Lambert v. Genesee Hosp.

Citation10 F.3d 46
Decision Date24 November 1993
Docket NumberNo. 597,D,597
CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (2nd Circuit)
Parties62 Fair Empl.Prac.Cas. (BNA) 1638, 62 Empl. Prac. Dec. P 42,587, 63 Empl. Prac. Dec. P 42,703, 62 USLW 2247, 126 Lab.Cas. P 33,020, 1 Wage & Hour Cas. 2d (BNA) 1124 Janine LAMBERT, Eva Baker, and Tami Foster, Plaintiffs-Appellants, v. GENESEE HOSPITAL, Francis Dupre, Individually, and as Manager of the Duplicating Services Department of The Genesee Hospital, Tod Timmel, Individually, and as Materials Manager, Defendants-Appellees. ocket 92-7570.

Emmelyn Logan-Baldwin, Rochester, NY, for plaintiffs-appellants.

Susan B. Robfogel, Nixon, Hargrave, Devans & Doyle (Marion Blankopf, Nixon, Hargrave Before: LUMBARD, WINTER, and WALKER, Circuit Judges.

Devans & Doyle, Rochester, NY, of counsel), for defendants-appellees.

WALKER, Circuit Judge:

This is an action brought by three employees of the Duplicating Services Department of the Genesee Hospital (the "Hospital") against the Hospital, their supervisor Tod Timmel, and Francis Dupre, a printer in the Department who was elevated to manager. Plaintiffs allege discrimination based on sex and retaliation for complaining about the alleged discriminatory practices, in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. Sec. 2000e et seq. ("Title VII"); the Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. Sec. 201 et seq. (the "FLSA"), as modified by the Equal Pay Act of 1963, 29 U.S.C. Sec. 206(d) et seq. (the "EPA"); and the New York State Human Rights Law, N.Y. Exec. Law Sec. 291 et seq. (the "Human Rights Law" or "HRL").

Plaintiffs appeal on a variety of grounds from a judgment of the United States District Court for the Western District of New York (David G. Larimer, Judge ) of April 28, 1992 and an amended judgment dated May 22, 1992. The plaintiffs challenge rulings made in decisions and orders of the district court dated April 4, 1991, July 18, 1991, August 13, 1991, April 28, 1992, and May 22, 1992, contained in the foregoing judgments. Plaintiffs contend that the district court erred in dismissing a number of their claims on summary judgment; in denying them a jury trial on their Title VII and HRL claims; in a number of its evidentiary rulings; in granting judgment notwithstanding the verdict (j.n.o.v.) on certain claims and in the alternative a new trial; and in ruling that plaintiffs could not receive punitive damages under the Equal Pay Act.

We agree with plaintiffs that they were entitled to a jury trial on their Human Rights Law claims. We also agree with plaintiffs that the district court erred in granting j.n.o.v. on plaintiff Eva Baker's claim that she was denied equal pay for equal work, but affirm the district court's grant of a new trial on that issue. Further, we agree with the plaintiffs that the defendants are procedurally barred from raising grounds in their j.n.o.v. motion different from those raised in their directed verdict motion; however, we affirm the judgment for defendants on the EPA retaliation claims because plaintiffs as a matter of law failed to establish a retaliation claim under the EPA. The remainder of plaintiffs' claims are without merit, and we affirm the district court as to them.


The Hospital's Duplicating Services Department (the "Department") provides it with microfilm and printing services. The Department was formally divided into a microfilm area and a printing area in March 1983. It normally had a staff of six: two microfilm clerks, two printers who operate offset presses, one printing clerk, and a manager. Plaintiff Eva Baker transferred to the Department from another area of the Hospital in 1980 to become a microfilm clerk. In 1982, plaintiff Tami Foster, who had been a driver with the Hospital's motor pool, transferred to the Department to help out with various clerical functions. Both Baker and Foster left the Hospital in 1985 due to the alleged discriminatory acts of the defendants. Plaintiff Janine Lambert joined the hospital staff as a microfilm clerk in February 1982 and remained employed by the Department throughout the course of this action.

