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CARTER v. WESTINGHOUSE ELEC. CORP.

December 5, 1988

ALPHONSE H. CARTER, Plaintiff
v.
WESTINGHOUSE ELECTRIC CORPORATION, Defendant



The opinion of the court was delivered by: SMITH

 D. BROOKS SMITH, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE. *fn1"

 This matter comes before the Court on a Motion for Summary Judgment filed by Defendant, Westinghouse Electric Corporation, Plaintiff, Alphonse H. Carter, a 6O-year old black male, alleges that he was improperly excluded from certain work assignments and otherwise discriminated against by defendant because of his race, and was discharged during a reduction in force in 1985 because of his race and his age. Westinghouse denies that it discriminated in any way against Dr. Carter because of his race or his age, additionally asserts that any cause of action based on the alleged racial discrimination is barred by the statute of limitations and states that the reduction in force carried out in August 1985 was undertaken for legitimate business reasons. Westinghouse alleges that Dr. Carter was released from his post at the Corporate Quality Group ("CQG") of the Westinghouse Productivity and Quality Center ("PQC") pursuant to articulable, nondiscriminatory standards. Dr. Carter proffers evidence that he argues would show that the standards enunciated are pretextual. For the reasons stated below, we grant defendant's motion.

 I. APPLICABLE LAW

 Plaintiff's race-discrimination cause of action arises under 42 U.S.C. § 1981, which provides to "all persons . . . the same right . . . to the full and equal benefit of all laws." His age discrimination cause of action arises under 29 U.S.C. § 623(a), which makes it unlawful to discharge an individual or otherwise adversely affect his status as an employee because of his age.

 The applicable standards for proof of age discrimination are well defined. See Healy v. New York Life Insurance Company, 860 F.2d 1209 (3rd Cir. 1988); Chipollini v. Spencer Gifts, Inc., 814 F.2d 893 (3rd Cir.) (en banc) cert. dismissed 483 U.S. 1052, 108 S. Ct. 26, 97 L. Ed. 2d 815 (1987). A plaintiff must show (1) membership in the protected class, 29 U.S.C. § 631; (2) that he was qualified for the position from which he was discharged; (3) that he was discharged despite his qualifications. Finally, in a force-reduction case, plaintiff must show (4) that a younger person was retained in the plaintiff's position. Duffy v. Wheeling Pittsburgh Steel Corp, 738 F.2d 1393, 1395 n.2. (3d Cir.) cert. denied, 469 U.S. 1087, 83 L. Ed. 2d 702, 105 S. Ct. 592 (1984) cited in Healy v. New York Life Insurance Co., supra, at 860 F.2d 1209, 1214 n.1. The person retained must be sufficiently younger than the plaintiff to permit an inference of age discrimination. Id.

 Once the prima facie case is established, the burden shifts to the employer to show legitimate non-discriminatory business reasons for the employee's discharge. If the employer does so, the burden shifts back to the employee to show, in the context of a motion for summary judgment, a genuine issue of material fact that the business reasons proffered are pretextual. As experience teaches, the conflict in requests for summary judgment most often lies in the claim that the legitimate business reasons articulated are a facade to conceal discriminatory decisions. Id.

 The paradigm and the allocation of the burdens of proof are the same in the Section 1981 action alleging race-based disparate treatment. Kentroti v. Frontier Airlines, Inc., 585 F.2d 967, 969 (10th Cir. 1978).

 The statute of limitations for the plaintiff's Section 1981 claim is given by the substantive law of the place of employment, in this case 42 Pa.C.S. § 5524, which sets a limit of two years. See Goodman v. Lukens Steel Company, 482 U.S. 656, 96 L. Ed. 2d 572, 581-82, 107 S. Ct. 2617 (1987).

 Our jurisprudence must be based on an appreciation of the purpose of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act ("ADEA") under which this action arises. While the ADEA reflects a mandate to eradicate both express and tacit discrimination against employees because of age, it does not create a preference for workers in the protected class, nor is it intended to affect the operations of businesses in changing competitive environments by skewing business costs toward any social goal other than the one intended by the Congress: fairness. See E.E.O.C. v. United States Steel, 649 F. Supp. 964, 966 n.1 (W.D.Pa. 1986).

 II. Facts

 Dr. Carter graduated from high school in 1947. After several laborer jobs in industry and service in the United States Army, he attended college, receiving a B.S. in Finance from Duquesne University in 1961. In 1962 Dr. Carter joined the Kroger Company as a management trainee. Over the next ten years, he moved up within Kroger, holding personnel management positions of increasing responsibility. In the fall of 1972, Dr. Carter took a leave of absence to pursue a Ph.D. in Organization Behavior at the University of Cincinnati. By 1976 he had completed all of the non-dissertation requirements. During this time Dr. Carter and his wife also formed a personnel consulting company. In 1976 he was recruited by Walter Dollard, general manager of Westinghouse's Nuclear Fuel Division, to be the Director of Human Resources. In 1981, the year he received his Ph.D., Dr. Carter moved to the PQC as a Manager of Quality Training. His immediate supervisor, Jack LaPointe, was Manager of Training and Development and supervised two other Managers of Quality Training, Edward Godwin and Joseph Lojek. (Barra Deposition, 46). On the same level as LaPointe, and reporting with LaPointe to the head of the CQG, Ralph Barra, were two Managers of Quality Resources, Don Pankey and Nate Mocre, and three Managers of Quality Projects, Michael Aquino, Casimir Welch, and Art Green. (Carter Deposition, 60; Moore Deposition, 21-22; Kelley Affidavit, Paragraph 2).

 The CQG was responsible for training, review, and assistance to the corporate divisions of Westinghouse in improving the quality of products and the efficiency of production methods. Carter, whose background was in organization behavior and personnel administration (Carter deposition, 16-24), designed training *fn2" programs for management personnel, managed quality circle training, and conducted "quality fitness reviews", or "quality audits", which were inspections of technical production problems and organizational inefficiencies.

 Dr. Carter's role was primarily in the training programs (Carter deposition, 114, 122); the Quality Resource managers, Pankey and Moore, led the quality audits, for which their engineering backgrounds qualified them (See Carter deposition, 60-61, Kelley Affidavit, Exh. 1, Pankey deposition, 13, 49); the Quality Project Managers, Green, Welch, and Aquino, who assisted Carter and the other Training Managers, were hired because of their special expertise. (Barra Deposition 40, 65-66; Moore Deposition 22-23; Pankey Deposition 41-42; Green Deposition 10-11; Aquino Deposition 15). Art Green had a background in costs and accounting, as well as engineering experience; a B.S. in Electric Engineering, a B.A. in Math and an M.B.A.; and approximately twenty years of service with Westinghouse, of which ten were spent as a manager of various financial-related positions, when he was hired by Barra in 1981. (Green Deposition, 5-6; Barra Deposition, 39-40; ...


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