WWW.DISSERTATION.XLIBX.INFO
FREE ELECTRONIC LIBRARY - Dissertations, online materials
 
<< HOME
CONTACTS



Pages:   || 2 |

«FILED United States Court of Appeals Tenth Circuit UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS August 12, 2016 FOR THE TENTH CIRCUIT _ Elisabeth A. Shumaker Clerk ...»

-- [ Page 1 ] --

FILED

United States Court of Appeals

Tenth Circuit

UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS

August 12, 2016

FOR THE TENTH CIRCUIT

_________________________________

Elisabeth A. Shumaker

Clerk of Court

MELANIE M. VINEZ,

Plaintiff - Appellant,

v. No. 15-1314

(D.C. No. 1:14-CV-00223-PAB-KMT)

SKY CHEFS, INC., (D. Colo.) Defendant - Appellee.

_________________________________

ORDER AND JUDGMENT*

_________________________________

Before BRISCOE, BACHARACH, and McHUGH, Circuit Judges.

_________________________________

Melanie M. Vinez appeals the district court’s grant of summary judgment to her former employer, Sky Chefs, Inc., on her discrimination claim brought under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12101-213. Exercising jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1291, we affirm the district court’s judgment.

I Sky Chefs operates out of Denver International Airport and provides catering services to various airlines. Ms. Vinez was hired by Sky Chefs in June 2010 as a * After examining the briefs and appellate record, this panel has determined unanimously to honor the parties’ request for a decision on the briefs without oral argument. See Fed. R. App. P. 34(f); 10th Cir. R. 34.1(G). The case is therefore submitted without oral argument. This order and judgment is not binding precedent, except under the doctrines of law of the case, res judicata, and collateral estoppel. It may be cited, however, for its persuasive value consistent with Fed. R. App. P. 32.1 and 10th Cir. R. 32.1.

Transportation Manager. On June 20, 2011, she went on medical leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), 29 U.S.C. §§ 2601-54, for treatment of breast cancer.

She was notified at that time that her position would need to be filled but she would be reinstated to a similar position when she returned. Ms. Vinez exhausted her FMLA leave in September 2011, and Sky Chefs extended her on medical leave as an accommodation under the ADA until she was ready to return to work in June 2012. On June 18, 2012, Ms. Vinez contacted Sky Chefs’ human resources manager, Cheryl Williams, and told her that she had been medically cleared to return to work by her doctor. The next day, June 19, Ms. Vinez met with Ms. Williams, who briefly introduced her to the newly hired general manager, Robert Mower. Mr. Mower was responsible for making managerial hiring and firing decisions, and Ms. Williams told him that Ms. Vinez “had just been cleared from medical leave and was coming back to work.” Aplt. App. at 162.

On July 2, however, Mr. Mower was notified of a corporate restructuring, called Project Laser, which would eliminate a single, mid-level management position of Director of Operations. Under the restructuring implementation guidelines, the Director of Operations, Derek Moon, could be laid off or moved to another position. See id.

at 371, 375. At the time, there was an available lower-level Food Manager position that was lateral to Ms. Vinez’s job as Transportation Manager, but rather than offer that job to Ms. Vinez, Sky Chefs attempted to create a different job for her as P.M. Manager on Duty. Ms. Vinez stated in her affidavit that Ms. Williams offered her that job on July 3, but her airport security badge had not been re-authorized. The position was never actually created, though, because the restructuring rendered it financially unfeasible. And

–  –  –

Manager position to Mr. Moon, who accepted the job. Mr. Mower testified that he never considered offering the Food Manager position to Ms. Vinez, id. at 185, and that when he discussed the position with Mr. Moon, he did not know she was returning, id. at 189-90.

Mr. Mower ultimately decided to lay off Ms. Vinez on September 14, 2012. He maintained that the sole reason she was laid off was because “we did not have an open position to bring her back to.” Id. at 182.

