On 03/02/2018 a Labor - Other Labor case was filed by KATHERYNE VANCE against PUBLIC HEALTH INSTITUTE in the jurisdiction of Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California.
Pending - Other Pending
Los Angeles County Superior Courts
Stanley Mosk Courthouse
Los Angeles, California
ELIZABETH ALLEN WHITE
PUBLIC HEALTH INSTITUTE
DOES 1 TO 25
5/29/2018: CIVIL DEPOSIT
8/1/2018: CASE MANAGEMENT STATEMENT
8/8/2018: CASE MANAGEMENT STATEMENT
8/15/2018: Minute Order
8/15/2018: CASE MANAGEMENT ORDER
8/24/2018: PLAINTIFF'S NOTICE OF POSTING JURY FEES
8/24/2018: CASE MANAGEMENT STATEMENT
12/4/2018: Stipulation and Order
12/11/2018: Amended Complaint
1/31/2019: Proof of Service by Mail
3/8/2019: Certificate of Mailing for
3/29/2019: Minute Order
5/4/2018: PROOF OF SERVICE OF SUMMONS
3/19/2018: NOTICE OF CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE
3/2/2018: COMPLAINT FOR: (1) UNLAWFUL AGE DISCRIMINATION IN VIOLATION OF FEHA
Hearingat 09:30 AM in Department 48 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Jury TrialRead MoreRead Less
Hearingat 08:30 AM in Department 48 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Final Status ConferenceRead MoreRead Less
Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 48, Elizabeth Allen White, Presiding; Hearing on Ex Parte Application (to Continue the Trial Date or Alternatively to Specially Set A Hearing Date for Defendants Motion For Summary Judgement) - Held - Motion GrantedRead MoreRead Less
DocketMinute Order ( (Hearing on Joint Ex Parte Application to Continue the Trial D...)); Filed by ClerkRead MoreRead Less
DocketOrder (Granting Defendants Ex Parte Application re Continue Trial Date or Alternatively to Specially Set a Hearing Date for Defendants Motion For Summary Judgment); Filed by Public Health Institute (Defendant)Read MoreRead Less
DocketEx Parte Application (to Continue the Trial Date or Alternatively to Specially Set A Hearing Date for Defendants Motion For Summary Judgment); Filed by Public Health Institute (Defendant)Read MoreRead Less
DocketMemorandum (of Points and Authorities re Joint Ex Parte Application ro Continue Trial Date or Alternatively to Specially Set a Hearing Date for Defendants Motion For Summary Judgment); Filed by Public Health Institute (Defendant)Read MoreRead Less
DocketDeclaration (of Lee E. Sheldon re Joint Ex Parte Application ro Continue Trial Date or Alternatively to Specially Set a Hearing Date for Defendants Motion For Summary Judgment); Filed by Public Health Institute (Defendant)Read MoreRead Less
Docketat 11:30 AM in Department 48, Elizabeth Allen White, Presiding; Court OrderRead MoreRead Less
DocketCertificate of Mailing for (Minute Order (Court Order Re: Stipulation and [Proposed] Order to Continue ...) of 03/08/2019); Filed by ClerkRead MoreRead Less
DocketReceipt; Filed by Public Health Institute (Defendant)Read MoreRead Less
DocketDEFENDANT PUBLIC HEALTH INSTITUTE'S ANSWER TO PLAINTIFF KATHERYNE VANCE'S COMPLAINT FOR UNLAWFUL AGE DISCRIMINATION IN VIOLATION OF FEHARead MoreRead Less
DocketAnswer; Filed by Public Health Institute (Defendant)Read MoreRead Less
DocketProof-Service/Summons; Filed by Katheryne Vance (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
DocketPROOF OF SERVICE OF SUMMONSRead MoreRead Less
DocketNotice of Case Management Conference; Filed by ClerkRead MoreRead Less
DocketNOTICE OF CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCERead MoreRead Less
DocketCOMPLAINT FOR: (1) UNLAWFUL AGE DISCRIMINATION IN VIOLATION OF FEHARead MoreRead Less
DocketSUMMONSRead MoreRead Less
DocketComplaint; Filed by Katheryne Vance (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
Case Number: BC696383 Hearing Date: November 04, 2019 Dept: 48
MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT/SUMMARY ADJUDICATION
MOVING PARTY: Defendant Public Health Institute
RESPONDING PARTY(S): Plaintiff Katheryne Vance
PROOF OF SERVICE:
Defendant’s Evidentiary Objections
Pursuant to CCP § 437c(q), the Court exercises its discretion to rule only upon the objections asserted against evidence which the Court deems to be material to the disposition of this motion.
