65 F.3d 160 (1st Cir. 1995), 94-2196, Joler v. Scott Paper Co.

Docket Nº:94-2196.
Citation:65 F.3d 160
Party Name:Linda L. JOLER, Plaintiff, Appellant, v. SCOTT PAPER COMPANY, Defendant, Appellee.
Case Date:August 31, 1995
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the First Circuit

Page 160

65 F.3d 160 (1st Cir. 1995)

Linda L. JOLER, Plaintiff, Appellant,


SCOTT PAPER COMPANY, Defendant, Appellee.

No. 94-2196.

United States Court of Appeals, First Circuit

August 31, 1995

Editorial Note:

This opinion appears in the Federal reporter in a table titled "Table of Decisions Without Reported Opinions". (See FI CTA1 Rule 36 regarding use of unpublished opinions)

BOUDIN, Circuit Judge.




David G. Webbert with whom Law Offices of Phillip E. Johnson was on briefs for appellant.

William J. Kayatta, Jr. with whom B. Simeon Goldstein and Pierce, Atwood, Scribner, Allen, Smith & Lancaster were on brief for appellee.

Before SELYA and BOUDIN, Circuit Judge, BOWNES, Senior Circuit Judge,

Linda Joler, a supervisor at Scott Paper Company's paper mill in Winslow, Maine, was discharged In March 1992 as part of a "downsizing" that eliminated 35 percent of the salaried employees. Charging gender discrimination, Joler sued Scott in the district court, primarily under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et. seq. Joler also claimed under the Maine Human Right Act, 5 M.R.S.A. §§ 4571-72, but the parties have not sought to distinguish the state claim from the federal claim.

After discovery, Scott moved for summary judgment. In a written decision the magistrate judge recommended that the motion be granted. On October 31, 1994, the district judge adopted the findings and recommendation of the magistrate judge without elaboration. Joler now appeals. Joler's most substantial claim on appeal is factual, namely, that she offered enough evidence of discrimination to justify a trial.

The framework for evaluating the evidence in a Title VII case depends on whether the charge is one of intentional discrimination or of disparate impact, Griggs v. Duke Power Co., 401 U.S. 424 (1971); in this case, only the former is alleged. Indeed, the layoff actually increased the percentage of female first line supervisors remaining. Joler's claim, therefore, depends on a showing that gender bias was the motive, or at least a motive, in selecting her for discharge. See Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins, 490 U.S. 228 (1989); Woods v. Friction Materials, Inc, 30 F.3d 255, 260 (1st Cir.1994).

In Title VII cases, once the employee makes out a "prima facie " case, the employer must articulate a legitimate nondiscriminatory reason for the discharge. St. Mary's Honor Ctr. v. Hicks, 113 S.Ct. 2742, 2747-56 (1993); Texas Dep't of Community Affairs v. Burdine, 450 U.S. 248, 253-55 (1981); McDonnell Douglas Corp. v. Green, 411 U.S. 792, 802 (1973). But neither burden is a heavy one and, for purposes of this appeal, Scott seemingly concedes that a prima facie case was made out and Joler concedes that Scott...

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