Kulp v. UTMB (University of Texas Medical Branch)
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER granting 19 MOTION for Summary Judgment (Signed by Judge Gregg Costa) Parties notified.(ccarnew, 3)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS
§ CIVIL ACTION NO. 3:12-CV-00162
UTMB HEATHCARE SYSTEMS, INC.; §
aka UTMB (UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS
MEDICAL BRANCH); dba UNIVERSITY §
OF TEXAS MEDICAL BRANCH AT
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
After the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (UTMB)
terminated her, Plaintiff Gabriela Kulp brought this lawsuit alleging that she was
subjected to a hostile work environment, sex discrimination, and retaliation.
UTMB filed a summary judgment motion denying that its employees harassed
Kulp and arguing (1) that it terminated her because she failed to meet job-related
expectations and (2) that it paid her less than a male colleague because their pay
levels were already established when they were performing separate jobs in
separate departments. Finding that Kulp is unable to meet the standards set forth in
the Title VII case law, the Court GRANTS UTMB’s summary judgment motion.
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Gabriela Kulp has university degrees in Chemical Engineering and
Marketing. Docket Entry No. 22-3 at 12–13. In October 2009, Kulp began
working for UTMB as Senior Research Associate III in the Department of Surgery.
In January 2011, she was transferred to the Ophthalmology and Visual Science
(OVS) department. UTMB considered this move a lateral transfer and Kulp’s
salary remained the same. Docket Entry No. 19 at 11.
In the new position, Kulp worked under Dr. Bernard Godley as a Senior
Research Associate. The job description of Senior Research Associate included,
among other things: (a) contributing to and writing scientific analysis using
established appropriate reporting procedures; (b) planning, directing, and
procedures; (c) overseeing the records of all tests performed and data collected;
and (d) reviewing preliminary analysis of junior staff. Docket Entry No. 19-2 at 1.
During the time Kulp worked in the OVS department, the department employed no
other senior research associates. Docket Entry No. 22-3 at 18–19.
In her position in the OVS department, Kulp also worked closely with
Edward Kraft. Kulp, Kraft, and Kraft’s wife had been business partners since 2003
Given the summary judgment posture, the following recitation of the facts resolves all
credibility determinations in Kulp’s favor. For instance, Kraft disputes Kulp’s allegation that he
told Kulp that she was “just a little girl” in a “good ole boys club.” Docket Entry No. 19-5 ¶ 9.
For purposes of this motion, the Court resolves that issue in her favor.
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working together on medical technology patents. See Docket Entry No. 19 at 12.
Kraft started working for UTMB in June 2007 as a Laboratory Technical Assistant
and then worked as an Engineering Technician in the Anesthesiology Department.
In January 2011 (the same month Kulp was transferred), Kraft was also transferred
to the OVS Department, keeping the same job title of Engineering Technician II.
In this position, Kraft’s job responsibilities included testing, repairing, calibrating,
and maintaining research equipment.
Docket Entry No. 19-4 at 1.
considered this move a lateral transfer and his salary remained the same. Docket
Entry No. 19-7 at 3. Kraft earned roughly $7,000 more annually than Kulp did—
her annual salary was set at $54,808, while his was set at $61,565. Docket Entry
Nos. 19-1 at 2; 19-3.
During their time working together in 2011, Kraft and Kulp’s relationship
Kraft yelled and cursed at Kulp and interfered with Kulp’s
communications with Godley. Docket Entry No. 11 at 3. Kulp grew frustrated
that her suggestions regarding lab procedures were not being followed. When she
and Kraft were discussing lab procedures, he sometimes told her that, “it [is] a
boys’ club and you [are] a girl.” Docket Entry No. 22-3 at 64–65. According to
Kulp, Kraft made those comments more than five times and perhaps more than
ten—beyond that, she is unsure. Docket Entry No. 22-3 at 65.
Throughout 2011, Kulp’s relationship with Godley was also strained:
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• On April 18, 2011, Godley met with Kulp about a
miscommunication with a coworker;
• On June 23, 2011, Godley reprimanded both Kulp and Kraft for
disagreeing with each other in an unprofessional manner,
including using inappropriate language;
• In July and August of 2011, Kulp received two written
warnings for separate incidents of failing to follow instructions;
• On September 1, 2011, Kulp was given instructions regarding
procedures for collecting data, which she agreed to follow.
