United States District Court, N.D. Alabama, Eastern Division
VIRGINIA EMERSON HOPKINS United States District Judge
Introduction and Procedural History
employment discrimination action was filed on February 1,
2016, by Plaintiff Nekita White against Defendants Alabama
Institute for Deaf and Blind (“AIDB”), John
Mascia, and Christy Atkinson. (Doc. 1). Count I alleges
race-based discrimination under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
(Id. at 7-9). Count II alleges retaliation, under
§1983 and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, for
filing EEOC charges. (Id. at 10-11). Count III
alleges harassment and a hostile work environment.
(Id. at 11-12).
the Court are two motions for summary judgment. The first is
from Defendants Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind and John
Mascia (the “AIDB/Mascia Motion”). (Doc. 34). The
second is from Defendant Christy Atkinson (the
“Atkinson Motion”). (Doc. 37). The motions are
ripe for review.
AIDB and Mascia filed a Motion To Strike White's response
to their motion for summary judgment. (Doc. 45). Atkinson
filed a Motion To Strike White's response to her motion
for summary judgment. (Doc. 47). Finally, Mascia “asks
the Court to impose sanctions against [White] and/or her
attorney.” (Doc. 35 at 11).
reasons herein stated, these motions are due to be
GRANTED in part and DENIED
Motions To Strike
long been the law in this circuit that, when deciding a
motion for summary judgment, a district court may not
consider evidence which could not be reduced to an admissible
form at trial. See Macuba v. Deboer, 193 F.3d 1316,
1323(11th Cir. 1999). But, until 2010, Rule 56 lacked a
formal procedure to challenge such inadmissible evidence. In
2010, the advisory committee added Rule 56(c)(2), which
A party may object that the material cited to support or
dispute a fact cannot be presented in a form that would be
admissible in evidence.
Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c)(2).
Motions For Summary Judgment
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56, summary judgment is
proper if there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact
and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of
law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a); see also Celotex Corp. v.
Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986) (“[S]ummary
judgment is proper if the pleadings, Depo.s, answers to
interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the
affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as to
any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to a
judgment as a matter of law.”) (internal quotation
marks and citation omitted). The party requesting summary
judgment always bears the initial responsibility of informing
the court of the basis for its motion and identifying those
portions of the pleadings or filings that it believes
demonstrate the absence of a genuine issue of material fact.
Celotex, 477 U.S. at 323. Once the moving party has
met its burden, Rule 56(e) requires the non-moving party to
go beyond the pleadings in answering the movant. Id.
at 324. By its own affidavits - or by the depositions,
answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file - it must
designate specific facts showing that there is a genuine
issue for trial. Id.
underlying substantive law identifies which facts are
material and which are irrelevant. Anderson v. Liberty
Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). All reasonable
doubts about the facts and all justifiable inferences are
resolved in favor of the non-movant. Chapman, 229
F.3d at 1023. Only disputes over facts that might affect the
outcome of the suit under the governing law will properly
preclude the entry of summary judgment. Anderson,
477 U.S. at 248. A dispute is genuine “if the evidence
is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the
nonmoving party.” Id. If the evidence
presented by the non-movant to rebut the moving party's
evidence is merely colorable, or is not significantly
probative, summary judgment may still be granted.
Id. at 249.
movant may satisfy its initial evidentiary burden depends on
whether that party bears the burden of proof on the given
legal issues at trial. Fitzpatrick v. City of
Atlanta, 2 F.3d 1112, 1115 (11th Cir. 1993). If the
movant bears the burden of proof on the given issue or issues
at trial, then it can only meet its burden on summary
judgment by presenting affirmative evidence showing
the absence of a genuine issue of material fact - that is,
facts that would entitle it to a directed verdict if not
controverted at trial. Id. (citation omitted). Once
the moving party makes such an affirmative showing, the
burden shifts to the non-moving party to produce
“significant, probative evidence demonstrating
the existence of a triable issue of fact.” Id.
