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Pollock v. American Telephone & Telegraph Long Lines

argued: June 2, 1986.



Author: Gibbons

Before GIBBONS, BECKER, and STAPLETON, Circuit Judges

GIBBONS, Circuit Judge:

Vera L. Pollock, a former employee of American Telephone & Telegraph Long Lines (AT&T), brought suit against AT&T alleging that AT&T had discriminated against her on the basis of her race and in retaliation of her filing of discrimination charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The district court granted AT&T's motion for summary judgment, and Pollock appealed. We reverse.


AT&T hired Pollock, who is black, on March 28, 1977 as a Correspondence Clerk in the Personnel Department. This position was rated Title Grade (TG) -4. Prior to her employment with AT&T, Pollock had worked for Western Electric, Inc. for a period of approximately thirteen years. After two months with AT&T, Pollock was promoted to the position of a Report Clerk in the Overseas Rates and Tariffs Department. This position was rated TG-5. Nine months later Pollock was again promoted, this time to the position of a Special Reports Clerk in the Overseas Financial Administrative (OFA). This position was rated TG-6. TG-6 is the highest nonmanagement level clerical position at AT&T. In this position, Pollock's duties included the maintenance and administration of various satellite budgets, and the analysis and verification of monthly billing and revenue statements received from the Communications Satellite Corporation (COMSAT) and other telecommunications entities.

From the date of her promotion to a Special Reports Clerk until October 15, 1979, Pollock was under the immediate supervision of Daniel Campbell. During this time, Campbell evaluated Pollock's work performance on two occasions. The evaluations were made on a company form. There were five separate categories: productivity, quality of work, job skills, cooperation, and sense of responsibility and a point scale allocating one point for limited performance, three points for satisfactory, four for more than satisfactory, and six for outstanding.

Campbell first evaluated Pollock on March 13, 1979. Out of a possible thirty points, Campbell awarded Pollock seventeen. Campbell evaluated Pollock for the second time on July 13, 1979. This time Campbell gave Pollock an overall rating of sixteen.

Sometime in July of 1979, Campbell suspended Pollock for one day for alleged insubordination on the telephone when Pollock called in for a personal day. On July 23, 1979 Pollock formally applied for a lateral transfer to Western Electric. No action was ever taken on this or any transfer request that she made.*fn1

In October of 1979 Pollock was transferred from the billing subgroup in OFA to the budget subgroup and was assigned some of the clerical duties previously performed by a white male, John Mancuso, and a white female, Chris Fernandez. Mancuso was assigned Pollock's duties in the billing subgroup. Pollock remained in the budget subgroup for approximately eight months. During this time, her immediate supervisor was Emilie Schmidt. Schmidt was in turn supervised by Daniel Campbell, who had just been promoted to staff supervisor.

Schmidt conducted two evaluations of Pollock. The first occurrence on February 28, 1980. Schmidt, with the concurrence of Campbell, awarded Pollock a total of fifteen points. The second took place on July 21, 1980, but was not presented to Pollock until August 15. This time Schmidt gave Pollock an overall rating of eleven. Pollock was very unhappy with these ratings. In the meantime, on July 9, 1980, Campbell suspended Pollock for three days allegedly for leaving work fifteen minutes early the previous Friday, as well as for "insubordination" and "misconduct."

Shortly after her receipt of her second evaluation from Schmidt, Pollock filed a discrimination charge with the EEOC. The charge is dated August 18, 1980. In the charge, Pollock averred that AT&T management, and particularly Daniel Campbell, harassed and intimidated her and gave her unfair evaluations because she was black. She claimed that the negative comments in her reviews were merely pretextual and that management intended to force her to quit or to fire her.

By October 1980, Pollock returned to her former position in the billing subgroup of OFA, which in the interim had been occupied by Mancuso, and Mancuso returned to the budget subgroup. Upon her return Pollock fell under the direct supervision of Peter Norcia, who was himself supervised by Campbell. Norcia was Pollock's on-line supervisor until her discharge on February 22, 1982.

In her first evaluation by Norcia, dated February 2, 1981, Norcia gave Pollock a sixteen. Pollock told Norcia she was unhappy with the rating and believed that it came from Campbell, not Norcia. Norcia rated Pollock again on August 21, 1981 and gave her a seven. Pollock voiced complete ...

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