United States District Court, D. New Jersey
ELKIND & DIMENTO, Anthony F. DiMento, Esq., Counsel for Plaintiff.
OGLETREE DEAKINS NASH SMOAK & STEWART Jennifer A. Rygiel-Boyd, Esq., Counsel Defendant.
JOSEPH E. IRENAS, District Judge.
This employment retaliation matter comes before the Court on Defendant Lockheed Martin Corporation's ("Lockheed") motion for summary judgment. For the reasons outlined below, the Court will grant Defendant's motion.
Plaintiff Elana Reznik began working for Defendant in January 1997 as an engineer staff member. (Pl.'s Stmts ¶ 1; Def.'s Stmts ¶ 3)
In December of 2008, Plaintiff was assigned to the J5 program, where she worked under William McCorkle and Thomas Fitzgerald. (Def.'s Stmt ¶¶ 5, 8)
In March of 2009, she complained to her functional manager, Alan Shell, that McCorkle and Fitzgerald were harassing her and treating her unfairly because of her age. (Def.'s Stmt ¶ 8) Shell had become Plaintiff's functional manager only days before, assuming the role on March 1, 2009. (Def.'s Stmts ¶ 6) Shell relayed plaintiff's complaint to Lockheed's Human Resources department.
On March 13, 2009, Plaintiff met with Lonnie DeHart of Corporate Ethics and Melissa Kraus of Human Resources and again complained of age discrimination. (Pl.'s Stmts ¶ 3) Plaintiff alleged that McCorkle and Fitzgerald set "unreasonable expectations in work goals, " communicated with her rudely, failed to include her on emails, and "required her to follow a specific format" to which she objected. (Def.'s Stmts ¶ 15; see also Compl. ¶ 13)
Kraus subsequently investigated the allegations and found no evidence of age discrimination. (Pl.'s Stmts ¶ 4)
On April 14, 2009, Kraus and DeHart again met with Plaintiff and advised her of Kraus's findings. (Pl.'s Stmts ¶ 19)
Kraus and DeHart also met with Shell. Plaintiff stood outside and overheard portions of the conversation. Plaintiff heard Shell state that Plaintiff "lies, " "can't do the work, " and "slipped under the radar all these years." (Pl.'s Stmts ¶ 8.h.)
Plaintiff alleges that from that point forward Shell retaliated against her for complaining about McCorkle and Fitzgerald. Plaintiff points to three manifestations of retaliation.
First, Plaintiff alleges she received undeservingly low performance reviews. While employed, Plaintiff received annual reviews composed of a written assessment and a numerical rating on a scale of 1 through 5, with 1 being the highest. The reviews were determined after a series of meetings held between Lockheed's functional managers, Senior Manager Hanh Schnell, and the Director of Systems Engineering. (Shell Tr. 43) In 2009, the year in which Plaintiff complained that she was the object of age ...