Beyer v. County of Nassau, Docket No. 06-4930-cv.

CourtU.S. Court of Appeals — Second Circuit
Writing for the CourtCalabresi
Citation524 F.3d 160
PartiesNatalie BEYER, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. The COUNTY OF NASSAU, Nassau County Police Department, Herbert Faust, Chief, in his official and individual capacity, Scott Wanlass, Deputy Inspector, in his official and individual capacity, James Granelle, Detective Lieutenant, in his official and individual capacity and William Willet, Police Commissioner, in his official and individual capacity, Defendants-Appellees.
Docket NumberDocket No. 06-4930-cv.
Decision Date23 April 2008
524 F.3d 160
Natalie BEYER, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
The COUNTY OF NASSAU, Nassau County Police Department, Herbert Faust, Chief, in his official and individual capacity, Scott Wanlass, Deputy Inspector, in his official and individual capacity, James Granelle, Detective Lieutenant, in his official and individual capacity and William Willet, Police Commissioner, in his official and individual capacity, Defendants-Appellees.
Docket No. 06-4930-cv.
United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit.
Argued: January 28, 2008.
Decided: April 23, 2008.

[524 F.3d 161]

Rick Ostrove, Leeds Morelli & Brown, P.C., Carle Place, N.Y., for Plaintiff-Appellant.

Lorna B. Goodman, County Attorney of Nassau County (Dennis J. Saffran, Appeals Bureau Chief, of counsel), Mineola, N.Y., for Defendants-Appellees.

Before: WALKER, CALABRESI, and RAGGI, Circuit Judges.

CALABRESI, Circuit Judge:


Plaintiff-Appellant Natalie Beyer ("Beyer") contends that she was subjected to gender discrimination in her place of employment, in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000e-2000e-17, 42 U.S.C. §§ 1983, 1985, 1986, and the New York State Human Rights Law, N.Y. Exec. Law § 296, when her requests for a transfer to a different unit were repeatedly denied. By Order dated September 25, 2006, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York (Irizarry, J.) granted summary judgment in favor of Defendants-Appellees County of Nassau, Nassau County Police Department (the "Department"), Herbert Faust, Scott Wanlass, and William Willet (collectively, "Defendants"). Beyer now appeals, arguing that the District Court used an incorrect standard of law to evaluate her claim and that the District Court erred in finding that no adverse employment action had occurred. For the reasons explained below, we vacate the District Court's grant of summary judgment and remand this case to the District Court for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.

I. Background

A. The Alleged Adverse Employment Actions

Construed in the light most favorable to Beyer, the facts in the record are as follows:

Natalie Beyer, a police detective, has a strong scientific background (a B.S. in Chemistry and an M.A. in Forensic Science). Accordingly, in 1988, the year after she joined the Nassau County Police Department, Beyer was assigned to the Serology Section, where she analyzed blood and other bodily fluids recovered from crime scenes.

Over the course of the next fourteen years, Beyer observed a "progressive outsourcing" of the Serology Section's work, as well as a failure to update the Section with current equipment and modern technology. In 1989 or 1990, she noticed that the Department had begun sending out the DNA analysis that the Serology Section had previously performed. By 1993, the Department stopped accepting new DNA casework; and by 2001 or 2002, the Department was sending rape kits and urine stains for outside analysis. Defendants do not dispute this decline in the scientific work of the Serology Section. Rather, they confirm it. An affidavit from then-Deputy Chief of Detectives Paul A. Tully explains that outsourcing was necessary because, by 1993, the Serology Section was out of step with federal testing protocols and found it prohibitively costly to stay current with changes in DNA technology and methods. By November 1999, Beyer heard "rumors and discussions about the possible closure" of the Section. Apparently, these rumors had their origins in an agreement between the Detective Union and the Department, which, in allowing

524 F.3d 162

for the elimination of ten detective positions, specifically referenced the Serology Section. Meanwhile, another Section of the Department, the Latent Fingerprint Section ("LFS"), was becoming an increasingly attractive assignment for officers interested in scientific police work.1 LFS detectives were using rapidly advancing scientific techniques and working with "state of the art computer systems"; "none of the fingerprint work was being outsourced."

In November 1999, Beyer applied for a posted job opening in the LFS, for which she was indisputably qualified. Moving to the LFS would have been a lateral transfer, involving the same pay and title; nevertheless, Beyer points to various reasons why a factfinder could conclude that, by that time, the LFS position was more "prestigious" and highly desirable. It would have gotten an officer out of a Section that was languishing, and it offered opportunities for advanced training in forensic science, as well as access to new technology and techniques. Beyer's direct supervisor interviewed her for the position and highly recommended her. Captain Scott Wanlass, who was in charge of hiring, firing, and granting promotions at the Department, also interviewed her and recommended that she be given the position, so long as a suitable replacement could be found for her in Serology. Nonetheless, the Department denied Beyer's request and gave the position to a male.