(citation omitted) (emphasis added).
issues on which the movant does not bear the burden of proof
at trial, it can satisfy its initial burden on summary
judgment in either of two ways. Id. at 1115-16.
the movant may simply show that there is an absence of
evidence to support the non-movant's case on the
particular issue at hand. Id. at 1116. In such an
instance, the non-movant must rebut by either (1) showing
that the record in fact contains supporting evidence
sufficient to withstand a directed verdict motion, or (2)
proffering evidence sufficient to withstand a directed
verdict motion at trial based on the alleged evidentiary
deficiency. Id. at 1116-17. When responding, the
non-movant may no longer rest on mere allegations; instead,
it must set forth evidence of specific facts. Lewis v.
Casey, 518 U.S. 343, 358 (1996). The second method a
movant in this position may use to discharge its burden is to
provide affirmative evidence demonstrating that the
non-moving party will be unable to prove its case at trial.
Fitzpatrick, 2 F.3d at 1116. When this occurs, the
non-movant must rebut by offering evidence
sufficient to withstand a directed verdict at trial on the
material fact sought to be negated. Id.
The Motions To Strike Are Due To Be Denied.
initial matter, the Court takes up the Defendants'
Motions To Strike since they will affect the factual
background and the ultimate determination on summary
judgment. See English v. CSA Equipment Co., LLC,
2006 WL 2456030, *2 (S.D. Ala. Aug. 22, 2006) (Steele, J.)
(“Because any summary judgment evaluation necessarily
hinges on the type and nature of facts in the record and on
the arguments that may be considered, and because the Motion
to Strike calls into question which facts and arguments are
properly before the Court, resolution of that Motion is the
appropriate analytical starting point.”).
move to strike all references to the time period preceding
September 27, 2013, because the Complaint specifies that it
refers to the events after that date. (Doc. 45 at
1-2). At the very end of the motion, without
much explanation, AIDB/Mascia claim that these references
should be stricken because they are “barred by the
statute of limitations; outside the parameters of the
complaint; [have] no continuity given the personnel changes
of AIDB; and [have] no connection with the employment
position that occurred after September 27, 2013.”
(Id. at 2). The Court notes that the objected-to
references occurred immediately prior to the date of the
complaint. This temporal proximity, combined with
AIDB/Mascia's failure to cite a single legal authority
showing why the objected to references should be stricken,
convinces the Court it should not strike those references.
Accordingly, this motion is DENIED.
Atkinson takes issue with the manner in which White responded
to her Motion For Summary Judgment. (Doc. 47 at 2). Atkinson
states that White's response “does not state
additional disputed facts in a separately designated section
as mandated in the Court's summary judgment
requirements.” (Id.). Atkinson asks the Court
“to strike: (1) any statements of alleged facts
interspersed in [White's] response to [Atkinson's]
fact statements; and (2) all assertions of facts by [White]
that are not supported by specific references to the
Court's Uniform Initial Order speaks to Atkinson's
Motion To Strike. (See Doc. 3). The Court declines
to strike White's statements in her response to Atkinson.
The Court will instead treat them as the evidentiary record
being used to dispute Atkinson's facts. While White's
response is not conventional,  the Court notes that Atkinson was
able to reply effectively. (Doc. 46). Further, “this
court has managed to parse those responses.” See
Rhodes v. Arc of Madison County, Inc., 920 F.Supp.2d
1202, 1225 (N.D. Ala. 2013) (Smith, J.). However, the Court
also notes that this case is at the summary judgment stage.
That means that assertions of fact need to be buttressed by
citations to the record, as the Court's previous
discussion of the standard indicates. Getting past summary
judgment is very different from getting past the pleading
stage. Accordingly, the Court does not give weight to naked
allegations of fact that do not have a citation to the
evidentiary record. Obviously, this goes for all parties. In
conclusion, Atkinson's Motion is DENIED.
Statement of Facts Relating to Atkinson
Atkinson served as principal of the Helen Keller School from
July 2011 until August 2015. Nekita White began working at
AIDB in July 2004 as a Dorm Aide on third shift. White
identified, in her deposition, seven jobs as AIDB that she
applied for but was not hired due to alleged discrimination
1. Dorm/Teacher Aide, Helen Keller School-January 29, 2012
2. Dorm/Teacher Aide, Helen Keller School-February 2, 2012
3. Job Coach, Helen Keller School-June 13, 2014
4. Job Coach, Helen Keller School-June 22, 2015
5. Job Coach, Helen Keller School-August 5, 2015
6. AIDB Bus Guide-May 20, 2016
7. Job Coach, Helen Keller School-August 23, 2016
was not employed at AIDB in 2016 and had nothing to do with
the last two job openings above. The job and qualification
requirements for Dorm Aides included monitoring students
every thirty minutes, ironing, washing/folding clothes,
mopping, making beds, waking students, assisting dressing,
administering medication, and feeding breakfast. (White Ex.