Ms. Vinez subsequently filed this action, claiming retaliation under the FMLA, discrimination under the ADA, and outrageous conduct under state law. The district court granted summary judgment to Sky Chefs on the federal claims and declined to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over the state-law claim, but Ms. Vinez challenges only the disposition of her ADA claim on appeal. See Conroy v. Vilsack, 707 F.3d 1163, 1170-71 (10th Cir. 2013) (deeming claim abandoned where plaintiff failed to advance any relevant arguments on appeal). Applying the burden-shifting framework of McDonnell Douglas Corporation v. Green, 411 U.S. 792 (1973), the district court concluded Ms. Vinez failed to either establish a prima facie case of discrimination or show that Sky Chefs’ proffered reason for the layoff was pretext for discrimination.

On appeal, Ms. Vinez relies entirely on evidence of pretext to satisfy her prima facie case. Among other things, she contends that because there is a fact issue regarding whether Sky Chefs’ proffered reason for terminating her—there were no available jobs—was true, she has established a prima facie case of discrimination.

–  –  –

We review the district court’s grant of summary judgment de novo, applying the same standard as the district court. Osborne v. Baxter Healthcare Corp., 798 F.3d 1260, 1266 (10th Cir. 2015). Summary judgment is appropriate “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.” Id. (quoting Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(a)). In conducting our review, “we consider the evidence in the light most favorable to the non-moving party,” but “unsupported conclusory allegations do not create a genuine issue of fact.” EEOC v. C.R. England, Inc., 644 F.3d 1028, 1037 (10th Cir. 2011) (brackets and internal quotation marks omitted).





Because Ms. Vinez relies on circumstantial evidence, our review is guided by the burden-shifting framework of McDonnell Douglas Corporation v. Green, 411 U.S. 792 (1973). See Morgan v. Hilti, Inc., 108 F.3d 1319, 1323 & n.3 (10th Cir. 1997). Under this framework, Ms. Vinez must establish a prima facie case of discrimination. Smothers v. Solvay Chems., Inc., 740 F.3d 530, 538 (10th Cir. 2014). If she makes this initial showing, the burden shifts to the defendant to offer a legitimate, non-discriminatory reason for the adverse employment action, upon which the burden shifts back to Ms. Vinez to show a genuine issue of material fact whether the employer’s proffered reason is pretext for discrimination. Id.

–  –  –

prima facie case by showing that “(1) she is disabled within the meaning of the ADA;

(2) she is qualified, with or without reasonable accommodation, to perform the essential functions of the job held or desired; and (3) she was discriminated against because of her disability.” Osborne, 798 F.3d at 1266 (internal quotation marks omitted). “While the elements of a prima facie case under the McDonnell Douglas framework are neither rigid nor mechanistic, their purpose is the establishment of an initial inference of unlawful discrimination warranting a presumption of liability in plaintiff’s favor.” Adamson v.

Multi Cmty. Diversified Servs., Inc., 514 F.3d 1136, 1146 (10th Cir. 2008). “In the absence of facts tending to establish this initial inference, plaintiff is not entitled to the presumption of discrimination and defendant is not required to defend against the charge.” Id.

The parties do not dispute that Ms. Vinez was disabled while undergoing cancer treatment for purposes of satisfying the first element of her prima facie case. Although the parties dispute the second element—whether she was qualified for the Food Manager position—the district court assumed without deciding that she was “a qualified individual,” Aplt. App. at 355, so we will as well. Thus, we proceed to the third element of the prima facie case: whether Ms. Vinez was discriminated against because of her disability. The third element requires that Ms. Vinez show she was laid off “under circumstances which give rise to an inference that the termination was based on [her] disability.” Smothers, 740 F.3d at 544 (internal quotation marks omitted). “This burden is not onerous, but it is also not empty or perfunctory.” Morgan, 108 F.3d at 1324

–  –  –

evidence that disability was a determining factor in the employer’s decision.” Id. at 1323. Once the plaintiff presents such evidence, “if the trier of fact finds it credible, and the employer remains silent, she would be entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Id. at 1324.