In March 1983, Foster operated the model "360" offset printing press and defendant Francis Dupre ran the model "385" press, which paid more than the 360 position. Also at that time, Lambert transferred to print clerk, opening up a microfilm clerk position, which Robert Weisschadel filled. The Department's manager at that time was Terri Shiels, a woman who had been manager of the Department since its creation in 1976, and before that had been manager of the Department's predecessor, known simply as the print shop. From March through May of 1982, Shiels, who had cancer, was out of the office on medical leave. When she went on medical leave again in August or September, 1983, her supervisor, Materials Manager Tod Timmel, transferred another Hospital employee In September 1983, Foster became pregnant and moved from the 360 press to the Department's office without a change in pay. The parties agree that this transfer stemmed from concern about the potentially harmful effects of the solvents used on the press, but disagree as to whether Foster or the Hospital initiated it. Timmel then assigned Johnson to Foster's former position on the 360 press, and announced that he would appoint one of the printing area employees to be a "charge person," who would be an informal supervisor of the printing employees. Baker, who was in the microfilm area and claimed to be acting in a supervisory capacity there, complained to Timmel about not being permitted to apply for the position. Lambert and Dupre applied for the charge-person position, which Timmel gave to Dupre. When Dupre received a corresponding raise, Baker and Lambert complained to Timmel, and also to Ron Good in the Hospital's employee-affairs department, that since Baker was in effect also a charge person in the microfilm area, she was entitled to the same salary as Dupre. Lambert also complained to Good that Timmel chose Dupre for the charge-person position over her because Dupre was male.

Kent Johnson, into the Department to assist in her absence.

In May 1984, Foster went on maternity leave. As a result, Dupre moved into the office, maintaining his 385 job title and salary, Johnson moved from the 360 press to the 385 press (receiving a raise six months later), and Weisschadel took over the 360. That same month, Terri Shiels died. The Hospital subsequently advertised the manager position in the Rochester newspapers, and posted the position within the Hospital. These listings stated that the position required, inter alia, five to six years of printing experience.

In July 1984, Foster returned from maternity leave and requested reassignment to the 360 press, where she had worked before she became pregnant and moved into the office. Instead, Timmel assigned her to the microfilm clerk position, but paid her the same salary and benefits she had received as a 360 operator.

In September 1984, Timmel picked Dupre, who had more than eight years of printing experience, to manage the Department. Plaintiffs Lambert, Baker, and Foster, none of whom applied for the position or had the requisite five to six years of printing experience, complained to Paul Hanson, the Hospital's president, that the selection of Dupre as manager was based on sex, and that other instances of sex discrimination had occurred in the Department. Baker threatened to quit. Robert Weisschadel also complained about the selection of Dupre as manager. On October 26, 1984, plaintiffs filed charges with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (the "EEOC"). Then, on April 12, 1985, Baker and Foster resigned and on April 17, 1986, filed additional charges with the EEOC.

In July 1986, plaintiffs filed the instant action. The parties filed cross-motions for summary judgment, and the district court granted judgment in favor of the defendants on a number of their EPA and Title VII claims: the Title VII claims of sex discrimination in the various transfers among the printer and clerk positions; Lambert and Foster's Equal Pay Act claims that the 360 and 385 printer positions were substantially equal and deserving of equal pay; Foster's claim that she was a victim of discrimination based on her pregnancy; and Foster's claim of discrimination in the appointment of Dupre to charge person. The district court permitted plaintiffs to go to trial on their constructive discharge claims and their claims of other instances of retaliatory harassment for filing the first EEOC charge; their claims that Dupre's promotion to manager was in retaliation for their complaints to their supervisors of denial of equal pay and other complaints of discrimination, and that the promotion also was sex discrimination; the claims of Lambert and Baker that they were discriminatorily denied the charge-person position; and the claims of Baker and Foster that their positions were equal to Dupre's charge-person position.

On May 21, 1991, after a five-week trial, the jury found for all three plaintiffs on their FLSA claims that the Dupre promotion to manager was retaliation for making EPA In a decision and order issued on July 18, 1991, the district court set forth the binding effect that the jury's verdict would have on the court's Title VII and HRL judgments and made various evidentiary rulings. The court held that the jury's findings of EPA retaliation and denial of equal pay to Baker compelled the court to find violations of Title VII based on the same conduct. However, as to the EPA claims the jury rejected, the court held that it was free to find Title VII violations based on the same conduct. The court also granted summary judgment for the defendants on plaintiffs' Title VII and HRL claims based on the disparate pay of the 360 and 385 operators, as it had earlier on the EPA claims arising from the same facts.


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