United States District Court, D. Massachusetts
DIPING Y. ANDERSON, Plaintiff,
MEGAN J. BRENNAN, Postmaster General, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
B. Saris Chief United States District Judge.
Anderson was formerly employed as a Postal Police Officer
(“PPO”) by the U.S. Postal Service. She claims
that the Postal Service unlawfully terminated her on the
basis of her Chinese descent and in retaliation for her
filing multiple complaints of race discrimination with the
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”).
Postal Service moves for summary judgment on the basis that
it had a nondiscriminatory reason for terminating Anderson: a
series of workplace misconduct incidents. Anderson responds
that her workplace misconduct was a pretextual reason for her
termination, as evidenced by the fact that she received
harsher punishment than similarly situated white PPOs for the
same misconduct. Because a factfinder could reasonably
conclude that race and/or retaliatory motive was a
determining factor in the Postal Service's termination of
Anderson, the Postal Service's motion for summary
judgment (Docket No. 44) is DENIED.
facts below are taken from the record, and are undisputed
except where stated.
Anderson immigrated to the United States from China in 1990.
She began working as a PPO on July 15, 2000. She was the only
PPO of Asian descent during her thirteen years of employment
at the Boston General Mail Facility.
12, 2011, Anderson filed her first pre-complaint statement
with the EEOC, alleging race discrimination by her
supervisors, Captain Harrington and Sergeant Ford. She
alleged that on May 1, 2011, Harrington and Ford impeded her
return to work from a workplace injury because of her race.
23, 2011, the EEOC notified Harrington and Ford of
Anderson's May 12, 2011 EEOC filing. On May 25, 2011,
Anderson came into work to find that her normal chair had
been replaced by a broken chair. When she objected, Ford told
Anderson to go home if she didn't like it. Anderson went
home. On May 26, 2011, Ford rescinded his approval of her
request for leave on May 21, 2011 and changed her status on
that day to “AWOL.” On June 15, 2011, the EEOC
convened a redress conference between Anderson and her
24, 2011, Anderson was issued a seven-day suspension, signed
by Ford, for leaving her assigned post without proper
authorization. The notice of suspension stated that Anderson
had left the facility on May 21, 25, and 26, 2011 without
9, 2011, Anderson filed her first formal EEOC complaint. She
alleged, among other things, that her seven-day suspension
was based on race discrimination.
March 25, 2012, Anderson filed her second formal complaint
with the EEOC, alleging that she was being harassed by her
supervisors in retaliation for her prior EEOC filing.
August 29, 2012, Anderson was issued a Letter of Warning,
signed by Sergeant Joseph Motrucinski, for failure to
properly protect and secure her service weapon upon the
completion of her duties. The letter stated that, on August
1, 2012, Anderson improperly placed her loaded service weapon
in her personal locker in the women's changing room at
the end of her shift rather than securing it in the
designated weapon locker in the weapon room.
September 11, 2012, Anderson filed a pre-complaint statement
with the EEOC alleging that the August 29, 2012 Letter of