Kulp failed to complete the requested data in Godley’s
preferred format, despite his attempts to follow up with Kulp on
the assignment; and
• On October 10, 2011, after he had asked her for the data several
times, Godley gave Kulp a final written warning and requested
that all previously due data be turned in the next day. The
warning letter noted that continued failure to adhere to
instructions and proper procedures would “result in further
disciplinary action, up to and including termination.”
According to Godley, Kulp did not turn in the requested data.
Docket Entry Nos. 19-10 at 1–2; 19-12 at 2.
On the day after receiving the final warning noting the possibility of
termination, Kulp called the UTMB Fraud and Abuse Hotline. During the call, she
reported that Kraft had been lying to Godley about her work and that Kraft had
yelled and cursed at her. Docket Entry No. 19-16 at 1. She also said that she tried
to speak with Godley but he was too busy to listen to her. Id.
On October 27, 2011, Godley sent Kulp a letter that terminated her
employment at UTMB. It detailed her employment history, including the incidents
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in the OVS Department that led to her termination. Docket Entry No. 19-12.
Kulp then filed suit in this Court. Her original complaint asserted claims of
environment. The Court granted the Defendants’ motion to dismiss the race-based
harassment claim because Kulp had not raised a race claim in her EEOC filing, but
allowed Kulp to amend her complaint to assert a hostile work environment claim
based on sex. Kulp’s primary allegations are that Kraft created a hostile work
environment; she was paid less than Kraft even though her position required more
education and experience; and Godley instituted unachievable standards and
criteria to cause her experiments to fail.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
When a party moves for summary judgment, the reviewing court shall grant
the motion “if the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material
fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Fed. R. Civ. P.
56(a). A dispute about a material fact is genuine “if the evidence is such that a
reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party.” Anderson v.
Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). All reasonable doubts on questions
of fact must be resolved in favor of the party opposing summary judgment. See
Evans v. City of Houston, 246 F.3d 344, 348 (5th Cir. 2001) (citation omitted).
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Hostile Work Environment
Kulp alleges that Godley and Kraft “orchestrated unrealistic goals and job
responsibilities in an effort to cause [her] to artificially fail at her job.” Docket
Entry No. 22 at 8. Kulp argues that this unrealistic goal setting, combined with (a)
Kraft’s comments that UTMB is a “boys’ club and you’re just a girl,” and (b)
Godley’s disciplining of Kulp, demonstrate that she has made a prima facie
showing of a hostile work environment.
To establish a Title VII hostile work environment claim, Kulp must prove
that: (1) she belongs to a protected group; (2) she was subjected to unwelcome
sexual harassment; (3) the harassment complained of was based on sex; (4) the
harassment affected a term, condition, or privilege of her employment; and (5) her
employer knew or should have known of the harassment and failed to take prompt
remedial action.2 Hockman v. Westward Commc’ns, LLC, 407 F.3d 317, 326 (5th
To establish a hostile work environment claim, Kulp must show that (a) her “supervisor”
engaged in harassing conduct, thus attaching vicarious liability to UTMB, or (b) UTMB was
negligent with respect to the offensive behavior. See Watts v. Kroger Co., 170 F.3d 505, 509
(5th Cir. 1999) (explaining that when the harasser is the plaintiff’s supervisor, plaintiff need not
prove the fifth element). After UTMB filed its motion for summary judgment, the Supreme
Court clarified the definition of “supervisor,” holding that “an employee is a ‘supervisor’ for
purposes of vicarious liability under Title VII if he or she is empowered to take tangible
employment actions against the victim.” See Vance v. Ball State Univ., 133 S.Ct. 2434, 2439
(2013). Under this standard, Kraft was not Kulp’s supervisor, and UTMB cannot be held
vicariously liable for his behavior. Therefore, for liability to attach to UTMB, Kulp must have
told UTMB about the harassment and UTMB must have been negligent in remedying the
situation. Id. Because Vance was decided after UTMB filed its summary judgment motion, the
Court held oral argument and allowed the parties to brief Vance’s effect on Kulp’s claim.
