United States District Court, M.D. Alabama, Northern Division
H. THOMPSON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Zeffie Childrey filed this lawsuit asserting sexual
harassment and retaliation in violation of Title VII of the
Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, 42 U.S.C. §
2000e-2 et seq. This cause is before the court on the
recommendation of magistrate judge that defendant CGI
Technologies and Solutions' summary judgment motion as to
Childrey's “October 8 retaliation claim”--the
only claim remaining in the case--be granted. For the reasons
stated below, the court agrees with the recommendation
although it does not adopt the reasoning fully. The court
concludes that Childrey's reassignment to a position to
be led by the son of her alleged harasser does constitute an
“adverse employment action, ” and that she has
stated a prima-facie case for retaliation under Title VII.
Nevertheless, Childrey's claim fails as a matter of law
because she has not produced sufficient evidence for a jury
reasonably to conclude that CGI's proffered reason for
her reassignment was pretextual. The motion for summary
judgment as to this final remaining claim will therefore be
brought suit in federal court against CGI charging sexual
harassment and retaliation in violation of Title VII.
Childrey twice amended her complaint. Her counsel withdrew
from the case, after which she proceeded pro se. After
discovery, CGI filed a motion for summary judgment, to which
magistrate judge issued a recommendation concluding that the
motion for summary judgment should be granted in its entirety
and that the case should be dismissed with prejudice. See
Childrey v. CGI Techs. & Sols., No.
2:14cv616, 2016 WL 9751962 (M.D. Ala. Mar. 7, 2016). Childrey
timely objected to the recommendation. See Objection
(doc. no. 115). This court then entered an order adopting in
part and rejecting in part the recommendation. See
Childrey v. CGI Techs. & Sols., No. 2:14cv616,
2017 WL 4365161 (M.D. Ala. Sept. 29, 2017)
J.). As the order explained,
“It appears that defendant and the magistrate judge
have overlooked a claim asserted by plaintiff, viz., that
defendant transferred plaintiff in October 2012 to work under
the authority of Benjamin McCall and others, and that this
act constituted retaliation in violation of Title VII of the
Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-2 et seq.
See Am. Compl. (doc. no. 47) ¶ 21(d). Rather,
defendant and the magistrate judge appear to address only
plaintiff's claim that defendant's failure to
transfer her promptly away from that new assignment
constituted retaliation. See Report &
Recommendation (doc. no. 112) at 24-25.”
Id. at *1. Accordingly, while the court adopted the
recommendation granting CGI's motion for summary judgment
as to all other claims, it referred this remaining claim back
to the magistrate judge for appropriate resolution “on
a renewed summary judgment or otherwise.” Id.;
see also Order (doc. no. 119) (granting
leave to file renewed motion for summary judgment). CGI then
filed a renewed motion for summary judgment as to the
magistrate judge issued a second recommendation concluding
that the renewed motion for summary judgment should be
granted. See Second Report and Recommendation
(Second R&R) (doc. no. 126). Specifically, the magistrate
judge found that Childrey failed to establish a prima-facie
case of retaliation because “[she] has failed to
demonstrate that there exists a genuine dispute of material
fact regarding whether she suffered any adverse employment
actions sufficient to survive the defendant's motion for
summary judgment.” Id. at 12. The magistrate
judge further concluded that, even if Childrey could
establish a prima-facie case, her claim fails because she did
not offer any facts to show that CGI's stated reason for
the reassignment was merely a pretext for retaliation.
Id. at 13.
requested, and the magistrate judge granted, two extensions
for time to file objections to the magistrate judge's
second recommendation. See Order Granting Extension
(doc. no. 130); Order Granting Extension (doc. no. 128).
However, she did not submit any objections nor any further
requests for an extension.
facts relevant to this opinion are as follows:CGI is a
professional services company dedicated to providing IT
solutions and business process outsourcing services to
commercial clients and federal, state, and local government
agencies. Childrey was hired by CGI on April 16, 2012, as an
IT specialist for a CGI team providing support services for
the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae). Her
supervisor at the time of hiring was Calvin Patterson, and
Lynn Engram was the overall manager for the teams supporting
Fannie Mae's operations.
August 15, 2012, Childrey left work and encountered her
co-worker Willie McCall at the bottom of a stairwell. McCall
had made a number of sexual advances to Childrey prior to
that date, which she had consistently refused. As they passed
in the stairwell, McCall grabbed Childrey's buttocks. She
then immediately called Patterson, and reported McCall's
behavior. The next day a human resources representative from
CGI contacted Childrey about the incident. She explained what
happened and told the representative about the earlier
incidents in which she had rebuffed McCall's advances.
She told the representative ...