United States District Court, D. Arizona
Douglas L. Rayes United States District Judge.
Gerald Morgan alleges that his employer, the Federal Aviation
Administration (FAA), violated Title VII of the Civil Rights
Act of 1964 by discriminating against him on account of race
and retaliating against him for engaging in protected
activity. Defendant United States Department of
Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao moves for summary
judgment on all claims. (Doc. 62.) The motion is fully
briefed and neither party requested oral argument. For the
following reasons, Defendant's motion is granted.
judgment is appropriate when there is no genuine dispute as
to any material fact and, viewing those facts in a light most
favorable to the nonmoving party, the movant is entitled to
judgment as a matter of law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). Summary
judgment may also be entered “against a party who fails
to make a showing sufficient to establish the existence of an
element essential to that party's case, and on which that
party will bear the burden of proof at trial.”
Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986).
A fact is material if it might affect the outcome of the
case, and a dispute is genuine if a reasonable jury could
find for the nonmoving party based on the competing evidence.
Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248
party seeking summary judgment “bears the initial
responsibility of informing the district court of the basis
for its motion, and identifying those portions of [the
record] which it believes demonstrate the absence of a
genuine issue of material fact.” Celotex, 477
U.S. at 323. The burden then shifts to the non-movant to
establish the existence of a genuine and material factual
dispute. Id. at 324. The non-movant “must do
more than simply show that there is some metaphysical doubt
as to the material facts, ” and instead “come
forward with specific facts showing that there is a genuine
issue for trial.” Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v.
Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586-87 (1986)
(internal quotation and citation omitted). Conclusory
allegations, unsupported by factual material, are
insufficient to defeat summary judgment. Taylor v.
List, 880 F.2d 1040, 1045 (9th Cir. 1989). If the
non-movant's opposition fails to cite specifically to
evidentiary materials, the court is not required to either
search the entire record for evidence establishing a genuine
issue of material fact or obtain the missing materials.
See Carmen v. S.F. Unified Sch. Dist., 237 F.3d
1026, 1028-29 (9th Cir. 2001); Forsberg v. Pac. N.W. Bell
Tel. Co., 840 F.2d 1409, 1417-18 (9th Cir. 1988).
addition to these general principles, this District's
Local Rules of Practice impose specific requirements on the
form and content of summary judgment motions. “Any
party filing a motion for summary judgment must file a
statement, separate from the motion and memorandum of law,
setting forth each material fact on which the party relies in
support of the motion.” LRCiv 56.1(a). Each of these
facts “must refer to a specific admissible portion of
the record where the fact finds support (for example,
affidavit, deposition, discovery response, etc.).”
Any party opposing a motion for summary judgment must file a
statement, separate from that party's memorandum of law,
setting forth: (1) for each paragraph of the moving
party's separate statement of facts, a correspondingly
numbered paragraph indicating whether the party disputes the
statement of fact set forth in that paragraph and a reference
to the specific admissible portion of the record supporting
the party's position if the fact is disputed; and (2) any
additional facts that establish a genuine issue of material
fact or otherwise preclude judgment in favor of the moving
party. Each additional fact must be set forth in a separately
numbered paragraph and must refer to a specific admissible
portion of the record where the fact finds support.
LRCiv 56.1(b). The court may deem a movant's separate
statement of facts to be true if the non-movant does not
comply with these rules. See Szaley v. Pima Cty.,
371 Fed. App'x 734, 735 (9th Cir. 2010).
is an Electronics Technician tasked with installing,
certifying, and maintaining the FAA's communications and
navigational equipment. (Doc. 63 ¶¶ 1, 3.) During
the relevant time period, Plaintiff was assigned to the
Central Arizona System Support Center (SSC), and his primary
work site was the Scottsdale Tower. (¶ 1.) The Central
Arizona SSC includes hundreds of facilities located across
central Arizona, which Plaintiff regularly visited to perform
facility reviews and building maintenance. (¶¶ 2,
26, 2012, Will Younger, an Environmental Technician at the
Central Arizona SSC, confronted Plaintiff at the FAA's
Tempe office by asking why he was not at his primary work
site and whether he was afraid of the manager there.
(¶¶ 5, 16-18.) Plaintiff told Younger to mind his
own business and later reported the interaction to Mary Hart,
Plaintiff's and Younger's direct supervisor.
(¶¶ 9-10, 17-19.) After being informed of the
dispute, Steven Sherwood, Younger's and Plaintiff's
second-line supervisor, consulted with Mal Coghlan, the
Executive Technical Representative responsible for employee
relations issues, about bringing mediators and a conflict
resolution trainer to the region. (¶ 88.)
the next several months, Plaintiff's supervisors took
steps to resolve the conflict between Plaintiff and Younger.
Plaintiff and Younger participated in a mediation on August
21, 2012 and, about a week later, participated in a
telephonic “outbrief” to discuss the outcomes of
the mediation with Hart and the mediator. (¶¶
25-27.) This call ended, however, when Plaintiff and Younger
became hostile towards each other. (¶ 27.)
alleviate tensions, on August 30, 2012, Sherwood emailed
Coghlan that he wanted to reassign Plaintiff to Prescott.
(¶ 30.) Hart responded to Sherwood the next day,
informing him that she had discussed with Plaintiff a
temporary reassignment to Prescott and that Plaintiff did not
object to the reassignment. (¶¶ 31, 36.)
Plaintiff worked in the Norther Arizona SSC for several days
during mid-September 2012. (¶ 35.) The reassignment was
short-lived, as management at the Prescott facility informed
Sherwood that it no longer had work for Plaintiff. (¶
37.) Sherwood also was informed that the Southern Arizona SSC
had an upcoming National Air Space System Technical
Evaluation Program (NASTEP) inspection and potentially could
use Plaintiff. (Id.) ...