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Cir. 2004) (citations omitted). Title VII “does not set forth ‘a general civility code
for the American workplace,’” Burlington N. & Santa Fe Ry. Co. v. White, 548
U.S. 53, 68 (2006) (citation omitted), and “was only meant to bar conduct that is so
severe and pervasive that it destroys a protected classmember’s opportunity to
succeed in the workplace.” Weller v. Citation Oil & Gas Corp., 84 F.3d 191, 194
(5th Cir. 1996).
The work environment must be both “both objectively and
subjectively offensive, one that a reasonable person would find hostile or abusive,
and one that the victim in fact did perceive to be so.” Aryian v. Wal-Mart Stores
Tex., L.P., 534 F.3d 473, 479 (5th Cir. 2008) (quoting Faragher v. City of Boca
Raton, 524 U.S. 775, 786 (1998)). “Whether an environment is hostile or abusive
depends on a totality of circumstances, [including] the frequency of the conduct,
the severity of the conduct, the degree to which the conduct is physically
threatening or humiliating, and the degree to which the conduct unreasonably
interferes with an employee’s work performance.” Weller, 84 F.3d at 194 (citing
Harris v. Forklift Sys., Inc., 510 U.S. 17, 23 (1993)).
Kulp’s claim warrants dismissal because she has not introduced evidence
that the harassment she faced at UTMB affected a term, condition, or privilege of
her employment under the high threshold the Fifth Circuit has set for that element.
However, the Court now determines that it need not decide whether UTMB was negligent in
addressing Kraft’s behavior. It finds that Kraft’s statements—even if known to UTMB—do not
rise to the level of hostility and abusiveness required under Title VII.
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Her strongest argument is that Kraft’s repeated comments that “this is boys’ club
and you’re just a girl” were abusive—especially because Kraft made those
comments while he and Kulp were working on scientific experiments, and his
remarks were designed to explain why Kulp’s contributions did not matter. Docket
Entry No. 19-1 at 14. Yet despite the offensive nature of Kraft’s remarks, Kraft’s
behavior does not rise to the level that would allow Kulp to maintain her action
Kraft’s comments, though degrading, did not prevent Kulp from contributing
to Godley’s lab. In one instance, even immediately after he told her that she was
“just a girl” in a boys’ club, Kraft still sent her comments and notes to Godley,
who accepted them in the manuscript. Docket No. 19-1 at 13. Kraft’s comments
never brought her to the point that she could not fulfill her job obligations. And
because they were generally made only when Kraft and Kulp were discussing lab
procedures, they cannot be considered pervasive. See Shephard v. Comptroller of
Pub. Accounts, 168 F.3d 871, 874–75 (5th Cir. 1999) (recognizing that comments
“engender[ed] offensive feelings” but holding they did not “sufficiently affect the
conditions of employment.”). “Conduct that sporadically wounds or offends but
does not hinder a female employee’s performance” is not actionable under Title
VII. Weller v. Citation Oil & Gas Corp., 84 F.3d 191, 194 (5th Cir. 1999) (citation
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The cases in which the Fifth Circuit has found a fact issue on whether
harassment affects a “term, condition or privilege” involved far more pervasive or
severe conduct than what occurred in this case. See, e.g., Mire v. Tex. Supply Co.,
Inc., 286 F. App’x. 138, 141–43 (5th Cir. 2008) (overturning a grant of summary
judgment on a hostile work environment claim when the plaintiff was subjected to
“an almost constant barrage of sexual comments and touching by multiple male
employees,” including verbal intimidation and nonconsensual touching); Waltman
v. Int’l Paper Co., 875 F.2d 468, 470–71 (5th Cir. 1989) (finding a fact issue in a
hostile work environment case when the plaintiff was subjected to sexually
suggestive comments from 80% of the workforce, received over thirty
pornographic notes in her locker, and was threatened with physical harm and
dangled over a stairwell). Even cases presenting substantially stronger evidence of
harassment both in terms of frequency and severity than exists in this case—
including cases with references to sexual acts, profane comments about females,
and physical contact— have been found wanting. See Shephard, 168 F.3d at 872
(finding no fact issue when alleged harasser attempted to look down plaintiff’s
clothing on several occasions, made inappropriate sexual comments about her
breasts, and twice suggested that she sit on his lap); Hollins v. Premier Lincoln
Mercury, Inc., 766 F. Supp. 2d 736, 742–44 (S.D. Tex. 2011) (finding that conduct
complained of did not create a hostile work environment when plaintiff was cursed
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at several times and called a “bitch” on the day her employment ended); Gibson v.
