scheme would be equally applicable. See, e.g., Maidenbaum v. Bally's Park Place, 870 F. Supp. 1254 (D.N.J. 1994) (applying the mixed motive analysis to an age claim under the NJLAD).
To establish a mixed motives case, plaintiffs must demonstrate that discrimination was a motivating a factor in the employment decision. 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-2(m). The evidence required to make this showing has been labeled "direct" evidence and must show that "decisionmakers place substantial reliance on an illegitimate criterion in reaching their decision." Price Waterhouse, 490 U.S. at 277 (O'Connor, J., concurring). The Third Circuit has found that the evidence "must directly reflect a discriminatory or retaliatory animus on the part of a person involved in the decisionmaking process." Armbruster, 32 F.3d at 778. Circumstantial evidence may satisfy this evidentiary burden if it is tied directly to the alleged discriminatory animus. Ostrowski v. Atlantic Mut. Ins. Co., 968 F.2d 171, 183 (2d Cir. 1992). The Price Waterhouse framework assumes that the evidence produced by the plaintiff is "so revealing of discriminatory animus" that it is not necessary to rely on any presumption from the prima facie case to shift the burden of production to the defendant. Armbruster, 32 F.3d at 778.
Plaintiff alleges that the letter of August 30, 1994, stating that the candidate hired for the job was a "young man" constitutes sufficient "direct" evidence to trigger the application of Price Waterhouse. Pl. Mem. Opp'n Summ. J. at 43. Plaintiffs contend that this language demonstrates that Dandro was thinking about the age and sex of the candidates when she wrote the letter to the plaintiff. See id. This letter, as discussed above, was insufficient to satisfy the plaintiff's burden under the pretext theory. If the evidence was too weak to show pretext, it is surely does not qualify as "direct" evidence sufficient to trigger Price Waterhouse's burden-shifting scheme. Before the plaintiff can reap the benefits of the burden of persuasion shifting to the defendants, Price Waterhouse requires the plaintiff to make a strong showing of the existence of discriminatory animus. See Armbruster, 32 F.3d at 778.
Moreover, even if Dandro was considering age and sex when she wrote the letter, that fact is irrelevant. The letter in question was written two weeks after the employment decision was made. Price Waterhouse is concerned with the employer's motivations at the time the decision was made, not two weeks later. Plaintiff asserts that Mann and Paterakis were concerned about the letter because they thought it might appear discriminatory. Id. Mere concerns by non-decisionmakers, however, do not amount to proof that the decision was motivated by discriminatory animus.
Thus, even if the court were to view this case as one involving mixed motives, the result would not change. The decision to grant summary judgment in this case is based on the absence of evidence that defendants were motivated either in whole, or in part, by discriminatory intent.
Plaintiff has failed to satisfy her burden of proof either on a pretext or a mixed motives theory of sex and age discrimination. Plaintiff's meager evidence has fallen far short of establishing pretext or "direct" evidence of discrimination. To the extent that certain historical facts may be in dispute, resolution of those facts in favor of the plaintiff would not provide evidence permitting an inference of discrimination. Summary judgment will therefore be granted in favor of defendants. An appropriate order will be entered.
October 3, 1996
JOSEPH E. IRENAS
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
Irenas, District Judge:
This matter having appeared before the court on defendants' motion for summary judgment, pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 56, in this sex and age discrimination suit brought pursuant to Title VII, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e, et seq, the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination ("NJLAD"), N.J.S.A. § 10:5-12, and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act ("ADEA"), 29 U.S.C. § 623(a)(1), and the court having reviewed the submissions of the parties, and having heard oral arguments,
IT IS on this 3rd day of October, 1996,
ORDERED THAT :
Defendants' motion for summary judgment is hereby GRANTED.
JOSEPH E. IRENAS