1); (White Depo., 17:6-10).
Aides differ from Dorm Aides and were responsible for
assisting a teacher in instructing students in the classroom.
Dorm/Teacher Aide positions required one year experience
working with students in an educational
AIDB Human Resources Department, not Atkinson, took
applications for open jobs and selected the applicants to be
interviewed. Atkinson was not provided application materials
for White in January or February 2012. In January and
February 2012, available Dorm/Teacher Aide positions were
posted for AIDB in its entirety, not just for positions
supervised by Atkinson. Applications were submitted to the
Human Resources Department and interviews were scheduled and
conducted by the Human Resources Department.
from each AIDB campus attended the interviews for the
available positions in January and February 2012. Atkinson
attended to interview candidates for second and third shift
jobs at the Helen Keller School. At that time, the Helen
Keller School did not have a first shift Dorm/Teacher Aide
position available. White was not one of the candidates who
interviewed for the available jobs in January and February
2012, and Atkinson did not know that White had applied for
any job at the Helen Keller School. (Atkinson Dec. at 3).
However, White did apply for the Dorm/Teacher Aide job
postings in January and February 2012. (White Depo. at
211-212). This was after she had submitted her
physician's note to the Human Resources office regarding
her diagnosis of severe circadian rhythm disorder and
requested an accommodation that she change to day shift or
day evening shift. (White Depo., 209); (White Ex. 3). White
sent a letter to John C. Connell, Director of Residential
Staff, regarding a letter from her physician about her
diagnosis and requested an accommodation. (White Ex. 4).
Connell submitted a letter to White indicating that he
received her October 25, 2011, letter informing him of her
medical disorder and request for accommodation and that, at
that time, there was not a position available to accommodate
her. (White Ex. 5). In January 2012, White obtained a
physician's note from Dr. Moersch saying that she is
pregnant, and the pregnancy is a high risk threatening
miscarriage. (White Ex. 8).
selection for each available job at the Helen Keller School
while Atkinson was Principal was made by a committee whose
members rated each applicant independently. The average of
the committee members' scores for each candidate
determined the candidate who scored highest, who Atkinson
would then recommend for the job. Atkinson's scores were
weighted equally with those of the other committee
members. Atkinson did not attempt to influence the
scores or decisions of other committee members or affect the
recommendations in any way other than making her own
individual evaluation of each candidate.
and Tenicia Barclay, a black female, interviewed the
qualified candidates for a Job Coach position in June 2014.
The committee recommended Katie Trotter, a white female,
the Job Coach position in June 2014. White contends that
Atkinson was on the selection committee to discuss her and
negatively influence the committee as it relates to her and
Atkinson's animosity towards her because of the EEOC
complaints White filed. Trotter met all the requirements for
the Job Coach position.White believes that she did as well.
(White Depo. at 118: 6-9). The responsibility of a Job Coach
was to help train students for jobs with employers outside of
AIDB. Trotter had prior, similar experience preparing
students for living and working outside AIDB. She also had
completed college courses toward a degree in education.
Atkinson claims that she ranked Trotter higher than White
because of prior relevant experience, education, and more
favorable impressions during the interview. In response,
White falls back on her general allegations of Atkinson's
animosity. She then relies on a conversation she had with
Trotter that indicated that she was interviewed over the
phone and accepted after being called while in the shower.
(Doc. 41 at 8). However, this is not enough to create a
triable issue because White does not to cite to any record
evidence that disputes that Atkinson chose Trotter based on
alleges that Nephateria Jones,  a black female, was hired for a
Job Coach position that White also applied for. White
described Jones, who had a master's degree, as
“overqualified”, but also claimed Jones lacked
certifications for CPR and sign language and did not have a
commercial driver's license. AIDB job candidates are
allowed to obtain those required certifications within a
specified time after being hired and are not required to
possess them upon applying. Jones had a master's degree
in business, had worked at a community college helping place
students in jobs in the community, and had worked for a group
home specializing in transitioning residents to the
community. Jones was fired after approximately one year at
AIDB. Atkinson found Jones to be better
qualified than White.
does not remember if she interviewed for a Job Coach position
in August 2015. She does not know who was selected for the
position, but she believes a black female named Shametra
Miller was hired. Miller had previously been a teacher in the
Anniston City School system and was overqualified, in
White's opinion. White interviewed for the Job Coach
position and did not receive anything acknowledging her
application nor any correspondence indicating that she had
not been selected for the position. (White Depo., 139:4-12).