Ms. Vinez attempts to establish the third element of her prima facie case by citing—not affirmative evidence that her disability was a determining factor in Mr. Mower’s decision—but evidence that he gave a false explanation for why she was laid off. Specifically, she contends it was untrue that there were no jobs because the Food Manager position was available when Mr. Mower knew she planned to return. She argues that Mr. Mower knew she was returning in June, when Ms. Williams told him, but rather than offer her the job, he gave it to Mr. Moon and denied knowing that she was returning. Although Ms. Vinez acknowledges that such evidence of pretext is usually evaluated at the later stage of the McDonnell Douglas analysis, she points out that we do “not require plaintiffs to ‘ration’ their evidence between the prima facie case and pretext stages.” Aplt. Br. at 21 (quoting Wells v. Colo. Dep’t of Transp., 325 F.3d 1205, 1218 (10th Cir. 2003)).

That may be correct, but Ms. Vinez must still produce sufficient probative evidence to establish her prima facie case. See Barlow v. C.R. England, Inc., 703 F.3d 497, 505 (10th Cir. 2012) (“If the plaintiff does not establish a prima facie case, [her] entire case fails.”). And without some affirmative evidence that her disability was a determining factor in Sky Chefs’ decision to terminate her, this evidence of pretext alone

–  –  –

discrimination. Indeed, as we explained in Adamson, the type of pretext evidence offered here by Ms. Vinez is not affirmative evidence that disability discrimination was the

operative motive behind the decision to select her for layoff:

By conflating evidence tending to cast doubt on an employer’s stated reasons for an employment decision with the burden of establishing an inference of actionable discriminatory animus in the first instance, Plaintiffs seek to gain the benefit of that inference without having to establish it.

Without a demonstrable nexus between aspersions cast on an employer’s stated reasons and invidious intent, evidence of “pretext” merely establishes that an employer’s stated reason for its actions may not be its real or only reason. It does not establish that the real or “but-for” reason was unlawful discrimination.

514 F.3d at 1144.1 Here, without a prima facie case, the fact issue regarding whether Sky Chefs’ proffered reason was true does not alone indicate that disability was a determining factor in Sky Chefs’ decision to terminate her. Instead, it only suggests that Mr. Mower’s stated reason may have been untrue or inaccurate. Perhaps he did not view her as being qualified for the job, or perhaps as a new general manager (he had only been on the job twelve days), he forgot she was returning. The record does not tell us, but neither does it suggest discrimination was a determining factor. And without more, the untruthfulness or inaccuracy of the reason does not, in and of itself, create an inference of discriminatory 1 Our decision in Wells v. Colorado Department of Transportation, 325 F.3d 1205 (10th Cir. 2003), is not to the contrary. In Wells, the plaintiff showed evidence of pretext but also affirmative evidence of an unlawful retaliatory motive because the person who fired her was specifically accused of discrimination in her EEOC complaint and knew of its filing. Id. at 1217. Additionally, the timing of the plaintiff’s termination was consistent with a retaliatory intent. Id.

7 intent to establish a prima facie case. Thus, Mr. Vinez may not benefit from an inference of discrimination that she has not established.

Ms. Vinez attempts to salvage her claim with three more pieces of evidence but none of this evidence permits an inference of discrimination. First, Ms. Vinez cites an alleged statement made by Ms. Williams on August 8, 2012. According to Ms. Vinez’s affidavit, Ms. Williams informed her on that date that the company was

restructuring and all employees on medical leave would be laid off:

She informed me that [Sky Chefs] was undergoing some sort of restructuring.... She informed me that all of the directors of operation positions were being phased out and that the company would only fill open vacancies in each location. She told me that the company was going to lay off all of the employees who were out on medical leaves of absence or regular leaves of absence unless there was an open position for them....

