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Sharon Daniels v. the Housing Authority of the City of Troy

December 7, 2011

SHARON DANIELS, PLAINTIFF,
v.
THE HOUSING AUTHORITY OF THE CITY OF TROY, ALABAMA, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: W. Harold Albritton Senior United States District Judge

(wo)

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

I. INTRODUCTION

This case is before the court on a Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. #26), filed by the Housting Authority of the City of Troy, Alabama on October 14, 2011.

The Plaintiff filed a Complaint in this case on October 26, 2010, bringing claims for disparate pay on the basis of race and gender pursuant to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended (Count One), violation of the Equal Pay Act (Count Two), and disparate treatment on the basis of race in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1981 (Count Three).

The Defendant has moved for summary judgment as to all of the claims against it.

For the reasons to be discussed, the Motion for Summary Judgment is due to be DENIED.

II. SUMMARY JUDGMENT STANDARD

Summary judgment is proper "if there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and . . . the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law." Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986).

The party asking for summary judgment "always bears the initial responsibility of informing the district court of the basis for its motion," relying on submissions "which it believes demonstrate the absence of a genuine issue of material fact." Id. at 323. Once the moving party has met its burden, the nonmoving party must "go beyond the pleadings" and show that there is a genuine issue for trial. Id. at 324.

Both the party "asserting that a fact cannot be," and a party asserting that a fact is genuinely disputed, must support their assertions by "citing to particular parts of materials in the record," or by "showing that the materials cited do not establish the absence or presence of a genuine dispute, or that an adverse party cannot produce admissible evidence to support the fact." Fed. R. Civ. P. 56 (c)(1)(A),(B). Acceptable materials under Rule 56(c)(1)(A) include "depositions, documents, electronically stored information, affidavits or declarations, stipulations (including those made for purposes of the motion only), admissions, interrogatory answers, or other materials."

To avoid summary judgment, the nonmoving party "must do more than show that there is some metaphysical doubt as to the material facts." Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586 (1986). On the other hand, the evidence of the non-movant must be believed and all justifiable inferences must be drawn in its favor. See Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, 477 U.S. 242, 255 (1986).

After the nonmoving party has responded to the motion for summary judgment, the 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(a).

III. FACTS

The submissions of the parties establish the following facts, construed in a light most favorable to the non-movant:

Sharon Daniels ("Daniels") has been employed by the Defendant the Housing Authority of the City of Troy, Alabama ("the Housing Authority"), since January 4, 1994. She was originally hired as a tenant coordinator, and was promoted to occupancy clerk, then housing specialist, and finally Property Manager.

Ken Vaughan ("Vaughan") is the Housing Authority's Executive Director. The Housing Authority has a five member Board of Directors. The Housing Authority manages 422 units at five different locations.

In January of 2006, Vaughan announced a change in management structure for the Housing Authority as required by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Under this structure, Vaughan recommended three Housing Authority employees to be Property Managers. These employees included Daniels, an African American woman; Bertha Batie ("Batie"), an African American woman; and Roger Green ("Green"), a white man. The three Property Managers have the same job title, same pay grade classification, and same job description. Daniels is responsible for 134 housing units, Green is responsible for 168 housing units, and Batie is responsible for 120 housing units. Batie does not have an assistant, whereas Green and Daniels have assistants. In January of 2006, Green's salary was $1569.31 per pay period, Batie's was $1532.91, and Daniels's salary was $1086.93.

In May 2006, Vaughan made a recommendation to the Board of Directors as to the salaries to be paid to three Property Managers, which were approved. The basis for Vaughn's recommendation as to the Property Managers's salaries is a central issue in this case. When asked in his deposition about the setting of the "original salary" for the positions, Vaughan stated that he looked to see whether their salaries fell within the approved range for the position. Vaughan Dep. at p. 89: 13-16. When asked why he assigned Daniels a salary at the bottom ...


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