Miller was selected but left after one year of employment as
Job Coach. (White Depo., 137:9-12).
requested as an accommodation for a sleep disorder in October
2011 to move to first shift or a split day/evening shift. She
reported to her doctor she was sleeping from four hours (9AM
- 1PM) to six hours (8AM - 2PM) per day at that time.
(Atkinson Ex. 11, Physician's Note and Work Status
Report). At the time White requested a shift change based on
her doctor's recommendation, there was no first-shift
position available. (Atkinson Depo., 35:1-5, 37-6-19). White
was offered a split day/evening shift job in December 2011,
which she declined. AIDB placed White in a first-shift
position in June 2012, which was the first first-shift
position to become available after White provided the
recommendation from her doctor. (Atkinson Depo., 42:
also cites to evidence to support her allegations of a
hostile work environment. She was removed from the substitute
list. (White Ex. 25, 26, 27). She was not allowed to have a
baby shower before 3PM, and she introduced evidence that
others had been allowed to do so. (White Ex. 12, 13, 14). She
was removed from the active bus driver list. (White Ex. 29,
30, 31). She was required to draft and submit an additional
statement related to a medical error even though she complied
with AIDB medical error protocol. (White Ex. 15-24).
Statement of Facts Related to
White's Allegations of Discrimination
in the Awakenings Program, ages 3 to 21, are severely
impaired. Night shift Dorm Aides check on the kids every 30
minutes while they are asleep; iron and wash their clothes;
clean the dorm; and administer medication. From 2004 to 2011,
White worked at AIDB as a 3rd shift (night shift) Dorm Aide.
(Challender Aff. at 13-14). In October 2011, White's
physician, Dr. Rahim Fazal, diagnosed her with severe
circadian rhythm disorder and requested an accommodation that
she change to day shift or day evening split shift. (White
Depo., 209:3-8); (White Ex. 3). On October 24, 2011, White
advised her supervisor that she had a sleep disorder-
Circadian Rhythm sleep disorder. (Challender Aff. at 13-14).
She forwarded a letter to John C. Connell, Director of
Residential Staff, informing him of her physician's
diagnosis of severe circadian rhythm disorder and request for
accommodation. (White Ex. 4). Connell drafted a letter to
White acknowledging receipt of the October 25, 2011, letter
and the severe circadian rhythm disorder and request for
accommodation and that at that time, there was not a position
available to accommodate her. (White Ex. 5). A meeting was
scheduled for November 4, 2011, to discuss White's
medical issue as well as accommodation, but the meeting did
not occur. (White Ex. 6). The meeting was rescheduled for
November 8, 2011, with Connell memorializing the meeting in a
memorandum dated the same day. (White Ex. 7). On January 5,
2012, White was informed she was pregnant/ high risk
pregnancy threatening miscarriage. (White Ex. 8). In January
2012, White was offered a split shift position, a position
she declined because she had a high risk pregnancy and could
not perform the duties. (Doc. 36-4 at 12); (White Depo.,
30:8-31:4); (Atkinson Depo., 37:22-38:5). The position was
offered to Michelle Lizik. White went on FMLA leave from
January 31, 2012, to March 10, 2012. In July 2012, White was
offered a 1st shift position as a Dorm Teacher Aide. She
accepted the position. (White Depo., 30:8 to 31:4). The Dorm
Teacher Aide position was offered to her without her applying
for the position.
