Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

BULLOCK v. CHILDREN'S HOSP. OF PHILADELPHIA

November 4, 1999

ENGRID BULLOCK, PLAINTIFF,
v.
THE CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL OF PHILADELPHIA, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Lowell A. Reed, Jr., Senior District Judge.

MEMORANDUM

Plaintiff Engrid Bullock ("Bullock") filed this lawsuit alleging violations of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq., the Age Discrimination in Employment Act ("ADEA"), 29 U.S.C. § 621 et seq., the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act ("PHRA"), 43 Pa. Const. Stat. Ann. § 955 et seq. and 42 U.S.C. § 1981. Specifically, Bullock alleges that she was terminated from her position with the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia as the Department Head Secretary for the Social Work Department because of her race, sex, age, ethnicity, and national origin.

Presently before the Court is the motion of defendant the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia ("the Hospital") for summary judgment (Document No. 17), the response and the reply thereto. Jurisdiction is proper pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331. Because Bullock has failed to establish a prima facie case of discrimination, the motion will be granted.

I. BACKGROUND*fn1

Engrid Bullock is an African American woman who was born on November 24, 1945. Bullock was hired by the Hospital in 1990 as Department Head Secretary in the Home Care Department. In 1994, Bullock obtained the position of Department Head Secretary for the Social Work Department at the Hospital, were she worked until she was terminated on April 11, 1997.

In March of 1996, the Hospital hired William Tietjen as the new Director of the Social Work Department. Shortly after Tietjen arrived, he began reorganizing the social work department. At the time, there were three departmental secretaries, all of whom were African American. There was one Department Head Secretary, Bullock, as well as two Level II secretaries. Tietjen determined that two secretaries would be sufficient. Tietjen retained Bullock as the Department Head Secretary and consolidated the other two Level II secretary positions into one. The secretary whose position was eliminated was permitted to apply for and obtained a position in another department at the Hospital as a Department Head Secretary.*fn2

Bullock received favorable evaluations prior to 1996. In 1994 and 1995, her performance rating was meets expectations (ME). (Plaintiff's Brief in Opposition to Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment ("Plt.Mem."), Exh. C.). Her performance rating for 1996 was expectations not achieved (ENA). (Id.).

In September of 1996, prior to her yearly evaluation, Tietjen issued an oral warning to Bullock (which was then memorialized in writing) that her job performance was unsatisfactory. (Defendant's Memorandum of Law in Support of Its Motion for Summary Judgement ("Def.Mem."), Exh. D). Tietjen evaluated Bullock's performance in December of 1996, rating her as having not met expectations. (Id., Exh. E). The evaluation form breaks down performance into specific areas and attributes a percentage of time to each area. The evaluation reflects that Bullock did not meet expectations with respect to the two areas which are designated as accounting for forty percent of her time.*fn3

Specifically, Bullock did not met expectations with respect to the first area listed under Job Specific Standards. The duties specified in the first category relate general secretarial duties such as typing and preparing correspondence. The written comment is: "inconsistent attention to quality of prepared work, often resulting in re-work. Specific improvement needed in the attention of detail on multi-step projects, accuracy in calculations, proofing for content and spelling and follow-through on projects." (Def.Mem., Exh. E). With respect to another category having to do with answering phones and providing information, Tietjen noted that there was a "variation in courtesy/tone easily detected when stressed or distracted." (Id.). Nevertheless, Bullock was rated as meeting expectations in this category. With respect to the category relating to performance of reception activities and assisting customers, Bullock was rated as not meeting expectations. The written comment is: "the interpersonal skill essential to this dept. head secretary position, especially under conditions of high volume, multiple requests and changing priorities, have not been demonstrated in a consistent and effective manner." (Id.). Finally, Bullock met expectations with respect to categories having to do with maintaining departmental accounts and acting as the timekeeper for the department. In her deposition, Bullock testified that she did not think that Tietjen was intentionally lying in his evaluation of her, but rather that she thought Tietjen believed she was not meeting expectations. (Def. Mem., Exh. A, at 106, 123-27).

As a result of her failure to meet expectations and consistent with Hospital policy, Tietjen and Dolores Vorters, the Social Work Department Supervisor, developed and implemented a Personal Improvement Plan (PIP). The PIP set forth specific areas in which Bullock was to improve. The PIP was initially scheduled to expire after sixty days on February 10, 1997. However, the PIP period was extended an extra thirty days because Bullock missed a number of days during the PIP period as a result of a death in her immediate family. Bullock testified that during the PIP period, she was under the impression that she was meeting expectations, although she kept doing things the same as always. (Plt. Mem., Exh. B, at 120-21). However, at the conclusion of the PIP period, Tietjen determined that Bullock had not performed satisfactorily.

Bullock was then given thirty days with which to apply for and secure a job elsewhere in the Hospital. Bullock was unable to secure other employment in the Hospital and was terminated on April 11, 1997. Bullock was replaced by Tracee Sigler, an African American woman who was born on August 27, 1970.*fn4

II. LEGAL STANDARD FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.