Marietta Miller-Jones v. Prince George's Community
UNPUBLISHED PER CURIAM OPINION filed. Originating case number: 8:14-cv-03517-DKC Copies to all parties and the district court/agency. .. [16-2005]
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UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS
FOR THE FOURTH CIRCUIT
Plaintiff - Appellant,
PRINCE GEORGE’S COMMUNITY COLLEGE,
Defendant - Appellee.
Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of Maryland, at Greenbelt.
Deborah K. Chasanow, Senior District Judge. (8:14-cv-03517-DKC)
Submitted: May 31, 2017
Decided: June 7, 2017
Before KING, WYNN, and THACKER, Circuit Judges.
Affirmed by unpublished per curiam opinion.
Geoffrey H. Simpson, WEBSTER & FREDERICKSON, P.L.L.C., Washington, D.C., for
Appellant. Darrell R. VanDeusen, J. Garrett Wozniak, KOLLMAN & SAUCIER, P.A.,
Timonium, Maryland, for Appellee.
Unpublished opinions are not binding precedent in this circuit.
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Marietta Miller-Jones, an African-American, appeals from the district court’s
order granting Defendant Prince George’s Community College’s (PGCC) summary
judgment motion on her race discrimination claim, brought pursuant to Title VII of the
Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000e to 2000e-17 (2016). MillerJones argues that the district court ignored evidence, improperly resolved factual disputes
in favor of PGCC, and based its ruling on impermissible inferences. Last, she maintains
that a jury could have found that PGCC’s non-discriminatory reason not to promote her
was a pretext for racial discrimination. We affirm.
We review a district court’s grant of summary judgment de novo, “viewing all
facts and reasonable inferences therefrom in the light most favorable to the nonmoving
party.” Smith v. Gilchrist, 749 F.3d 302, 307 (4th Cir. 2014) (internal quotation marks
omitted). Summary judgment is appropriate only when there is no genuine issue of
material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. See Seremeth v.
Bd. of Cty. Comm’rs, 673 F.3d 333, 336 (4th Cir. 2012).
Under Title VII, a plaintiff may establish discrimination by her employer (1)
“through direct and indirect evidence,” also known as the “mixed-motive” framework, or
(2) “through the burden-shifting framework of McDonnell Douglas Corp. v. Green, 411
U.S. 792 [(1973)],” also known as the “pretext” framework. Foster v. Univ. of Md.-E.
Shore, 787 F.3d 243, 249 (4th Cir. 2015). The “pretext” framework has three steps:
(1) “the plaintiff must first establish a prima facie case of employment discrimination”;
(2) “the burden of production then shifts to the employer to articulate a
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non-discriminatory . . . reason for the adverse action”; and (3) “the burden then shifts
back to the plaintiff to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the stated reason for
the adverse employment action is a pretext and that the true reason is discriminatory.”
Guessous v. Fairview Prop. Invs., LLC, 828 F.3d 208, 216 (4th Cir. 2016).
A plaintiff fails to meet her burden for showing pretext if “the record conclusively
revealed some other, non-discriminatory reason for the employer’s decision, or if the
plaintiff created only a weak issue of fact as to whether the employer’s reason was untrue
and there was abundant and uncontroverted independent evidence that no discrimination
had occurred.” Dennis v. Columbia Colleton Med. Ctr., Inc., 290 F.3d 639, 649 (4th Cir.
2002) (internal quotation marks omitted). An assertion of pretext is less believable where
the selection committee is composed of individuals of the same protected class as the
plaintiff. See Love v. Alamance Cty. Bd. of Educ., 757 F.2d 1504, 1509 (4th Cir. 1985)
(noting that selection committee was composed of several African-Americans and/or
women when denying race and gender discrimination claim).
Against this framework, we have thoroughly reviewed the parties’ briefs, the
district court record, and the joint appendix, and we discern no reversible error.
Accordingly, we affirm for the reasons stated by the district court. See Miller-Jones v.
Prince George’s Cmty. Coll., No. 8:14-cv-03517-DKC (D. Md. Aug. 4, 2016). We
dispense with oral argument because the facts and legal contentions are adequately
presented in the materials before this court and argument would not aid the decisional
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