The opinion of the court was delivered by: BY THE COURT; MARVIN KATZ
AND NOW, this 5th day of February, 1993, upon consideration of Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment, it is hereby ORDERED that the Defendant's Motion is GRANTED for the following reasons:
Plaintiff, P. Douglas Maier ("Plaintiff" or "Maier") sued Police and Fire Federal Credit Union ("Defendant" or "Credit Union") based upon the Credit Union's termination of the Plaintiff's employment. Plaintiff claims the Credit Union violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq., because the decision to fire Plaintiff was based on Plaintiff's race/national origin (one-quarter Native American). Plaintiff also alleges Defendant breached an implied or explicit employment contract. Plaintiff also initially alleged in his complaint that the Credit Union violated 42 U.S.C. § 1981 and wrongfully discharged him; however, these claims need not be addressed as the Plaintiff has withdrawn both claims. See Stipulation (filed January 14, 1993).
The Credit Union hired Maier on July 11, 1988, as an internal auditor. In March 1989, Maier was promoted to the newly created position of Administrative Services Manager because Anthony LaRosa, the Credit Union's President and Chief Executive Officer, liked Maier and thought the new position would be a good opportunity for him. See A. LaRosa Deposition at p. 12. Maier had no prior experience in administrative services; he had worked as an auditor and accountant during the previous four years since his graduation from college. See Maier Resume. The Administrative Services Manager served the other departments within the Credit Union.
In May 1989, Maier received a performance evaluation which discussed his potential for performance in the position and expressed the Credit Union's belief that he could do the job. See May 1989 Performance Evaluation.
Maier received a 9 percent pay increase following the evaluation. See id. Despite the pay increase, Maier was dissatisfied with his raise. He felt it did not include an increase for the new responsibilities he had undertaken and it was not a promotional increase. See Maier Deposition at p. 85. Maier discussed his displeasure with Anthony LaRosa, who spoke with Maier's immediate supervisor, John Cassidy. See id. at 86. After these discussions, Anthony LaRosa agreed to have Maier reviewed in a few months and stated that Maier "would be given more money at that time." See A. LaRosa Deposition at pp. 14-15. As promised, Maier received another review in February 1990 and a 13 percent pay increase. See February 6, 1990 evaluation.
Toward the end of February 1990, however, Cassidy told Anthony LaRosa that Maier was not performing his job well. Cassidy asked that Maier be fired. See A. LaRosa Deposition at p. 16. Although Cassidy requested more than once that Maier be fired for his failure to do his job, Anthony LaRosa insisted that Maier be given another chance. See id. at pp. 21-22.
In March 1990, John LaRosa was hired to replace Cassidy as Chief Financial Officer. During the transition period, John LaRosa became aware that Cassidy had not been happy with Maier's performance and LaRosa himself became aware of some problems. See J. LaRosa Deposition at p. 35. John LaRosa spoke with division directors who managed the departments that Maier served and received their assessment of Maier's performance and problems. See id. He learned that Maier's major problem was that he lacked credibility within the organization. Id. The directors were asked to put their comments about Maier in writing. At least three of the department directors responded by submitting memoranda to Cassidy and John LaRosa outlining serious problems concerning Maier's performance. See Memoranda received from Directors Gerald B. Fadden, John F. Brady, and Linda Rumick.
From the memoranda submitted by the department directors, a performance appraisal was prepared on April 13, 1990, and given to Maier on April 16, 1990. See April 1990 Appraisal. The appraisal discusses specific deficiencies of Maier, including poor interpersonal skills, lack of judgment, and poor managerial skills. See id. Specific examples were noted in the appraisal, one of which was that Maier had failed to complete six projects by their due date. See id. Maier was then given timetables by which to complete those projects, among other things. See id.
The Credit Union states that it fired Maier because of his credibility problem with the other managers; because of Maier's incompetence as an administrator; and because of the Administrative Services Department was "literally falling apart and he [Maier] was oblivious to that fact." J. LaRosa Deposition at pp. 47-48. Furthermore, the Credit Union realized it could hire someone with far more experience and skill than Maier possessed. Id. at pp. 46-47. The Credit Union felt it was better to hire such a person to replace Maier. Id. at 47.
Maier was replaced by Richard Coyle. Coyle had over twenty-five years of management experience and was more qualified than Maier. See Coyle Resume. After Maier left, many changes were made that saved the Credit Union thousands of dollars, including reorganization of the facilities area that saved $ 100,000 a year and reduction of microfiche costs by $ 53,000 to $ 63,000. See J. LaRosa Deposition at pp. 48-49.
Although Anthony LaRosa had previously refused to approve Maier's discharge for over three months, and despite the earlier requests from Cassidy to terminate Maier's employment, Anthony LaRosa made the final decision to fire Maier after he had been shown the memoranda collected from division directors Fadden, Brady and Rumick. See A. LaRosa Deposition at p. 22. Neither John LaRosa nor Anthony LaRosa knew that Maier had Native American ancestry. See A. LaRosa Affidavit; J. LaRosa Affidavit.
Maier claims that he was a victim of discrimination because of his Native American ancestry. Maier states he is one-quarter Native American. See Maier Deposition at p. 12. He cites two specific examples of discrimination. In March 1989, Maier alleges that Cassidy hid a globe of the earth as a joke on Maier and when Maier asked Cassidy why he had done that, Cassidy said that Maier was a "token." See id. at p. 24. Maier also cites as an example of discriminatory conduct an alleged conversation in which Cassidy discussed a news program or article that dealt with alcoholism among Native Americans. See id. at p. 30. This alleged conversation was one of about a dozen Maier claims he had with Cassidy about his Native American heritage. While Maier described those alleged conversations as "friendly, kind of informative" where there was an exchange of ideas, Maier "sensed there were negative overtones from him [Cassidy]." See id. at pp. 27-29.
Maier asserts that the Credit Union fired him in violation of Title VII and that the Credit Union breached an implied or ...