In November 2000, Beyer applied for another posted job opening in the LFS. Again, she was indisputably qualified for the job. And as before, she was highly recommended by her direct supervisor and endorsed by Captain Wanlass, who told her that this time he would approve her transfer without requesting a suitable replacement for her in her current Section. Beyer also interviewed with Lieutenant James Granelle, the supervisor of the LFS. Lieutenant Granelle indicated that the opening in the LFS likely included between three and five positions. But, when Beyer subsequently asked Lieutenant Granelle about her chances, he told her that she was "[w]ay on the bottom [of the list]"; "[t]here [we]re 17 people more qualified." Lieutenant Granelle further told her, when she objected to his characterization of her qualifications, that "qualifications aren't everything"; "[w]e have to take care of the boys. . . . [W]e need to take care of the guys that did the right thing for the job for the last ten years." A month later, Beyer learned that four males and no females had been given the LFS positions.

In or around May 2002, Beyer applied a third time for a posted opening in the LFS, but the Department did not process her paperwork.

B. The Complaint and Subsequent Events

On June 6, 2002, Beyer filed the complaint that is the basis for this action, alleging that Defendants discriminated against her on the basis of her sex. About six months later, the Department notified Beyer that it intended to close the Serology Section and outsource its work completely. Beyer asked to be placed in the LFS, but was instead assigned to a squad in the Seventh Precinct, where she performs arrests, takes statements, interviews witnesses and complainants, and processes paperwork. She claims that she now has no occasion to utilize her scientific knowledge and background.

C. The Grant of Summary Judgment

After discovery concluded, Defendants moved for summary judgment, pursuant to

524 F.3d 163

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56, on the ground that Beyer failed to show an adverse employment action. Adopting the Report and Recommendation of Magistrate Judge Arlene...

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682 practice notes
  • St. Juste v. Metro Plus Health Plan, No. 10–CV–4729 (MKB).
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of New York)
    • 28 Marzo 2014
    ...modernity, training opportunity, job security, or some other objective indicator of desirability.’ ” (quoting Beyer v. County of Nassau, 524 F.3d 160, 165 (2d Cir.2008))). Plaintiff was transferred to the Bronx after he was investigated and suspended for fraud while working at Woodhull Hosp......
  • Wanamaker v. Town of Westport Bd. of Educ., No. 3:11–CV–1791 MPS.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Court (Connecticut)
    • 27 Marzo 2014
    ...titled, significantly diminished responsibilities, or other indices unique to a particular situation. Beyer v. Cnty. of Nassau, 524 F.3d 160, 163 (2d Cir.2008). After reviewing all of the evidence in the light most favorable to Plaintiff, as the nonmoving party, and bearing in mind that the......
  • EZAGUI v. The City of N.Y., No. 09 Civ. 5628(PGG).
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. Southern District of New York
    • 24 Junio 2010
    ...judgment purposes where the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could decide in the non-movant's favor.” Beyer v. County of Nassau, 524 F.3d 160, 163 (2d Cir.2008). In deciding a summary judgment motion, the Court “resolve[s] all ambiguities, and credit[s] all factual inferences that co......
  • Lara v. Delta Int'l Mach. Corp., CV 13–6259 (AKT)
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of New York)
    • 31 Marzo 2016
    ...for summary judgment, the Court construes the facts in the light most favorable to the non-moving party. See Beyer v. Cty. of Nassau, 524 F.3d 160, 163 (2d Cir.2008) ; Capobianco v. New York, 422 F.3d 47, 50 (2d Cir.2001).3 A. Lara's EmigrationPlaintiff Alonso Lara (“Lara”), a legal residen......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
682 cases
  • St. Juste v. Metro Plus Health Plan, No. 10–CV–4729 (MKB).
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of New York)
    • 28 Marzo 2014
    ...modernity, training opportunity, job security, or some other objective indicator of desirability.’ ” (quoting Beyer v. County of Nassau, 524 F.3d 160, 165 (2d Cir.2008))). Plaintiff was transferred to the Bronx after he was investigated and suspended for fraud while working at Woodhull Hosp......
  • Wanamaker v. Town of Westport Bd. of Educ., No. 3:11–CV–1791 MPS.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Court (Connecticut)
    • 27 Marzo 2014
    ...titled, significantly diminished responsibilities, or other indices unique to a particular situation. Beyer v. Cnty. of Nassau, 524 F.3d 160, 163 (2d Cir.2008). After reviewing all of the evidence in the light most favorable to Plaintiff, as the nonmoving party, and bearing in mind that the......
  • EZAGUI v. The City of N.Y., No. 09 Civ. 5628(PGG).
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. Southern District of New York
    • 24 Junio 2010
    ...judgment purposes where the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could decide in the non-movant's favor.” Beyer v. County of Nassau, 524 F.3d 160, 163 (2d Cir.2008). In deciding a summary judgment motion, the Court “resolve[s] all ambiguities, and credit[s] all factual inferences that co......
  • Lara v. Delta Int'l Mach. Corp., CV 13–6259 (AKT)
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of New York)
    • 31 Marzo 2016
    ...for summary judgment, the Court construes the facts in the light most favorable to the non-moving party. See Beyer v. Cty. of Nassau, 524 F.3d 160, 163 (2d Cir.2008) ; Capobianco v. New York, 422 F.3d 47, 50 (2d Cir.2001).3 A. Lara's EmigrationPlaintiff Alonso Lara (“Lara”), a legal residen......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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