within three working days. Mr. Poff's theory is that the eight-day period allowed BancTec to assess his medical condition in the aftermath of the incident. In support of this theory, Mr. Poff points to evidence suggesting that BancTec officials were aware that he had re-injured himself on December 7. Thus, the plaintiff contends that BancTec terminated him only after it realized that his condition would render him inactive for a substantial period of time. This violation of procedure, the argument concludes, is sufficient to cast doubt on the proffered reason for discharge.
Upon review of the evidence supporting this contention, however, we conclude that it is insufficient to defeat BancTec's summary judgment motion. First, Mr. Poff contends that Messrs. Kozicki and Guinan were able to assess his condition when they met with him on the day following the halon discharge incident. Mr. Poff fails to identify, however, any evidence suggesting that he informed them of his long-term prognosis, or to explain how Messrs. Kozicki and Guinan were in any way qualified to reach a reasonable opinion as to his condition based upon a meeting over lunch. The other evidence Mr. Poff proffers supports the conclusion that BancTec knew he would be sidelined for a number of days as a result of the December 7 incident. For example, Mr. Kozicki was notified that Mr. Poff visited an emergency room following the fall, and would be incapacitated for a few days. Mr. Poff does not, however, point to any evidence suggesting that BancTec knew that he would be unable to work for an extended period of time. Thus, the conclusion that he would have a jury reach -- that BancTec discharged him only after it became aware that his injury would require long term rehabilitation -- is plainly illogical in light of the record. As a result, we cannot deny BancTec's motion on these grounds.
Finally, Mr. Poff argues that the disciplinary policy was applied in a discriminatory fashion in that another employee who committed a major infraction was not terminated. Specifically, Mr. Poff contends that an employee named Al Jett was not discharged despite violating company policy regarding sexual harassment. The evidence supporting this assertion is the affidavit of Kim Hood, one of Mr. Poff's co-workers, who swears that Mr. Jett made a number of derogatory and sexually suggestive comments to women on the job site. Mr. Jett was removed from the Prudential site and transferred to another site, but was not otherwise disciplined. Thus, Mr. Poff contends that the different treatment accorded Mr. Jett justifies a ruling on the instant motion in his favor.
Upon careful consideration of this evidence, however, we conclude that it does not support the inference of pretext. First, we note that there is no evidence suggesting that BancTec officials concluded that Mr. Jett had violated company policy after conducting an investigation. The central issue here is whether BancTec transferred Mr. Jett after concluding he had committed a major infraction. The only evidence of the alleged harassment is the affidavit of Ms. Hood, who states that Mr. Jett made inappropriate comments and was subsequently transferred. Thus, there is no evidence from which a jury could conclude that BancTec transferred Mr. Jett after it concluded that he had committed a major infraction. Moreover, even if we assume that BancTec believed Mr. Jett had committed a major infraction, there is no evidence to suggest that Mr. Jett had done so after receiving a written warning regarding his behavior, as Mr. Poff had. Like Mr. Jett, Mr. Poff was not discharged after his first major infraction of company policy. Indeed, Mr. Poff was terminated only after receiving notice in 1989 that he would be discharged if he again engaged in violent behavior. In this crucial respect, Messrs. Poff and Jett were not similarly situated. Accordingly, we conclude that the evidence concerning Mr. Jett does nothing to assist Mr. Poff in defeating the instant motion.
In sum, Mr. Poff has failed to point to any evidence suggesting that BancTec's explanation for the discharge is not credible. In other words, there is no evidence from which a jury could conclude that Mr. Poff was terminated for a reason other than his violent outbursts. Nor has he raised evidence to indicate that a discriminatory bias was more likely than not a cause of his discharge. As a result, and for the foregoing reasons, we are compelled to grant BancTec's motion for summary judgment. Mr. Poff's cross-motion for partial summary judgment will be denied as moot. An appropriate order follows.
AND NOW, this 4th day of January, 1996, upon consideration of Defendant BancTec's Motion for Summary Judgment, and the response thereto, it is hereby ORDERED, for the reasons set forth in the preceding Memorandum, that said Motion is GRANTED.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Plaintiff's Motion for Partial Summary Judgment is hereby DENIED as MOOT.
BY THE COURT:
J. Curtis Joyner, J.
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