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Carattini v. Woods Services

February 4, 2010

EVA CARATTINI, PLAINTIFF,
v.
WOODS SERVICES, INC. DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Eduardo C. Robreno, J.

MEMORANDUM

I. INTRODUCTION

This is a case of alleged employment discrimination based on a theory of hostile work environment and retaliation.

Plaintiff, Eva Carattini ("Carattini") was a client care worker. Defendant Woods Services, Inc. ("Woods"), is a notfor-profit residential services facility providing 24-hour care, education and training to children and adults with various types of disabilities. Plaintiff was employed by Woods from April 2007 to September 28, 2007. Before the Court is Woods' motion for summary judgment. For the reasons that follow, the motion for summary judgment will be granted.

II. BACKGROUND

The crucial events around which the lawsuit revolves occurred over a period of six days.*fn1 During the six day period, Plaintiff was allegedly harassed by a co-worker and immediately reported the incident to her supervisor, was interviewed twice by Woods' management, filed two EEOC complaints and a police report, was allegedly retaliated against by Woods and left Woods' employment. Because the events at issue occurred over such a narrow window of time, and some of the events overlap, an understanding of the undisputed chronology is helpful.

A. Day 1: Sunday - September 23, 2007

Plaintiff claims that Ned Bangura, a co-worker, grabbed her breasts and vagina while both were working in a laundry room. Plaintiff also claims that she screamed and exited the laundry room to go to a patient's room, but that Bangura followed her and continued to harass her.

Plaintiff contacted her supervisor, Abdullah Kanneh ("Kanneh"), and revealed the incident around 9:00 P.M. Kanneh told Carattini to report the incident to Woods' Human Resources Department.

B. Day 2: Monday - September 24, 2007

Carattini was not scheduled to work on that day. She met with Allegra Grant ("Grant"), a manager in Woods' Human Resources Department. Grant obtained a written statement from Carattini describing the events of September 23, 2007.

C. Day 3: Tuesday - September 25, 2007

Carattini was not scheduled to work on this day. Plaintiff signed her first EEOC charge alleging harassment based on the events of September 23, 2007.

D. Day 4: Wednesday - September 26, 2007

Carattini met again with Grant, answered additional questions and signed an additional statement regarding the September 23, 2007, incident. On this same day, Woods changed Plaintiff's work assignment to an assignment that would separate her from Bangura.

Carattini claims that when she appeared at two other buildings on the campus where she had been re-assigned, she was told by persons in charge that there were no positions available to her in these buildings.

Also on this date, Plaintiff filed a police report regarding the Bangura incident on September 23, 2007.

E. Day 5: Thursday - September 27, 2007

Grant interviewed Bangura to obtain his statement. Bangura denied the allegations. Grant began interviewing other witnesses to investigate Carattini's allegations. Plaintiff was scheduled to work on this day, but called out and did not come to work.

G. Day 6: Friday - September 28

Plaintiff was scheduled to work and met with Grant early in the day. Plaintiff claims that when she came to see Grant, Bangura was also there. Plaintiff claims there was no security for her and at that moment she became uncomfortable, nervous, stressed, anxious, feared for her safety and was unable to concentrate on her work-related assignments.

Carattini left Woods premises and resigned her position.*fn2 Also on this day, Plaintiff signed a second EEOC charge alleging retaliation.

At some point on September 28, 2007, Carattini was offered the seven to three shift in an all female building, where men are not permitted to work.*fn3

Distilled to its essence, Plaintiff's claim of discrimination is based on the September 23, 2007, incident with Bangura. Plaintiff's retaliation claim is based on the lack of work for her at the other buildings on September 26, 2007 and purportedly when she ran into Bangura at Grant's office on September 28, 2007. Of the five days which elapsed between the September 23, 2007, incident and Plaintiff's resignation on September 28, 2007, she only worked one ...


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