. ECF No.
29-2 (Montgomery Dep. 43:1-19). Montgomery intervened and
escorted the visitor to her relative's room. ECF No.
29-2, Dep. Ex. 6. Sheetz then pointed her finger at
Montgomery “in a threatening manner” and yelled
at Montgomery that she “better not override
[Sheetz's] authority like that again.” ECF No. 29-2
(Dep. Ex. 6). Montgomery reported this incident to Human
Resources. Sheetz was counseled and apologized for the
incident. ECF No. 29-2 (Montgomery Dep. 53:4-23); ECF No.
29-3 at ¶ 2. Medstar's Security Director also met
with the hospital's volunteer coordinator to defend
Montgomery's actions. ECF No. 29-4 at ¶ 3.
Montgomery complained, and continues to argue, that
Medstar's Human Resources department failed to accord
this incident sufficient attention, and would have
disciplined Sheetz more severely had Sheetz been
African-American. ECF No. 29-2 (Montgomery Dep. 77:13-78:15).
Medstar did not discipline Montgomery at all in connection
with this incident. ECF No. 29-2 (Montgomery Dep.
after, Montgomery was reprimanded for not greeting visitors
in the hospital lobby and, more specifically, failing to
greet one of Medstar's Vice-Presidents. ECF No. 29-4 at
¶ 10; ECF No. 29-2 (Montgomery Dep. 78:21-80:20).
Montgomery asked Medstar to identify the complaining
“hospital VIP, ” but Human Resources refused to
do so. ECF No. 29-2 (Montgomery Dep. 78:21-80:20). As a
result of this reprimand, Montgomery was moved from the lobby
to a different security desk with less “greeting”
responsibilities for one month. She was then returned to her
original post in the lobby security station. ECF No. 29-4 at
¶ 12; ECF No. 29-2 (Montgomery Dep. 17:15-18:16); ECF
No. 29-2, Dep. Ex. 8.
April 2016, Medstar implemented a new policy where only
Sergeant Security Officers could serve as the “Lead
Officer” for each shift, as compared to prior policy
which allowed all officers to the lead post. The Lead Officer
received increased wages for the shift during which he or she
acted in a lead capacity. ECF No. 29-4 at ¶ 15; ECF No.
29-2 (Montgomery Dep. 81:22-25). Montgomery avers that the
policy was implemented unevenly because other male
non-sergeant officers continued to act as Lead Officer on
their shifts. ECF No. 29-2 (Montgomery Dep. 82:1-11); see
also ECF No. 29-2 (Montgomery Dep. 88:16-89:3). The
record demonstrates, however, that Montgomery acted as Lead
Officer, and received the increased pay rate, on at least
eleven occasions in 2016, including 105.5 total hours of
“Lead Officer” pay after the change in policy.
See ECF No. 29-4 at ¶¶ 20-21.
around June 10, 2016, Montgomery expressed to Medstar Vice
President of Operations, Kevin Mell, her displeasure
regarding how she was treated on the job. Montgomery made no
claim that this disfavorable treatment stemmed from her race
or gender. ECF No. 29-2 (Montgomery Dep. 104:1-6).
in July 2016, Montgomery was involved in several incidents
with one of her supervisors, George Carr (“Carr”)
that she believes were motivated by gender bias. In July of
2016, Montgomery accused Carr of removing her “lead
pay” time punches from the employee time system. ECF
No. 29-2, Dep. Ex. 8. A Human Resources' system audit,
however, revealed no such tampering and that Montgomery had
been fully compensated for the relevant pay period. ECF No.
29-3 at 10.
another occasion, Montgomery notes that her suggestion to
Carr regarding officer patrols in pairs was met with Carr
telling her to “get more heart.” ECF No. 29-2
(Montgomery Dep. 96:3-6); ECF No. 29-2, Dep. Ex. 8; ECF No.
29-2, Dep. Ex. 8. Carr also had previously told Montgomery
to “grow thicker skin.” ECF No. 29-1 at ¶
64. In a formal complaint filed with Human Resources,
Montgomery noted that on another occasion Carr yelled at her,
using profanity, in front of a doctor and visitors. ECF No.
29-2, Dep. Ex. 8. Human Resources opened an investigation
and, after interviewing a witness identified by Montgomery,
could not corroborate her accusations. ECF No. 29-2, Dep. Ex.
9; ECF No. 29-3 at 12.
September 2016 Employment Review
September 27, 2016, Montgomery received her mid-year
employment review which gave her an overall rating of
“Below Expectations.” ECF No. 29-2, Dep. Ex. 8.
Although Montgomery had been previously reprimanded for
tardiness and a negative attitude, see ECF No. 35-2,
she had never received less than the average score of
“Key Contributor” during prior performance
reviews. Montgomery responded to the September 27 report by
filing a letter with Human Resources which detailed the
above-described incidents. Montgomery also arranged to meet
with her primary supervisor, Mancuso, and other Human
Resources representatives, to discuss the incidents and her
performance evaluation. ECF No. 29-2, Dep. Ex. 8; ECF No.
29-3 at ¶ 6. At the meeting, Montgomery complained that
she was singled out for work and felt harassed because of her
gender. ECF No. 29-3 at ¶ 26, Dep. Ex. 2. Mancuso
informed Montgomery that the rating of “Below
Expectations” was an unintentional oversight, and that
Montgomery's score would be corrected to “Key
Contributor.” ECF No. 29-2, Dep. Ex. 9; ECF No. 29-4 at
¶ 7. The corrected report raised her overall score, but
kept unchanged the comments noting Montgomery's chronic
tardiness and poor attitude. ECF No. 29-2, Dep. Ex. 13.
October 2016 - December 2016 Incidents &
October 5, 2016, Montgomery alleges that Carr retaliated
against her for her HR report by implementing a policy that
prohibited Security Officers from having hair that fell below
the shoulders. ECF No. 29-2 (Montgomery Dep. 210:20-211:2).
Montgomery again met with Human Resources on October 7, 2016,
and was given a copy of her personnel records. Human
Resources offered to arrange a meeting with ...