Declaration of Katheryne Vance
¶ 7: SUSTAINED. Contradicts admitted fact.
¶ 8: OVERRULED. Statement is consistent with deposition testimony.
Motion for Summary Judgment
Plaintiff’s 1AC filed on December 11, 2018 asserts two causes of action: (1) Age Discrimination in Violation of FEHA; (2) Retaliation in Violation of FEHA.
Although Defendant did not address the first cause of action in the separate statement as an issue to be summarily adjudicated (i.e., individual causes of action), Defendant did address the first cause of action in the separate statement as a basis for summary judgment (i.e., all causes of action).
The McDonnell Douglas burden shifting framework applies to both discrimination (Featherstone v. Southern California Permanente Medical Group (2017) 10 Cal.App 5th 1150, 1158-1160) and retaliation claims (Sada v. Robert F. Kennedy Med. Ct. (1997) 56 Cal.App.4th 138, 155-56). Featherstone v. Southern California Permanente Medical Group (2017) 10 Cal.App 5th 1150, 1158-1160.
Defendant has presented evidence that the entire position of “Facility Compliance Officer”—not just Plaintiff’s individual job—was selected for elimination because of a budget cut in 2017 after a determination that the position was the least critical to accomplishing the grant deliverables that were required pursuant to the grant from the State of California. Plaintiff was offered and accepted the position of Visual Editor” with Defendant that allowed her to continue working with no break in service. UFs Nos. 4-7; Def’s Exh. B (RFA No. 2, 2:20-22, Nos. 3-5 & 30-31 (sic 29-30), 2:23-28, 3:1-3, 5:4-8); Exh. C (Response to No. 2, 2:19-23; Response to Nos. 3-5 and 30-31, 2:24-28, 3:1-11, 8:3-12); Induni Decl., ¶¶ 1-7 and Exh. A thereto; Def’s Exh. D (Pltf’s Depo.), 44:11-1, 159:6-23, 14:11-18, 16:7-9, 65:18-25, 66:1-25.
Moreover, after Plaintiff’s position was eliminated, her former duties as a Facility Compliance Officer were transferred to existing employees, Winny Roshala (over 60) and Kyle Ziegler (over 50). UF Nos. 8 – 10; 1-7; Def’s Exh. D (Pltf’s Depo.) at 94:3-25, 95:1-14, 96:21-23, 96:25, 97:1-8; Def’s Exh. B (RFA Nos. 14 (sic 13) to 16 (sic 15), 3:25-28, 4:1-6; 19 (sic 18) – 21 (sic 20), 4:7-12); Exh. C (Responses, Nos. 13-16, 5:7-21; 19-21; 6:6-19); Ziegler Decl., ¶ 2.
Plaintiff admitted at her March 13, 2019 deposition that she is not aware of any facts that may be known by: (1) Marta Induni, (2) Rosemary Cress, (3) Kyle Ziegler, (4) Winny Roshala, (5) Mignon Dryden, (6) Taina Valone, (7) Denna LeTendre, or (8) Stephanie Phipps that will support her claims of discrimination and retaliation against Defendant. UF No. 13; Def’s Exh. D (Pltf’s Depo. at 24:24 – 28:11, 56:13-17, 57:4-7, 79:11-16, 135:2-20, 136:14-25, 137:1-25, 138:1-19, 140:14-21, 143:1-9, 144:24-145:23). The foregoing individuals were identified in Plaintiff’s response to Special Interrogatory No. 2 as all persons with personal knowledge of the facts that support her claims against Defendant. UF No. 12; Def’s Exh. G at 2:15-23; Exh. H at 4:11-26.
