Adeline Benjamin v. Thomas Vilsack

Filing 920090724

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UNPUBLISHED UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FOURTH CIRCUIT No. 08-2152 ADELINE B. BENJAMIN, Plaintiff - Appellant, v. THOMAS J. Agriculture, VILSACK, Secretary, U.S. Department of Defendant - Appellee. Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of Maryland, at Greenbelt. Deborah K. Chasanow, District Judge. (8:07-cv-02990-DKC) Submitted: July 10, 2009 Decided: July 24, 2009 Before MICHAEL, MOTZ, and DUNCAN, Circuit Judges. Affirmed by unpublished per curiam opinion. Richard J. Link, Jr., KARPEL & LINK, Silver Spring, Maryland, for Appellant. Rod J. Rosenstein, United States Attorney, Ariana Wright Arnold, Assistant United States Attorney, Baltimore, Maryland, for Appellee. Unpublished opinions are not binding precedent in this circuit. PER CURIAM: Adeline B. Benjamin appeals the district court's order granting summary judgment in favor of her employer, the United States Department of Agriculture ("USDA"), on her claim alleging retaliation Rights Act and of discrimination 1964, 42 U.S.C. under Title VII of the Civil Age 2000e (2006), and the Discrimination in Employment Act, 29 U.S.C. 621 (2006). Benjamin Specialist with is employed as a Grants filed and Agreement Equal the USDA. Benjamin has several Employment Opportunity administrative complaints based on age, gender, and retaliation, all of which have been decided in favor of the USDA. Benjamin's prior complaint filed in the district court was dismissed on summary judgment, and this court affirmed the dismissal on appeal. (4th Cir. Mar. 8, 2007). The essential facts underlying this appeal are that Benjamin was suspended for fourteen days due to her failure to follow supervisory instructions. Benjamin filed a Benjamin v. Veneman, 1 F. App'x 192 discrimination complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which denied her claims. a complaint in the district action of in court, Thereafter, Benjamin filed claiming for the suspension prior The the constituted complaints, district adverse in retaliation ADEA and filing VII. of violation granted the Title in court summary 2 judgment favor employer, finding Benjamin failed to establish a prima facie case and failed to rebut the legitimate non-discriminatory reasons for the suspension offered by her employer. After conducting de novo review of the district court's grant of summary judgment, Holland v. Washington Homes, Inc., 487 F.3d 208, 213 (4th Cir. 2007), we find the undisputed material facts entitle the employer to judgment as a matter of law. Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c); Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., Benjamin failed to establish a 477 U.S. 242, 249-50 (1986). causal connection existed between the protected activity -- her prior complaints -- and the asserted adverse action -- her suspension. Burlington N. & Sante Fe Ry. v. White, 548 U.S. 53, 57 (2006); see also Ziskie v. Mineta, 547 F.3d 220, 229 (4th Cir. 2008). Furthermore, Benjamin utterly failed to show that the employer's proffered legitimate, non-discriminatory reasons for the suspension were pretextual. See Matvia v. Bald Head Island Mgmt., Inc., 259 F.3d 261, 271 (4th Cir. 2001). Accordingly, we affirm for the reasons stated by the district court. Benjamin v. Vilsack, No. 8:07-cv-02990-DKC (D. We dispense with oral argument because the are and adequately argument presented not in aid the the Md. Aug. 22, 2008). facts and legal before contentions the court materials would decisional process. AFFIRMED 3

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