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HAUCK v. XEROX CORP.

July 31, 1980

SANDRA HAUCK
v.
XEROX CORPORATION



The opinion of the court was delivered by: TROUTMAN

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

FINDINGS OF FACT

 1. In January 1968 defendant employed plaintiff as a secretary, the only position then available, in its Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, sales office of the Fort Washington branch. Although plaintiff had no prior sales experience or training, defendant promised to advance her to the position of Customer Representative as soon as an opening occurred.

 2. In June 1968 defendant promoted plaintiff to Customer Representative. Her duties included visiting machine installations, training customers in the use and care of Xerox equipment and selling supplies. Defendant neither posted the job nor interviewed any other employees.

 3. In March 1971 defendant promoted plaintiff to Area Sales Representative and assigned her to the sales team which served the Pennsylvania government account. Her new duties included selling additional equipment to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, promoting the sale of Xerox supplies, ensuring general customer satisfaction and assisting the Sales Representative in selling additional installations or upgrading present placements.

 4. Plaintiff's evidence demonstrated that women entered into Customer Service Representative positions and Area Sales Representative positions by direct hire from the outside and by promotion from secretarial positions.

 5. Plaintiff remained in the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, office during her entire employment tenure. In January 1974 the Harrisburg office became a separate branch. While Harrisburg remained a sales office, the sales manager was the most important manager on site.

 7. Sales Manager Calvin Hauck initially interviewed plaintiff in 1968, began dating her in 1969 and married her in 1972. Mr. Hauck enjoyed close personal and business relations with Dick Jones, plaintiff's first sales manager.

 8. In August 1973 plaintiff began reporting to John Kammerer, the manager responsible for the sales team serving the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. In September 1973 Larry Staneart came to Harrisburg as the branch manager and set up the Harrisburg Branch. Plaintiff's complaints concerning her managers began to occur after August 1973, when the branch management located in Harrisburg.

 9. Almost as soon as Kammerer became sales manager in Harrisburg, plaintiff complained of problems with him. In October 1973 she complained that she had not been promoted to Senior Sales Representative. A few months later Kammerer recommended her for a promotion to Senior Sales Representative, which she received in January 1974.

 10. The promotion of a sales representative to a senior sales representative did not involve any comparative ranking system of sales representatives, and no quota limited the number of sales representatives who could be promoted. Rather, the sales manager ensured that candidates met minimum eligibility tenure requirements and maintained normal, reasonable sales performance.

 11. Plaintiff complained that defendant promoted three men to Senior Sales Representative ahead of her in October 1973. However, the evidence showed that defendant promoted plaintiff to Senior Sales Representative in January 1974 after only twenty-five months as a sales representative. One male sales representative worked for thirty-nine months and another for thirty-one months before defendant promoted them in October 1973. The third received his promotion after twenty-three months. Thus, defendant promoted plaintiff sooner than two male sales representatives and within one month of a third. If plaintiff had been promoted in October 1973 as she desired, she would have been promoted ahead of all three males.

 12. Defendant maintained a system of annual written employee performance appraisals, prepared by the employee's direct supervisor who reviewed it with the employee and asked him/her to sign it.

 13. Defendant also developed a program, Human Resource Planning (HRP), a process for identifying promotable individuals. Specifically, the HRP was a written document prepared by the employee and his/her direct supervisor after career-counseling discussions concerning the employee's interests, career goals and the appropriate path to attain them.

 14. The employee signed the HRP, copies of which defendant retained at both the branch level and regional office. The HRP documents contained places for notations that candidates were "ready now", "ready within one year" or "reading within two years" for promotions, which were not automatic. The document, part of a planning process, made projections which assumed on the candidate's part consistent and above average performance, no change in career goals, completion of necessary development criteria and a vacancy for the desired position.

 15. In October 1973 plaintiff and Kammerer, her manager, met and discussed her career goals in preparing an HRP. Plaintiff testified that she told Kammerer she wanted to be an account manager and a sales manager ultimately. They listed both of these positions and a third one, Field Service Manager (FSM), on the form. Plaintiff signed the document after again reviewing it with Kammerer. Plaintiff did not show that this HRP process with Kammerer differed in any manner from the one used with male employees.

 17. Defendant had no consistent corporate policy on rounding performance appraisal ratings either up or down. Defendant adduced many examples where defendant rounded down men's and rounded up women's ratings. Plaintiff failed to introduce evidence to demonstrate that the change in rating or rounding down differed from treatment to males with respect to their performance appraisals. Moreover, during depositions plaintiff admitted that she did not know defendant's policy on rounding, and in a subsequent performance appraisal in December 1975, plaintiff's rating was raised.

 18. In her June 1974 performance appraisal plaintiff achieved only 57% of her net additional budget and 78% of equipment revenue budget, the two most important and heavily weighted budget components. Branch Manager Staneart testified that these figures indicated substandard performances which could easily have been rated "2" and clearly did not deserve higher than a "3".

 19. Plaintiff complained that Kammerer did not travel with her or assist her adequately in serving the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation account, the success of which directly affected his own performance rating. In fact, a sales manager's own compensation and appraisal depended on how well each sales representative on his team performed. Plaintiff complained that Kammerer insulted her Penn Dot contact but later admitted that Kammerer apologized and arranged to take him on business luncheons, dinners and golfing outings. Staneart witnessed this incident and testified that Kammerer had not acted improperly and that Kammerer worked hard to solidify the Penn Dot account through business trips, entertainment and other means.

 20. Plaintiff also complained about her next sales manager, Ed Donald, to both Staneart and Kammerer, who requested plaintiff to document any problems she had working with Donald. Plaintiff failed to do so.

 21. Upon receipt of her June 1974 performance appraisal, plaintiff bypassed normal supervisory channels and called Staneart, her branch manager, at his home to complain about Kammerer. Threatening to resign, plaintiff, a neighbor and close social friend of Staneart and his wife, also visited him that evening to complain again about Kammerer. Plaintiff told Staneart that she could no longer work for Kammerer. Staneart urged her to reconsider, assured her he would try to accommodate her wishes, then arranged for her to be placed on the team of Sales Manager Bill White and assigned her to Lancaster, the specific assignment requested by plaintiff and the only available territory at that time.

 22. Plaintiff was the only sales representative who violated the normal chain of command and the only one who ever visited the branch manager's home to discuss personal career development.

 23. Defendant gave White no choice but to accept plaintiff on his sales team despite the fact that he did not believe she had the skills to handle this territory, which he had served formerly, and defendant had previously promised the Lancaster territory to a male sales representative, Trent Smith, whose excellent background and prior experience as a sales representative defendant deliberately ignored in order to give the territory to plaintiff.

 24. Normally defendant assigned territory openings to sales trainees and discouraged changing territories and sales teams. Reassigning plaintiff to White's team in July 1974 represented a special accommodation in response to her request.

 26. In the fall of 1974 defendant filled three telecopier sales positions and plaintiff complained to White that she should have been given an opportunity to interview for them. However, plaintiff refused to consider one position located in Williamsport because she did not desire to travel that far away from home. White offered to arrange for plaintiff to interview for the other opening, but she declined. The telecopier sales position, a different job from the telecopier specialist position in which plaintiff had previously expressed interest, would have constituted a lateral transfer for plaintiff, not a promotion. Plaintiff discussed the telecopier sales position with ...


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