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Gumbs v. State of Delaware Department of Labor

United States District Court, D. Delaware

August 14, 2017

TRINA R. GUMBS, Plaintiff,
v.
STATE OF DELAWARE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM

         The Magistrate Judge has filed a Report and Recommendation. (D.I. 51). It recommends granting summary judgment to Defendant. Plaintiff has filed objections, to which the Defendant has responded. (D.I. 52, D.I. 54). The matter is now before this Court. For the reasons that follow, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the Court OVERRULES Plaintiffs Objections (D.I. 52) and ADOPTS the Magistrate Judge's Report and Recommendation. (D.I. 51).

         I. BACKGROUND

         From 1996 to 2015, Trina Gumbs, Plaintiff, was employed at the Office of Anti-Discrimination ("OAD"). (D.I. 15 ¶ 6). Plaintiff was promoted throughout her tenure and eventually became a Labor Law Enforcement Supervisor. (Id. ¶ 7). Due to a vacancy, Plaintiff was appointed as interim acting OAD Regulatory Specialist, which included a temporary pay increase for the position. (Id. ¶ 10). The OAD created a job posting for the Regulatory Specialist position and listed two preferred qualifications: "(1) experience in resolving employment and/or discrimination complaints; and (2) possession of a Juris Doctorate." (D.I. 45 at 7). Five candidates, including Plaintiff and Daniel McGannon, were interviewed for the position. (Id.). McGannon, a lawyer with a J.D. and previous experience with employment discrimination, was hired as the new Regulatory Specialist. (Id.).

         Following McGannon's hiring, Plaintiff returned to her position and pay as a Labor Law Enforcement Supervisor, subordinate to McGannon. (D.I. 15 ¶ 20). "Because of McGannon's unfamiliarity with the OAD's operations, [Plaintiff] began training him and performing some of his duties." (D.I. 51 at 3). McGannon worked from the OAD's Wilmington, Delaware office, while Plaintiff worked from the OAD's satellite office in Milford, Delaware. (D.I. 45 at 4).

         Plaintiff filed a one-count complaint against Defendant for violation of the Equal Pay Act ("EPA"). This complaint has been amended. (D.I. 15).

         II. LEGAL STANDARDS

         A. STANDARD OF REVIEW

         A magistrate judge may make a report and recommendation regarding a case-dispositive motion. BeazerE., Inc. v. Mead Corp., 412 F.3d 429, 444 (3d Cir. 2005). "When reviewing the decision of a Magistrate Judge on a dispositive matter, the Court conducts a de novo review." 28 U.S.C. §636(b)(1); FED. R. Crv. P. 72(b)(3); Masimo Corp. v. Philips Elec. N. Am. Corp., 62 F.Supp.3d 368, 379 (D. Del. 2014). A summary judgment motion is considered a dispositive motion. D. Del. LR 72.1 (3). "The district judge must determine de novo any part of the magistrate judge's disposition that has been properly objected to." Fed. R. Crv. P. 72(b)(3). The Court may "accept, reject, or modify the recommended disposition..." of the magistrate judge. Id.

         B. SUMMARY JUDGMENT

         "The court shall grant summary judgment 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). When determining whether a genuine issue of material fact exists, the court must view the evidence in the light most favorable to the non-moving party and draw all reasonable inferences in that party's favor. Scott v. Harris, 550 U.S. 372, 380 (2007); Wishkin v. Potter, 476 F.3d 180, 184 (3d Cir. 2007). A dispute is "genuine" only if the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the non-moving party. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, 477 U.S. 242, 247-49 (1986).

         III. ANALYSIS

         A. FAILURE TO PROMOTE

         Defendant argues Plaintiffs claim is a failure to promote claim. (D.I. 45 at 21-23; D.I. 49 at 8-11). As did the Magistrate Judge, I disagree. Plaintiffs complaint clearly states her claim as an EPA violation. (D.I. 15 at 4). I will not analyze the claim as a failure to promote claim since Plaintiff has not alleged it.

         B. EQUAL ...


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