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LOGUE v. INTERNATIONAL REHABILITATION ASSOCS.

April 14, 1988

Anne M. Logue
v.
International Rehabilitation Associates, Inc.


Gerald J. Weber, United States District Judge.


The opinion of the court was delivered by: WEBER

GERALD J. WEBER, United States District Judge

 This is a sex discrimination in employment case in which the Court in a non-jury trial found for plaintiff. On appeal the Court of Appeals found that plaintiff had established a prima facie case 837 F.2d 150. We found, and the Court of Appeals agreed "that some of the reasons offered by the defendant for not retaining Logue were clearly pretextual . . . The district court rightfully concluded that some of IRA's reasons for firing Logue were beyond credence." (837 F.2d at 155 fn 5)

 The Court of Appeals however requires that we must consider and discuss all nondiscriminatory reasons offered by IRA. There were two other profferred business reasons which we did not discuss or make specific findings on:

 
1. the restructuring of management for the state of Ohio;
 
2. the superior qualifications of Ross for the newly structured position of branch manager at Columbus.

 These are primarily questions of the credibility of the witnesses who profferred them. The defendant's principal witnesses to these reasons were Rozanski and Hamilton. These were the same witnesses who advanced reasons which the trial court found clearly pretextual, a finding the Court of Appeals apparently agreed with.

 The Court of Appeals stated, however, "the falsity of one does not necessarily justify finding the remaining articulated reasons pretextual." (P. 155)

 Nevertheless, the Court may follow the ancient legal maxim falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus in weighing the testimony, as it frequently does in instructing juries. Not only in the matters we specifically found false, but throughout the trial, the Court found the testimony of Rozanski and Hamilton to be incredible on many matters other than those upon which we made our earlier findings. As noted by the Court of Appeals, the trial judge has the discretion to evaluate the credibility of witnesses. The trial judge in this case heard the testimony given, observed the witnesses and considered other related evidence. From this we make one conclusion: Rozanski and Hamilton were not credible witnesses and this applies to their testimony throughout the trial. It applies to the issues on which we made no prior specific findings as well as our determination that they were not credible on the other issues.

 While it is true that Defendant restructured its Ohio operation, this basically meant that Ohio was divided into two territories with branch offices in Columbus and Cleveland. This was no reason for the discharge of Plaintiff, who formerly had responsibility for the whole state. It provided opportunity for two branch managers where formerly there was one.

 The restructuring in Ohio did not result in the abolition of plaintiff's job. Instead it created a second and similar position. It reduced the Columbus territory and required supervision of fewer employees. The somewhat confusing and incredible testimony of Hamilton and Rozanski concerned dividing Ohio into three territories, with branch offices located in Columbus, Cleveland and Cincinnati, with plaintiff being made manager of the Cincinnati branch office. Of course there never were any arrangements to open a Cincinnati office, budgetary or otherwise and we have previously found all matters concerned with a Cincinnati office to have been pretextual. Hamilton's explanation about the two year delay in opening a Cincinnati office was that when the position was refused by Plaintiff it required a two year search to find an equally qualified person to fill this position. This shows the patent incredibility of this reason. As we conclude in our prior bench opinion, plaintiff did not resign her position, she was terminated.

 Both Hamilton and Rozanski testified that Plaintiff was qualified to be a branch manager in Cincinnati and that they hoped she would accept the position. There was no branch office in Cincinnati at the time, no budgetary or other provisions were made for it, and one was not opened for two years. Plaintiff was abruptly terminated. Contrary to their usual practice with displaced employees, Hamilton and Rozanski signed a staffing form noting that they could not recommend rehiring plaintiff. This is anomolous because of Plaintiff's excellent record of performance in all the positions which she had held in the organization and Defendant's claim that she was qualified for the illusory Cincinnati job.

 Rozanski had dictated a memo to Ross in which he advised Ross that he would be given plaintiff's position but not her title. He directed the typist not to file this in the correspondence file contrary to usual office procedure, because there "might be trouble." We believe the testimony of the witness Helen Lane, who so testified, and we disbelieve the testimony of Rozanski that no such letter was ...


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