Moreover, contrary to Plaintiff’s allegation at ¶ 15 of the 1AC, Plaintiff has admitted that Defendant did not hire a new Facility Compliance Officer in July 2017. UF No. 15; Def’s Exh. B (RFA No. 36 (sic 35), 5:19-20; Def’s Exh. C (Response No. 35, 9:10-13); Def’s Exh. D (Pltf’s Depo.) at 127:19-25, 128:1-11.
Further, contrary to Plaintiff’s allegation in ¶ 20 of the 1AC, Defendant did not have a plan to reduce the average age of its workforce in 2017. UF No. 16; Def’s Exh. B (RFA No. 37 (sic 36), 5:21-23); Def’s Exh. C (Response, No. 37, 9:14-20).
Based upon the foregoing evidence, Defendant has met its initial burden that it is entitled to judgment as to the discrimination and retaliation causes of action. The burden shifts to Plaintiff to raise a triable issue of material fact.
Plaintiff has not cited evidence of pretext, i.e., that a reasonable fact finder could infer that Defendant’s proffered reason was false and that the real reason was age discrimination.
The plaintiff must do more than raise the inference that the employer's asserted reason is false. “[A] reason cannot be proved to be ‘a pretext for discrimination’ unless it is shown both that the reason was false, and that discrimination was the real reason.” (St. Mary’s Honor Center v. Hicks (1993) 509 U.S. 502, 515 [125 L. Ed. 2d 407, 113 S. Ct. 2742].) If the plaintiff produces no evidence from which a reasonable fact finder could infer that the employer's true reason was discriminatory, the employer is entitled to summary judgment. (Caldwell v. Paramount Unified School Dist., supra, 41 Cal.App.4th at p. 203.)
Hicks v. KNTV Television, Inc. (2008) 160 Cal.App.4th 994, 1003 (bold emphasis and underlining added).
Although Plaintiff states in her Declaration that Defendant added a new Facility Compliance Officer in July 2017, who is approximately a decade Plaintiff’s junior (Vance Decl., ¶ 7), as noted above, Plaintiff is deemed to have admitted that this is not true.
Moreover, although Plaintiff states at ¶ 8 of her Declaration that she was required to delegate her responsibilities to her much younger (2 decades) supervisor, this does not raise an inference that the true reason for the elimination of Plaintiff’s position was age discrimination. Indeed, this person was Plaintiff’s supervisor, i.e., an existing employee, presumably paid more than Plaintiff, not a newly-hired younger person who would be paid less. Further, Defendant has presented evidence that the two employees to whom Plaintiff’s former duties were transferred were over 60 (Winny Roshala) and over 50 (Ziegler). Def’s UFs Nos. 8, 9.
Plaintiff’s evidence cited in the opposing separate statement only goes to whether Defendant’s decision to eliminate Plaintiff’s position in light of the various sources of funding was wise or correct. However, as noted above:
“[I]f nondiscriminatory, [the employer's] true reasons need not necessarily have been wise or correct. [Citations.] While the objective soundness of an employer's proffered reasons supports their credibility … , the ultimate issue is simply whether the employer acted with a motive to discriminate illegally.
Featherstone v. Southern California Permanente Medical Group (2017) 10 Cal.App 5th 1150, 1158-1160 (italics in original, bold emphasis and underlining added).
Accordingly, Plaintiff has not met her burden of citing admissible evidence sufficient to raise a triable issue of material fact. The motion for summary judgment is GRANTED.