Teacher Aides serve the same students as Dorm Aides and have
similar duties. Dorm Teacher Aides work different hours than
Dorm Aides - 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Dorm Teacher Aides assist
the teacher: toileting, eating, attending gym, therapy, field
trips, and changing diapers. They help clean and maintain
their work environment, as do Dorm Aides. The lead teacher
for the Awakenings Program was Jennifer Oldenburg. White was
assigned to her. White believes she was discriminated against
when she applied for, but was not selected as, a Dorm Teacher
Aide in 2012, Job Coach positions in 2014-2016; and as a bus
guide in 2016.
believes she was better qualified to be a Dorm Teacher Aide
than Lizik, who was selected for a position posted January
29, 2012. White had filed an EEOC complaint alleging
discrimination in 2011. White was pregnant from October 2011
to July 16, 2012. (White Depo., 70:1-22). The Dorm Teacher
Aide position was posted January 2012. (Id.).
believes she was not selected in retaliation for filing an
EEOC complaint in 2011. Between 2008 and 2012 four Caucasians
were selected as Dorm Teacher Aides. The basis for
White's contention of discrimination is that they were
white. She also alleges retaliation. (White Depo., 71:20-23).
White had no conversation with the Helen Keller School
principal asking why other applicants were selected. Dorm
Aides were paid less than Dorm Teacher Aides.
the position posted February 2, 2012, White does not know who
applied or who was selected. White acknowledged that if she
had been selected, it was a job she would have started
immediately. She never asked her principal or talked
with her principal about who was selected or why. (White
Trotter was selected for the Job Coach position posted on
June 3, 2014. (White Depo., 112:18-20). White does not know
Trotter's qualifications. (White Depo., 114:9 to 115:1).
Trotter was attending school. (Id.). White avers
that she was not selected based on retaliation. (White Depo.,
112:13 to 115:19). She avers that she had been employed by
AIDB for several years prior to Katie Trotter's hiring
and she had more seniority and experience and qualifications
than Katie Trotter. (White Depo., 114:15-19). White had
applied for multiple positions at AIDB and had not been
selected, while Katie Trotter had been moved, transferred,
and promoted two or three times. (Id. at 119:19-22).
Jones was employed for the Job Coach position posted June 22,
2015. White alleges that Jones did not possess the necessary
qualification, but as the Court noted above, she was not
required to possess those qualifications at the time of
hiring. White also believes that Jones was overqualified.
(White Depo., 122:17 to 123:1). White thought she was getting
a Master's degree from Jacksonville State University.
asked to be transferred to the Dorm Teacher Aide position
even though the pay was lower than the pay for Dorm Aide
because of the different hours. (White Depo., 126:10-14). She
wanted the change because of her pregnancy and circadian
rhythm disorder. (Id.).
applied for the AIDB Job Coach position posted August 6,
2015. (White Depo., 131:5 to 140:4). For that position,
Shametra Miller, an African-American female, was selected.
(Id. at 136:5-12). White believes Miller was
overqualified because she had been a teacher in the Anniston
school system. (Id. at 137:16-20). White believes
she was not selected in retaliation. (Id. at
applied for the AIDB Bus Guide position posted May 20, 2016.
For this position, Michelle Lizik was hired. (White Depo.,
147:14-22). Lizik was already serving as a bus guide for
route to Montgomery. (Id. at 151:1-6). However, she
believes she was discriminated against because she was not
hired. (Id. at 149:14 to 150:2).
Coach position posted August 23, 2016 was not filled. White
believed it was not filled in order to retaliate against her.
never filed a complaint concerning the use of staff to drive
students to the horse barn. She never asked to go. White
believed she was discriminated against when she was not
allowed to attend a student's graduation. She believes
she was discriminated against when she was asked not to have
a baby shower during academic times - 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. - but
could have a baby shower after 3 p.m. (White Depo., 219:22 to
220:6). There is evidence that others had baby showers on
campus during the earlier time. (White Ex.13, 14).
believes it was discriminatory to be asked to write a
statement about administering the wrong medication, when
others did not have to submit an additional report. (White
Ex. 19, 20). Taken in the light most favorable to White,
submitting an additional report was not required under
protocol. (White Ex. 22 at 56). To write up the statement
took White five minutes, she did it while at work, she was
paid for that time, and she was not disciplined. (White
Depo., 232:2-4, 242:9-13).
was removed from the substitute list on October 11, 2012,
because of her primary position as a Dorm Teacher Aide.
(White Ex. 27). However, she never requested to substitute at
the Helen Keller cafeteria on the weekend. (White Depo.,
229:17-19). At most, she sent Atkinson an email asking why
she was not able to substitute because she believed she could
still work on the weekends. (Id. at 229:14 to
230:3). In her deposition, White stated that “[r]ight
now I am not being discriminated against.”