Potter, 2007 WL 1428630, at *6 (E.D. La. May 10, 2007) (finding no hostile work
environment when male employee once grabbed plaintiff’s buttocks, on occasion
attempted to stick his tongue in her ear, and solicited dates from the plaintiff).
These cases demonstrate how “extreme” the conduct at issue must be. See Hollins,
766 F. Supp. 2d at 743 (citing Faragher v. City of Boca Raton, 524 U.S. 775, 788
(1998)). Under this case law, Kulp cannot demonstrate that Kraft’s comments rise
to the level prohibited by Title VII.
Kulp also has not shown how Godley’s purportedly unrealistic job
expectations related to her sex.
Godley and UTMB have a “right to set
performance standards for its employees and expect conformance therewith.”
Arensdorf v. Snow, 2006 WL 3302532 at *11 (S.D. Tex. Nov. 13, 2006) (citing
Deines v. Tex. Dept. of Protective & Regulatory Servs., 164 F.3d 277, 281 (5th Cir.
1999)). Godley communicated with Kulp several times about her performance and
asked her to provide him data recorded in a specific way.
employee’s performance deficiencies and placing her on a performance
improvement plan are personnel decisions related to job performance. See id.
Without more, Kulp has failed to show that these job expectations created a hostile
work environment based on sex. See id. (finding that the actions taken by the
plaintiff’s supervisor were all performance related). Thus, Kulp’s hostile work
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environment claim fails as a matter of law.
Disparate Treatment Claims
Kulp alleges that UTMB discriminated against her by (1) paying her less
than it paid Kraft and (2) terminating her because of her sex. To establish a prima
facie case of pay discrimination under Title VII, Kulp must show: “that (1) she is a
member of a protected class, and (2) that she is paid less than a nonmember for
work that required substantially the same responsibility.” Uviedo v. Steves Sash &
Door Co., 738 F.2d 1425, 1431 (5th Cir. 1984).
To establish a wrongful
termination claim, Kulp “must demonstrate that the misconduct for which she was
discharged was nearly identical to that engaged in by an employee not within her
protected class whom the company retained.” Wallace v. Methodist Hosp. Sys.,
271 F.3d 212, 221 (5th Cir. 2001) (citation, alteration, and internal quotation marks
“Because direct evidence [of discrimination] is rare,” the McDonnell
Douglas burden-shifting framework, under which courts analyze circumstantial
evidence of discrimination, typically determines whether disparate treatment
claims survive summary judgment. Portis v. First Nat’l Bank of New Albany,
Miss., 34 F.3d 325, 328 (5th Cir. 1994). Under McDonnell Douglas, the plaintiff
“must first establish a prima facie case of discrimination.” Bryan v. McKinsey &
Co., 375 F.3d 358, 360 (5th Cir. 2004) (quoting Reeves v. Sanderson Plumbing
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Prods., Inc., 530 U.S. 133, 142 (2000)). If the plaintiff establishes a prima facie
case, the burden then shifts to the defendant to articulate a legitimate,
nondiscriminatory reason for the allegedly discriminatory action. Id. (quoting
McDonnell Douglas Corp. v. Green, 411 U.S. 792, 802 (1973)). If a defendant
advances such a justification, then the burden shifts back to the plaintiff to
demonstrate that the proffered reason is not the true reason for the action, but
rather is a pretext for discrimination. Reeves, 530 U.S. at 143 (citing Tex. Dep’t of
Cmty. Affairs v. Burdine, 450 U.S. 248, 253 (1981)).
Even if Kulp could present a prima facie case of pay discrimination,3 her
claim would still fail because she cannot overcome UTMB’s legitimate,
nondiscriminatory reason for the pay differential: Kulp and Kraft were both lateral
transfers from different departments, and when they transferred, they retained the
same pay that they had received in their old departments. Their pay levels in the
OVS Department thus were the result of decisions made by their previous
departments, before either of them was transferred to the OVS Department. Kulp
The Court has doubts about whether Kulp has presented a prima facie case of pay
discrimination under the Fifth Circuit’s standard for “similarly situated” employees, which
requires that she and Kraft had positions requiring “substantially the same responsibility.”