Aplt. App. at 163. Ms. Vinez contends this statement suggests discriminatory intent, but a plain reading indicates that all employees on leave, both those on medical and regular leave, would be laid off unless they had a job to return to. This statement permits no inference of discrimination, nor does it suggest pretext.

Second, Ms. Vinez cites the testimony of Sky Chefs’ human resources director, Karen Damerow, who testified that she did not know what criteria were used

to determine who would be laid off, particularly Ms. Vinez:

Q How was Ms. Vinez identified for termination?

A It was a process of saying, as I look at my team – and, again, this is my perception. I’m not going to pretend I know everything [Mr. Mower] was thinking. But he identified who he wanted in [the managerial positions]. And Ms. Vinez was not one of the people who was identified.

–  –  –

A No, I don’t, not specifically.



Pages:   || 2 |


Similar works:

«GPSG Chartering form 2015-2016 GPSG CHARTER APPLICATION FORM for Graduate Student Organizations at UNC Charlotte If you wish to (1) Re-Charter your Graduate Student Organization (GSO) with the GPSG or (2) Charter a new GSO with the GPSG, please fill in this form. The deadline has been extended to September 25, 2015 at 11:45 PM. No more new or reCharters will be accepted after that date. If you need any assistance to fill in this form, please contact the GPSG Vice-President at...»

«workingpaper A Methodological Approach to Māori-focused Research November 2009 Sustainable Future Institute Working Paper 2009/02 Mahina-a-rangi Baker Author The Sustainable Future Institute, as part of Project 2058 Commissioned by Report 7: Exploring the Shared Goals of Māori: Working towards a National Sustainable Working paper to support Development Strategy The Sustainable Future Institute has used reasonable care in collecting and presenting Disclaimer the information provided in this...»

«libro n” 16.qxp 14/06/2009 12:50 PÆgina 1 libro n” 16.qxp 14/06/2009 12:50 PÆgina 2 libro n” 16.qxp 14/06/2009 12:50 PÆgina 3 LOS CAMINOS DE OBRA Por Manuel Mateos de Vicente Dr. Ingeniero de Caminos, PhD. ITOP, MSc, PE *Miembro Honorario, Asociación Española de la Carretera *Fellow Life Member, American Society of Civil Engineers) *Del Tranportation Research Board, Academia Nacional de Ciencias de Estados Unidos *Colegiado Ing. de Caminos, C. y P. *Colegiado Ing. T. de Obras...»

«Date of Approval: November 19, 2015 FREEDOM OF INFORMATION SUMMARY ORIGINAL NEW ANIMAL DRUG APPLICATION NADA 141-456 SILEO (dexmedetomidine oromucosal gel) Dogs For the treatment of noise aversion in dogs.Sponsored by: Orion Corp. Freedom of Information Summary NADA 141-456 Page 2 of 12 Table of Contents I. GENERAL INFORMATION II. EFFECTIVENESS A. Dosage Characterization B. Substantial Evidence: III. TARGET ANIMAL SAFETY A. Safety of Dexmedetomidine IV. HUMAN FOOD SAFETY V. USER SAFETY VI....»

«Dr. Tori Hudson Transcript From the Blitzed by Menopause DVD There's kind of a short list of symptoms, and a long list. And the short list, the most common thing really would be hot flashes. That's the thing that probably brings women most to the doctor's office is hot flashes. Whether they are daytime or nighttime we call them hot flashes, although some people say night sweats. If we are in the peri-menopause, of course there are changes in the menstrual cycle, but once one has stopped...»

«117 CHAPTER 6.1 Sexually transmitted diseases The following diseases are transmitted by sexual contact: gonorrhoea, chlamydia infections, chancroid, genital herpes, trichomoniasis, syphilis, chlamydia lymphogranuloma, Urethritis and urethral granuloma inguinale, genital warts, pubic lice, scabies, viral discharge hepatitis B and human immunodeficiency virus,. Swollen scrotum Sexually transmitted diseases in sailors are generally acquired through unprotected casual and promiscuous Balanitis and...»

