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Murry-Zizi v. Johnson

United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division

February 18, 2015

THERESA MURRY-ZIZI, Plaintiff,
v.
JEH JOHNSON, Secretary, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Defendant.

ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT (Doc. 13)

AVERN COHN, District Judge.

I. INTRODUCTION

This is an employment discrimination case. Plaintiff Theresa Murray-Zizi (Plaintiff) is suing Jeh Johnson, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (Defendant). She claims that Defendant subjected her to race discrimination, gender discrimination, and retaliation in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000 et. seq. In addition, Plaintiff claims that Defendant discriminated against her on the basis of her age in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), 29 U.S.C. § 621. Plaintiff's Complaint is in four counts:

COUNT I: Race discrimination under Title VII
COUNT II: Gender discrimination under Title VII
COUNT III: Retaliation under Title VII
COUNT IV: Age discrimination under the ADEA

Now before the Court is Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment. (Doc. 13) For the reasons that follow, Defendant's Motion will be granted.

II. BACKGROUND[1]

A. Plaintiff's Employment History

Plaintiff is African American. She was hired by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) in February 2011. From February 27, 2011 until her resignation three months later on May 27, 2011, she worked as a Transportation Security Officer (TSO) at the Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport in Romulus, Michigan.

Every new employee at TSA must serve a basic trial period, at any point during which a supervisor may terminate an employee whose performance or conduct is not acceptable. As a new employee, Plaintiff was required to successfully complete the TSO training program, which includes both classroom and on-the-job training (OJT). Failure to complete mandatory training and become certified as a TSO results in termination.

As of May 4, 2011, Plaintiff failed to complete her OJT as well as a mandatory passenger screening assessment, both of which are required for TSO certification. On April 9, 2011, Plaintiff was given a Memorandum of Counseling (an official workplace reprimand letter) for independently checking a flight attendant through a scanner without supervision. On April 10, 2011, Plaintiff was given a second Memorandum of Counseling for discussing TSA matters in the presence of a passenger. In addition, she was criticized for not conducting an appropriate pat down, and was found unprepared to take an imaging test based on her practice scores.

Plaintiff was advised that she could continue OJT until May 26, 2011, at which time her training progress would be reviewed. On May 27, 2011, the TSA was prepared to terminate her employment because of her inability to pass the OJT portion of her training requirement. That same day, Plaintiff resigned in lieu of being terminated.

B. Discriminatory Conduct Claimed by Plaintiff

During the time she was employed at the TSA, Plaintiff says that she was subjected to the ...


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