Taylow v. United Parcel Serv., Inc., 554 F.3d 510, 522 (5th Cir. 2008). Kulp’s position as a
scientific researcher entailed contributing to research experiments and overseeing the records of
those experiments. Docket Entry No. 19-2 at 1. Kraft’s job as a technician, on the other hand,
was mainly to test, repair, and maintain the laboratory’s research equipment. Docket Entry No.
19-4 at 1. Kulp has not presented the Court with any cases in which such differing employment
positions were deemed to be similar under Title VII. However, because of UTMB’s legitimate
nondiscriminatory reason for the pay differential, the Court need not reach this issue.
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does not allege that her initial level of pay was discriminatory and conceded at oral
argument that UTMB has not engaged in any systemic pay discrimination against
women. Nor does she claim that her transition to the OVS Department was
improperly considered a lateral transfer.
The burden for introducing a legitimate, nondiscriminatory reason for an
adverse employment action is “exceedingly light”; as such, it has clearly been met
in this instance. See, e.g., E.E.O.C. v. Guardsmark, LLC, 2011 WL 1668400, at *8
(S.D. Tex. May 3, 2011) (finding a legitimate nondiscriminatory reason in a Title
VII pay discrimination claim when comparator male employee was hired at a
different location and paid differently based on valid business rationales); Butler v.
Albany Intern., 273 F. Supp. 2d 1278, 1286–87 (M.D. Ala. 2003) (dismissing a pay
disparity claim in which comparator male employee transferred into plaintiff’s
department and retained his previous salary level because “[i]t is clearly a
legitimate business decision to transfer an employee from one department to the
next while allowing the employee to retain his or her current pay grade level.”).
Kulp has introduced no evidence to show that the pay differential between herself
and Kraft, which stemmed from pay decisions made before the two of them
worked in the same department, was merely a pretext for discrimination. Given
the undisputed fact that the pay differential arose from Kulp and Kraft being hired
by different departments for different jobs, rather than from a common
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decisionmaker electing to pay a woman less than a man in the same job, there is no
evidence from which a jury could conclude that UTMB intended to pay Kulp less
because of her sex. Cf. Reeves v. Sanderson Plumbing Prod., Inc., 530 U.S. 133,
146 (2000) (noting that the McDonnell Douglas framework is aimed at
determining if there is any evidence to support the “ultimate question [of] whether
the employer intentionally discriminated”). The Court therefore will grant UTMB
summary judgment on her disparate pay claim.
Kulp’s wrongful termination claim confronts the same hurdle in the
McDonnell Douglas framework that doomed her disparate pay claim: she cannot
overcome the legitimate, nondiscriminatory reason that UTMB has offered to
explain her termination. The behavior that she was allegedly terminated for was
failing to follow Godley’s instructions, failing to turn in the data that he requested,
and engaging in disruptive behavior in the workplace. Docket Entry No. 19 at 30.
These legitimate, nondiscriminatory reasons for UTMB’s decision to terminate her
employment shift the burden to Kulp to demonstrate that UTMB’s reasons are
merely pretext for discrimination. She has failed to demonstrate that UTMB made
up the reasons its cited for the firing; that others who engaged in similar
misconduct were treated more favorably, see Okoye v. Univ. of Tex. Houston
Health Sci. Ctr., 245 F.3d 507, 514 (5th Cir. 2001) (explaining that a plaintiff must
show that her employer gave preferential treatment to another employee who
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engaged in nearly identical misconduct); that UTMB gave inconsistent reasons for
her termination, see Martin v. J.A.M. Distrib. Co., 674 F. Supp. 2d 822, 841–42
(E.D. Tex. 2009) (denying summary judgment when employer’s explanations for
the plaintiff’s termination were inconsistent); or otherwise create a fact issue that
would allow a jury to disbelieve UTMB’s nondiscriminatory explanation for her
termination. The Court therefore will grant summary judgment in favor of UTMB
on the wrongful termination claim.
Finally, Kulp claims that UTMB retaliated against her for complaining about
Kraft to the UTMB fraud and abuse hotline. To establish a prima facie retaliation
claim, Kulp must prove that: (1) she engaged in an activity that Title VII protects;
(2) UTMB carried out an adverse employment action; and (3) a causal nexus exists
between her protected activity and UTMB’s adverse action.
See Harvill v.