«ZESZYTY NAUKOWE POLITECHNIKI BIAŁOSTOCKIEJ. INFORMATYKA MODELING DYNAMICAL SYSTEMS BY MEANS OF DYNAMIC BAYESIAN NETWORKS Anna Łupi´ ska–Dubicka n Faculty of Computer Science, Białystok University of Technology Abstract: Bayesian networks (BNs) are powerful tools for modeling complex problems involving uncertain knowledge. They have been employed in practice in a variety of fields. Their extension to time-dependent domains, dynamic Bayesian networks (DBNs) allow to monitor and update the...»

«Directors Guild of America, Inc. Basic Agreement of 2008 DIRECTORS GUILD OF AMERICA, INC. BASIC AGREEMENT OF 2008 Table of Contents ARTICLE 1 Recognition and Guild Shop Page Section 1-100 RECOGNITION 1-101 Recognition........................................ 9 1-102 Further Negotiations................................. 9 Section 1-200 DEFINITIONS 1-201 Definition of Motion Picture and Motion Picture Industry...........»

«Evidence submitted to the Commission on Hearing Loss Edited by Isabella Luthra July 2014 www.ilcuk.org.uk CONTENTS ORAL EVIDENCE 1. The Commission on Hearing Loss Evidence Session: 5th June 2014, Committee Room 3. Chair: Baroness Sally Greengross 2. The Commission on Hearing Loss Evidence Session: 17th June 2014, Committee Room 3. Chair: Baroness Sally Greengross WRITTEN EVIDENCE 1. Action on Hearing Loss 2. British Society of Hearing Aid Audiologists 3. David Blane (Professor Emeritus of...»

«Conviction Statistics: Minors Methodology September 2014 Index 1 Introduction 3 2 Conceptual framework of the research 4 3 Central Register of Criminal Responsibility of Minors Persons 5 4 Target study variables 6 5 The statistical use of the Central Register of Criminal Responsibility of Minors Persons and the information processing 8 6 Plan for tabulation and dissemination of the results 9 INE. National Statistics Institute 2 1 Introduction The Conviction Statistics: Minors has the objective...»

«UNIVERSIDAD DE CHILE FACULTAD DE CIENCIAS AGRONÓMICAS ESCUELA DE PREGRADO MEMORIA DE TÍTULO ANÁLISIS FLORÍSTICO Y MELISOPALINOLÓGICO DE LA PRADERA ALTOANDINA DEL SECTOR DE LAGUNILLAS, SAN JOSÉ DE MAIPO, R.M. GERAD MICHAEL BÖKE SOZA SANTIAGO CHILE 2013 UNIVERSIDAD DE CHILE FACULTAD DE CIENCIAS AGRONÓMICAS ESCUELA DE PREGRADO MEMORIA DE TÍTULO ANÁLISIS FLORÍSTICO Y MELISOPALINOLÓGICO DE LA PRADERA ALTOANDINA DEL SECTOR DE LAGUNILLAS, SAN JOSÉ DE MAIPO, R.M. FLORISTIC AND...»

«2 He a lt h 0 0 Fire 0 2 0 Re a c t iv it y P e rs o n a l E P ro t e c t io n Material Safety Data Sheet Ceric ammonium nitrate MSDS Section 1: Chemical Product and Company Identification Product Name: Ceric ammonium nitrate Contact Information: Sciencelab.com, Inc. Catalog Codes: SLC3955, SLC1162 14025 Smith Rd. CAS#: 16774-21-3 Houston, Texas 77396 US Sales: 1-800-901-7247 RTECS: Not available. International Sales: 1-281-441-4400 TSCA: TSCA 8(b) inventory: Ceric ammonium nitrate Order...»





 
<<  HOME   |    CONTACTS
2016 www.dissertation.xlibx.info - Dissertations, online materials

Materials of this site are available for review, all rights belong to their respective owners.
If you do not agree with the fact that your material is placed on this site, please, email us, we will within 1-2 business days delete him.