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Williams v. San Francisco Title VII MSJ

Williams v. San Francisco Title VII MSJ

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Published by: Northern District of California Blog on Jun 20, 2011
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   U  n   i   t  e   d   S   t  a   t  e  s   D   i  s   t  r   i  c   t   C  o  u  r   t
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12345678910111213141516171819202122232425262728IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURTFOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIASHAWN L. WILLIAMS,Plaintiff,v.CITY AND COUNTY OF SAN FRANCISCO,ET AL.,Defendants.No. C 09-05063 JSW
ORDER GRANTING MOTIONSFOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
Now before the Court are the motions for summary judgment filed by defendant Cityand County of San Francisco (“City”) and filed by SEIU Local 1021, George Diaz and JonathanWright (collectively, “Union Defendants”). These motions are now fully briefed and ripe fordecision. The Court finds that the motions are appropriate for disposition without oral argumentand the matters are deemed submitted.
See
N.D. Civ. L.R. 7-1(b). Accordingly, the hearing setfor May 20, 2011 is HEREBY VACATED. Having carefully reviewed the parties’ papers andconsidered their arguments and the relevant legal authority, and good cause appearing, theCourt HEREBY GRANTS the motions for summary judgment.
BACKGROUND
Plaintiff, Shawn L. Williams, is an African American woman who was employed by theCity and County of San Francisco’s Human Services Agency (“HSA”) from March 2005through May 2009 as an Eligibility Worker. Williams was responsible for taking Medi-Cal
Case3:09-cv-05063-JSW Document64 Filed05/13/11 Page1 of 14
 
   U  n   i   t  e   d   S   t  a   t  e  s   D   i  s   t  r   i  c   t   C  o  u  r   t
   F  o  r   t   h  e   N  o  r   t   h  e  r  n   D   i  s   t  r   i  c   t  o   f   C  a   l   i   f  o  r  n   i  a
123456789101112131415161718192021222324252627282applications and making determinations regarding eligibility, managing a case-load of Medi-Calrecipients, and referring her Medi-Cal clients to other benefit programs (Declaration of Ruth M.Bond (“Bond Decl.”), Ex. A (Williams deposition) at 35:12-37:1.)The evidence is replete with examples and instances of Plaintiff’s insubordination, rudebehavior, failure to follow employer directives, inability to cooperate with co-workers andinability to follow instructions from supervisors. After numerous verbal and writtencounselings, written warnings, a work plan to improve her performance, and two suspensions,on March 12, 2009, the HSA finally terminated Plaintiff from employment.Defendant Service Employees International Union, Local 1021 (“Union”) is a labororganization that represents approximately 54,000 members in public employment and in theprivate-nonprofit sector in California. Defendant George Diaz is an employee of the City of San Francisco who was assigned to work in the HSA in connection with the various workplacegrievances filed by Plaintiff as well as three separate disciplinary actions during Plaintiff’s four-year tenure at the HSA. The collective bargaining agreement between the City and the Unionprovided for a grievance procedure which ends in final and binding arbitration. Plaintiff forfeited the Union’s prosecution of the three grievances resulting from conduct during heremployment. Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Diaz made sexual advances to her, conditionedhis representation of her upon her submission, and that the Union knew or should have knownabout the harassment and is therefore liable.On October 23, 2009, Plaintiff filed her complaint in this matter, alleging causes of action against the City for: (1) race discrimination in violation of provisions of Title VII of theCivil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. section 2000e-2(a); (2) retaliation; (3) harassment onaccount of race, color and national origin; (4) sex discrimination in violation of provisions of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. section 2000e-2(a); (5) unlawfuldiscriminatory practices in violation of provisions of 42 U.S.C. section 1981; (6) discriminationbased on race, color and national origin in violation of the Fair employment and Housing Act(“FEHA”), California Government Code section 12940a; (7) retaliation under CaliforniaGovernment Code section 12940h; (8) harassment on account of race and color in violation of 
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   F  o  r   t   h  e   N  o  r   t   h  e  r  n   D   i  s   t  r   i  c   t  o   f   C  a   l   i   f  o  r  n   i  a
123456789101112131415161718192021222324252627283California Government Code section 12900j; (9) sex discrimination in violation of FEHA; (10)discrimination based on race or sex in violation of the California Constitution, Article I, Section8.Plaintiff also alleges causes of action against the Union Defendants. In the process of opposing the motion for summary judgment filed by the Union Defendants, Plaintiff abandonedall but two of those remaining causes of action: (1) claim twelve for sex discrimination againstthe individual Union defendants in violation of provisions of Title VII, 42 U.S.C. section2000e-2(a); and (2) claim eighteen for sexual harassment against the Union Defendants inviolation of California Government Code section 12940j.The Court shall address additional facts in the remainder of its order
ANALYSISA. Standards Applicable to Motions for Summary Judgment.
A principal purpose of the summary judgment procedure is to identify and dispose of factually unsupported claims.
Celotex Corp. v. Cattrett 
, 477 U.S. 317, 323-24 (1986).Summary judgment is proper when the “pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, andadmissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as toany material fact and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Fed. R.Civ. P. 56(c). “In considering a motion for summary judgment, the court may not weigh theevidence or make credibility determinations, and is required to draw all inferences in a lightmost favorable to the non-moving party.”
Freeman v. Arpaio
, 125 F.3d 732, 735 (9th Cir.1997).The party moving for summary judgment bears the initial burden of identifying thoseportions of the pleadings, discovery, and affidavits that demonstrate the absence of a genuineissue of material fact.
Celotex
, 477 U.S.
 
at 323. An issue of fact is “genuine” only if there issufficient evidence for a reasonable fact finder to find for the non-moving party.
 Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc.
, 477 U.S. 242, 248-49 (1986). A fact is “material” if it may affect theoutcome of the case.
 Id.
at 248. If the party moving for summary judgment does not have theultimate burden of persuasion at trial, that party must produce evidence which either negates an
Case3:09-cv-05063-JSW Document64 Filed05/13/11 Page3 of 14

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