Searching over 5,500,000 cases.

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.

Angelo Rodriguez v. National Railroad Passenger Corporation

June 20, 2012


The opinion of the court was delivered by: DuBOIS, J.



This is an employment discrimination case. Plaintiff Angelo Rodriguez alleges in the Complaint that defendant National Railroad Passenger Corporation t/d/b/aAmtrak ("Amtrak"), his present employer, discriminated against him in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 ("Title VII"), 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq., and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act ("PHRA"), 43 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 951 et seq. Plaintiff's claims arise from defendant's failure to promote him to the position of District Manager Stations ("District Manager"), which he asserts constituted discrimination on the basis of race, color, and national origin.

Presently before the Court is Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment. For the reasons that follow, the Court grants the motion.


A.The Parties

Defendant is a government-owned corporation that provides passenger rail services throughout the United States and employs more than 20,000 employees. (Compl. ¶ 3; Def.'s Statement of Undisputed Facts ("Def. SOF") ¶ 2.) In Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, defendant operates a train station and a mechanical facility, where trains are stored, cleaned, and repaired. (Def. SOF ¶ 2.)

Plaintiff characterizes his ethnicity as "Hispanic." (Compl. ¶ 2.) He holds a high school diploma from Harrisburg High School. (Pl.'s District Manager Application, Def.'s Mot. Summ.

J. ("Def. Mot.") Ex. A-2, at 1.)

B.Plaintiff's Employment History

Plaintiff was hired by Amtrak in 1979. (Def. SOF ¶ 3.) Throughout his thirty-year career at Amtrak, plaintiff has held positions as a trackman and a ticket clerk in Harrisburg and Lancaster, as a clerk in the reservations office in Philadelphia, as Lead Baggage Clerk in Harrisburg, and as a material handler at the now-defunct Dock Street cargo facility in Harrisburg. (Id. ¶¶ 2, 6; Dep. of Angelo Rodriguez ("Pl. Dep."), Def. Mot. Ex. A, at 19-21, 27-30.) Plaintiff's job responsibilities for each of these positions included, respectively, maintaining train tracks, making reservations for passengers over the telephone, overseeing maintenance of station equipment, completing payroll and providing job assignments for eight other baggage clerks, and loading and unloading boxcars with freight. (Def. SOF ¶¶ 5-6.)

Presently, plaintiff works as a baggage clerk at the Harrisburg station. (Id. ¶ 4.) He has held this position for at least the past six years. (Id.) Plaintiff is the only baggage clerk at the Harrisburg station during his shift, and his responsibilities include assisting train passengers with their baggage, receiving passenger complaints, and coordinating alternative transportation for passengers when necessary. (Id.)

C.District Manager Job Posting

On May 4, 2009, Amtrak posted an internal vacancy for District Manager, a management-level position, in Harrisburg. (Id. ¶ 8; District Manager Job Posting, Def. Mot. Ex. C-1.) The vacancy was open only to present Amtrak employees. (Def. SOF ¶ 9.) The position became available because the District Manager at the time, Richard Esposito, was promoted to the position of Director Materials Management. (Id. ¶ 13; Dep. of Linda C. Davenport ("Davenport Dep."), Def. Mot. Ex. C, at 15.) As part of the transition process, Amtrak selected an acting District Manager, Bradley Webber, and a temporary Station Manager, Linda Garrity. (Def. SOF ¶ 13; Davenport Dep. 41.) Webber is a Caucasian male, and Garrity is a Caucasian female. (Compl. ¶¶ 22, 24.) According to plaintiff, Esposito did not immediately assume his new position as Director Materials Management, but rather remained as District Manager in order to assist Webber and Garrity in covering all managerial responsibilities until the vacancy could be permanently filled. (Pl.'s Opp'n Def.'s Mot. Summ. J. ("Pl. Opp'n") 7.)

At the time the vacancy was posted, the District Manager was responsible for the day-today operations of two staffed and seven unstaffed train stations between Harrisburg and Exton and the day-to-day operations of the Mechanical Departments in Harrisburg and Pittsburgh.*fn2

(Def. SOF ¶ 9.) The District Manager supervised about fifty-five employees. (Id.) Other duties included mentoring employees, ensuring regulatory compliance, working with state and local organizations, and performing other managerial and administrative functions, including scheduling, procurement, and labor relations. (Id. ¶ 10.)

Candidates applying for the District Manager position were required to have the following qualifications: (1) a high school diploma or GED, (2) demonstrated experience in a supervisory/leadership position, (3) station operation experience with demonstrated knowledge in ticketing, station operations, baggage, building maintenance, and service delivery, and (4) the ability to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing, with customers and internal and external organizations. (Id. ¶ 11; Dep. of Patricia Kerins ("Kerins Dep."), Def. Mot. Ex. B, at 23-25; District Manager Job Posting 1.) The job posting also stated that it was "highly desirable" for an applicant to have experience in labor union contracts, mechanical operations, and the Code of Federal Regulations ("CFR"). (District Manager Job Posting 1; Def. SOF ¶ 12; Kerins Dep. 23-34; Pl. Opp'n 3.)

A note on the bottom of the first page of the job posting stated, "It is the policy of the National Railroad Passenger Corporation to offer all employment opportunities without regard to race, color, religion, gender, age, national origin, disability, or veteran status." (District Manager Job Posting 1.) The application did not ask the applicant to disclose his or her race. (See Pl.'s District Manager Application.) The application instructed applicants to "[a]ttach additional sheets" if necessary, but no information beyond the application was required. (Id. at 1.)

D.The Application Process

Patricia Kerins, Human Resources manager, accepted applications for the District Manager position through May 11, 2009. (Def. SOF ¶ 14.) Kerins was in charge of reviewing applications and selecting qualified applicants for interviews. (Id.) Linda Davenport, the hiring manager for the District Manager position, was responsible for making the final hiring decision. (Id. ¶ 21; Davenport Decl. ¶ 6.) In his Complaint and Opposition, plaintiff focuses exclusively on his qualifications as compared to Garrity and Webber. The Court will thus consider plaintiff's, Garrity's, and Webber's applications in turn.

1.Plaintiff's Application

Plaintiff submitted an application for the District Manager position on about May 8, 2009, and this application was the sole piece of information plaintiff provided to Kerins regarding his skills and qualifications. (Def. SOF ...

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.