Westward Commc’ns, L.L.C., 433 F.3d 428, 439 (5th Cir. 2005). An employee has
engaged in activity protected by Title VII if she has either “opposed any practice
made an unlawful employment practice by [Title VII]” or “made a charge,
testified, assisted, or participated in any manner in an investigation, proceeding, or
hearing under [Title VII].” 42 U.S.C.A. § 2000e-3(a) (West 2013).
If Kulp establishes a prima facie case, the burden shifts to UTMB to state a
legitimate, nonretaliatory reason for its decision to terminate her employment.
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“After the employer states its reason, the burden shifts back to the employee to
demonstrate that the employer’s reason is actually a pretext for retaliation.” Feist
v. La. Dept. of Justice, Office of the Atty. Gen., --- F.3d ----, 2013 WL 5178846, at
*3 (5th Cir. 2013) (citation and internal quotation marks omitted). The employee
accomplishes this “by showing that the adverse action would not have occurred
‘but for’ the employer’s retaliatory motive.” Id. (quoting Univ. of Tex. Sw. Med.
Ctr. v. Nassar, 133 S.Ct. 2517, 2533 (2013)). To avoid summary judgment, Kulp
“must show a conflict in substantial evidence on the question of whether [UTMB]
would not have taken the action ‘but for’ the protected activity.” Id. (citation and
internal quotation marks omitted).
The first two elements of the required prima facie showing are not in
dispute. Kulp engaged in a protected activity—calling the UTMB fraud and abuse
hotline—and her termination was an adverse employment action. But Kulp has not
established a prima facie retaliation claim because she has produced no evidence
that Kulp, her supervisor and the individual at UTMB who ultimately terminated
her employment, was aware of her phone call to a general hotline at an institution
with over 10,000 employees. “Although the plaintiff’s burden at the prima facie
stage is not onerous, the plaintiff must produce at least some evidence that the
decisionmakers had knowledge of [her] protected activity.” Manning v. Chevron
Chem. Co., LLC, 322 F.3d 874, 883 n.6 (5th Cir. 2003). As Chair of the OVS
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Department, it was Godley’s decision to fire Kulp. Docket Entry No. 19-7 at 1, 6.
Therefore, it follows that if Godley did not even know about Kulp’s phone call,
UTMB could not have retaliated against her for placing it. See Chaney v. New
Orleans Pub. Facility Mgmt., Inc., 179 F.3d 164, 168–69 (5th Cir. 1999)
(dismissing a retaliation claim when plaintiff failed to establish that any of his
supervisors knew that he had provided a written affidavit as part of a former
employee’s lawsuit); Manning, 322 F.3d at 884 (dismissing a retaliation claim
because the plaintiff failed to show that decisionmakers at plaintiff’s branch of a
major corporation knew about previous lawsuits he had filed against the
corporation); see also Powell v. Booker T. Washington Guest Care, LLC, 2013 WL
4680519, at *5 (W.D. La. Aug. 30, 2013) (dismissing a retaliation claim when the
individual who issued all of the plaintiff’s disciplinary warnings and signed the
notice ending her employment was unaware of the plaintiff’s protected activity).
For this reason, Kulp’s retaliation claim fails as a matter of law.4
Moreover, even if Kulp had demonstrated that Godley knew about the phone call, thus
establishing a prima facie case of retaliation, she has not demonstrated that UTMB’s reasons for
her termination are pretextual. Docket Entry No. 19-11 at 2. Godley’s letter on October 10, the
day before she called the hotline, indicated that her failure to follow his instructions would result
“in further disciplinary action, up to and including termination.” Docket Entry No. 19-10. And
in Godley’s final letter to Kulp, in which he explained his decision to terminate her employment,
he detailed the verbal warnings he gave her, the instructions she failed to follow, and the
important research deadlines that she did not meet. Docket Entry No. 19-12. Kulp, with the
burden of demonstrating pretext in light of these legitimate, nondiscriminatory reasons for her
termination, has not demonstrated that but for her hotline phone call, she would not have been
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For the reasons explained above, Kulp has failed to introduce evidence from
which a reasonable jury could infer that she endured a hostile work environment,
was terminated or paid less because of her sex, or was subject to retaliation.
Accordingly, UTMB’s Motion for Summary Judgment (Docket Entry No. 19) is
SIGNED this 23rd day of October, 2013.
United States District Judge
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