United States District Court, M.D. Alabama, Northern Division
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
A. BAKER, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Anita Boyle sues Defendant Montgomery Country Club for
discrimination in violation of the Age Discrimination in
Employment Act, as amended, 29 U.S.C. § 621, et
seq. (“ADEA”). This matter is before the
court on the Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment
(Doc. 16). The parties have had the opportunity to fully
brief the matters, and the court has taken the motion under
advisement without oral argument. For the reasons that
follow, the undersigned Magistrate Judge recommends
Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. 16) be
Court has jurisdiction over the subject matter of this civil
action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331 and 1343(a)(4). The
parties do not contest personal jurisdiction or venue, and
the court finds sufficient information of record to support
both. See 28 U.S.C. § 1391. On May 31, 2017,
the above-styled matter was referred to the undersigned for
recommendation on all pretrial matters by United States
District Chief Judge William K. Watkins. (Doc. 7); see
also 28 U.S.C. § 636(b); Rule 72, Fed. R. Civ. P.;
United States v. Raddatz, 447 U.S. 667 (1980);
Jeffrey S. v. State Bd. of Educ. of State of Ga.,
896 F.2d 507 (11th Cir. 1990).
Standard of Review
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). In ruling on a motion for summary
judgment, the Court construes the facts and all reasonable
inferences therefrom in the light most favorable to the
nonmoving party. Reeves v. Sanderson Plumbing Prods.,
Inc., 530 U.S. 133, 150 (2000). However, when faced with
a “properly supported motion for summary judgment, [the
nonmoving party] must come forward with specific factual
evidence, presenting more than mere allegations.”
Gargiulo v. G.M. Sales, Inc., 131 F.3d 995, 999
(11th Cir. 1997).
judgment is mandated “against a party who fails to make
a showing sufficient to establish the existence of an element
essential to that party's case, and on which that party
will bear the burden of proof at trial.” Celotex
Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986).
“Summary judgment may be granted if the non-moving
party's evidence is merely colorable or is not
significantly probative.” Sawyer v. Southwest
Airlines Co., 243 F.Supp.2d 1257, 1262 (D. Kan. 2003)
(citing Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S.
242, 250-51 (1986)).
“[A]t the summary judgment stage the judge's
function is not himself to weigh the evidence and determine
the truth of the matter but to determine whether there is a
genuine issue for trial.” Anderson, 477 U.S.
at 249. “Essentially, the inquiry is ‘whether the
evidence presents a sufficient disagreement to require
submission to the jury or whether it is so one-sided that one
party must prevail as a matter of law.'”
Sawyer, 243 F.Supp.2d at 1263 (quoting
Anderson, 477 U.S. at 251-52).
Background and Statement of Facts
Anita Boyle, initiated this action in May 2017 against her
former employer, Montgomery Country Club, arising out of her
termination in November 2015. (Doc. 1). She alleges she was
fired because of her age in violation of the ADEA.
Id. ¶ 21. She was born in 1951 and was 64 years
old when she was terminated. Id. ¶¶ 5, 7,
10; (Doc. 21-2 at 13:5-6).
Country Club (“MCC”) is a private, member-owned
club that offers golf, tennis, swimming, social activities,
and dining. (Doc. 16 at 6). MCC offers its facilities and
services to members and non-members for special events such
as weddings, group meetings, formal balls, reunions,
professional seminars, and holiday parties. Id. In
April 2010, Boyle was hired as MCC's Catering Director
which is also referred to as Special Events Director. (Doc.
21-2 at 20:11-15, 80:11- 15). Her responsibilities included
promoting, planning, staffing, and executing catered events
held at MCC. Id. at 82:10-83:16. She received
increases in her salary and commission over her years of
employment at MCC as a result of her favorable evaluations.
(Doc. 16 at 7).
to working for MCC, Boyle had extensive experience working
for private clubs, primarily in general manager positions.
(Doc. 21-2 at 47:8-72:10). She is a Certified Club Manager, a
certification conferred by the Club Management Institute that
covers training and education in various aspects of private
club management, including financial management, accounting,
and human resources. Id. at 24:3-30:12. MCC was
aware of Boyle's experience. (Doc. 21-3 at 73:15-20).
April 2014, Raquel Townsend was appointed to be Boyle's
assistant in special events. (Doc. 21-5 at 7:5-8:11).
Townsend was initially hired in October 1996 as a server
prior to becoming co-manager of the casual dining room in
2010. Id. at 7:5-20. Townsend was moved into the
position of Boyle's assistant because she had been
struggling as co-manager in the casual dining room. (Doc.
21-3 at 33:25-34:22, 74; Doc. 21-2 at 96:3-19). Townsend is
27 years younger than Boyle. (Doc. 16 at 10, ¶ 11).
had never previously worked in special events other than as a
server. (Doc. 21-5 at 8:15-21). As Boyle's assistant in
special events, Townsend had difficulties. (Doc. 21-1 at
99:20-100:8). While Townsend could handle small events, she
was incapable of promoting the club, handling details of
events, and effectively communicating with customers.
Id. at 99:20-100:8, ...