(Id. at 181:9-12). The Defendants deny generally the
allegations of discrimination.
Response by John Mascia to Allegations of
(“Mascia”) serves as President of AIDB. White
sues Mascia in his official capacity as President of AIDB and
in his individual capacity. Mascia has had no involvement or
interaction with White in either his official capacity as
President or in his individual capacity. (Mascia Aff.,
1-2). Mascia requested that he be dismissed
from the lawsuit in his individual capacity since there were
no facts to support Plaintiff's contentions against him
in his individual capacity. (Id. at 5). Mascia has
not discriminated against White regarding any of the
positions to which she applied and was not selected. Mascia
does receive information about the person deemed best
qualified for a particular position. Mascia does not receive
the names or other information about persons who applied for
a position but were not selected. He reviews the information
submitted about the person recommended to be employed, but he
is not provided information about the persons who applied.
Mascia had no knowledge that White applied for any of the
positions about which she claims discrimination and/or
retaliation. Mascia recommended persons to be employed by the
AIDB Board based entirely on the credentials of the person
being recommended, and without any information about White or
anyone else who applied for and was not selected for a
position of employment. Mascia never considered anything
about White - her gender, her race, or her EEOC complaints -
when he made recommendations for employment to the
White's Allegations of Specific Job Positions
Job Coach Position Posted June 13, 2014
applied for this position and was interviewed. (Doc. 36-3 at
10). The parties dispute why she was not hired. White avers
that she had been employed by AIDB for several years prior to
Katie Trotter's hiring and White had more seniority and
experience and qualifications than Katie Trotter. (White
Depo. at 114:15-19). White had applied for multiple positions
at AIDB and had not been selected. (Id. at
119:19-22). Katie Trotter had been moved, transferred, and
promoted two or three times. (Id.).
coach is assigned to a student to escort them to whatever
employment they were training for, evaluate the student and
determine what they could do and could not do, assist them in
completing job applications and determining job duties, and
assist them and check on them periodically. (Id. at
133:17-134:12). White's job experience was limited in
scope as she had served in the same position since 2004.
(Challender Aff. at 9); (Oldenburg Aff. at 4). White did not
have the education, experience or skill set for this
believes that “Katie came a couple of years after [she]
had started at AIDB.” (White Depo. at 114:15-19). She
further believes that she “probably had more years and
experience, tenure than her and probably had my
qualifications and everything before Katie”.
(Id.). However, Trotter was completing her education
degree. (Challender Aff. at 9-10). She had worked in the
transition program at Helen Keller for three years, designing
education modules to help students learn employment skills.
Job Coach Position Posted June 22, 2015
applied for this position, but she was not selected.
(Challender Aff. at 10). Nephateria Jones, an
African-American female, was selected. (Id. at
10-11). The position required “sign language
proficiency” within “thirty (30) months of
employment.” (White Ex. 28). It further required a CDL
“within the first twelve (12) months of
employment”, and to “maintain yearly
certification for the Alabama School Bus Driver
License.” (Id.). White believes that Jones
“didn't get any of her qualifications for sign
language and CPR's, CDL's.” (White Depo.,
123:11-13). White also believes that Jones was overqualified.
(White Depo., 122:20-21). Jones had a Master's degree in
business. (Challender Aff. at 10). She had worked at a
community college transition program helping place students
in the community. (Id.). White believes Jones's
hiring was “[r]etaliation for the EEOC.” (White
Depo., 126:14). Jones was fired after approximately one year
at AIDB. (Id. at 125:1-10).
Job Coach Position Posted August 6, 2015
applied for this position, but did not receive anything
acknowledging her application nor any correspondence
indicating she had not been selected for the position. (White
Depo. at 135:18-140:7). Shametra Miller, an African-American
female, was selected. (Challender Aff. at 11). Miller has a
B.A. from Talladega College and a M.Ed. in school counseling.
(Id.). She was attending school for an Education
Specialist degree. (Id.). She had worked at
Talladega College as a Skill Enhancement faculty member.
(Id.). She had taught 8th grade physical science.
(Id.). Given what a Job Coach was expected to do in
the community, working with private employers, and writing
written reports, Defendants contend Miller was better
qualified. (Id.). White believes that Miller was
overqualified and that Miller was chosen for retaliatory
reasons. (White Depo. at 137:9-138:20). Miller did not remain
in the position a year. (Id.).
Bus Guide Postings May 20, 2016
guide assists students on the school bus. It is a part-time
position. White applied for it. She had a CDL (Commercial
Driver's License) and was qualified for the position. She
was interviewed but not selected. White's Ex. 31
indicates that AIDB removed staff from their CDL roster if
they had not driven a bus for two years, or indicated that
they felt uncomfortable driving a bus. (Doc. 40-31). It also
indicates that White both had not driven a bus for two years,
and moreover felt uncomfortable driving one. (Id.).
Lizik was selected for the position. (Challender Aff. at 12).
Lizik was already a bus guide. (Id.). She was
experienced and well qualified. (Id.). Lizik was the
bus guide for the Talladega to Montgomery route.
(Id.). She applied for this position to have a
shorter route closer to home. (Id.). In her
deposition, White stated the following:
MR. SWEENEY: [Lizik] would [have] had more experience as a
bus guide than you for that position because she was already
a bus guide?
(White Depo., 153:6-10). White claims discrimination
regarding this position because she was not selected.
Job Coach Position Posted August 23, 2016
applied for the position, but it was never filled. (White
Depo. at 159:1-3). The position was advertised on August 23,
2016, just before the new principal, Sandra Ware, assumed her
position on September 1, 2016. (Challender Aff. at 12-13).
Ware is an African-American female. (Id. at 13).
When she assumed her position as the new principal, she
decided that another Job Coach was not the best use of Helen
Keller's resources. (Id.). She determined that
the funds for this position could be better used for other
administrative positions. (Ware Aff. at 2). At least as of
August 23, 2017, an additional Job Coach has not been added.
(Id.). White believes the Defendants' were
retaliating against her. (White Depo., 157:2-9).
Allegations of Hostile Work Environment
Asking White To Write a Statement of Fact Regarding
Improper Medicine Given to a Student on August 13,
August 12, 2013, White administered incorrect medication to a
student. The student was taken to the hospital emergency
room. (Challender Aff. at 6). Given the serious nature of the
matter, Freida Meachem, Vice President of AIDB, requested
that White write a statement about what happened.
(Id.). She was never reprimanded. (Id. at
7). It took her five minutes to write. (White Depo.,
232:2-4). The concern was that the student might not make it.
(Atkinson Depo., 97:12-18). There is evidence that Atkinson
did not know what the proper protocol regarding statements
was, and that other employees had not written these
additional statements. (Atkinson Depo., 53:14-21, 5418-23);
(White Ex. 19, 20).
White's Claims Regarding the Horse Barn
was denied the option to go to the horse barn on Tuesdays and
Thursdays. (White Depo., 163:15-22). Instead, she was
assigned to stay behind at the campus with a student.
(Id. at 165:6-9). She believes this was retaliation.
(Id. at 171:7-10). The other employees who went to
the horse barn were white females. (Id. at
172:4-13). White did not complain to her supervisors about
having to stay back from the horse barn. (Id. at
170:25 to 171:10). However, she mentioned the horse barn
issues in an EEOC complaint dated January 28, 2013. (White
did not point to evidence directly controverting the
Defendants' reason for excluding her from the horse barn
- she notified her superiors that she had allergies.
(Oldenburg Aff. at 6, Appendix A). This fact is deemed
White's Claims She Was Prevented from Attending a
in the light most favorable to White, Jennifer Oldenburg told
her to stay in the dormitory and clean during a student's
graduation. (White Depo. at 187:9- 13). She had
cleaned the dorm the night before, and instead left work
immediately. (Id. at 189:4-15). She believes this
was discriminatory because two white females got to attend,
and she was told to clean. (Id. at 189:20-22). She
complained about this incident. (Id. at 190:5-9).
Request Not To Have Baby Shower During Academic
asked to have a baby shower between 1p.m. and 3 p.m. (White
Depo., 196:7-198:5). This time period was during academic
time for Awakenings students. (Id.). White was not
prevented from having the baby shower, just not at those
hours. (Id.). However, others had sent out
invitations for baby showers during that time. (White Ex. 12,
Allegations of Disparate Compensation Pay; ...