United States District Court, D. Utah, Central Division
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER
M. WARNER CHIEF UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
parties in this case have consented to Chief Magistrate Judge
Paul M. Warner conducting all proceedings, including entry of
final judgment, with appeal to the United States Court of
Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. See 28 U.S.C. §
636(c); Fed.R.Civ.P. 73. Before the court is Defendant Teva
Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc.'s (“Teva”) motion
for summary judgment.
Aaron Jason Woolley (“Woolley”) filed his
complaint in this case on April 24, 2017, alleging violations
of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 for retaliation,
religious discrimination, racial discrimination, national
origin discrimination, and breach of contract.Teva and the other
named Defendant in this case, Anesta, LLC, filed their answer
to Woolley's complaint on June 16, 2017. On November 14,
2017, in response to a stipulated motion for dismissal,
Defendant Anesta, LLC was dismissed from the case,
leaving Teva as the only remaining named Defendant.
17, 2018, Teva filed the motion for summary judgment
currently before the court. After briefing on that motion was
complete, the court held oral argument. At the hearing,
Woolley was represented by Matthew R. Howell. Teva was
represented by Larry J. Rappaport. After hearing the
arguments of counsel, the court took the motion under
response to Teva's motion for summary judgment, Woolley
has indicated that he is not pursuing further his claims for
religious, racial, or national origin discrimination.
Accordingly, the only claims the court must address here are
Woolley's remaining claims for retaliation and breach of
late-January or in early-February 2014, Woolley interviewed
for a position at Teva's facility in Salt Lake City,
Utah, with several individuals, including Habib Nasirullah
(“Nasirullah”), to whom Woolley would eventually
offered Woolley the position on February 12, 2014, and his
first day of work with Teva was March 3, 2014.
his position, Woolley had multiple responsibilities related
to the manufacturing and packaging operations for the
production of commercial products and clinical supplies
produced by Teva's facility in Salt Lake City.
or around February 2015, Teva interviewed three employees for
a vacant supervisor position.
Woolley and three other Teva employees (“Hiring
Panel”) participated in the selection process for the
Hiring Panel's preferred candidate for the position was
Shauntel Harrison (“Harrison”), a female
After the Hiring Panel completed its interviews, Nasirullah
became involved and interviewed the three candidates himself.
He then decided that another candidate, Steve Tanner
(“Tanner”), a male employee, was a better fit for
Castillo (“Castillo”), who was part of Teva's
human resources department, testified that Tanner's
strong technical skills were known at the facility and that
Tanner was the go-to person with regard to equipment.
Woolley shared with Nasirullah that the Hiring Panel
preferred Harrison given her positive performance reviews and
Despite the Hiring Panel's preference, Nasirullah
approached Tanner on the production floor and verbally
offered him the vacant supervisor position.
Nasirullah's verbal offer to Tanner was unexpected, and
not the usual way in which Teva offers positions. Alpa Parker
(“Parker”), who was a member of Teva's human
resources department, testified that corporate sign-offs on
offers of employment and/or promotions are usually required
and that corporate had not signed off on an offer to Tanner.
April 24, 2015, shortly after Nasirullah verbally offered
Tanner the position of Packaging Supervisor, Woolley filed a
complaint with Teva's Office of Business Intergity
(“OBI”), coded “Misconduct or Inappropriate
Behavior” (“April 2015 Complaint”). The
April 2015 Complaint alleged that Nasirullah disregarded
Teva's policies and processes with respect to filling the
vacant supervisor position and that Nasirullah did not
“care for feedback from [Woolley]” with respect
to restructuring the department.
April 2015 Complaint specifically alleged:
On April 17, [Nasirullah] informed . . . Harrison, packaging
support specialist, that she wouldn't get the job as a
supervisor. [Nasirullah] informed . . . Tanner, line leader,
that he had gotten the job as a supervisor. [Nasirullah] did
not offer [Tanner] a formal job offer. [Nasirullah] provided
employment promises to [Tanner]. [Nasirullah] was not
following the company policies in regards to employment
[Nasirullah] informed [Woolley] that [Tanner] had the
mechanical capability to fill the position of supervisor.
[Nasirullah] also told [Woolley] that [Harrison] was a nice
woman, but she did not have the mechanical capability.
[Nasirullah] insinuated that [Harrison] did not have the
mechanical aptitude to fill the role.
14. The April 2015 Complaint made additional allegations
On April 15, [Woolley] had a meeting with [Nasirullah].
[Nasirullah] presented a restructuring of the department.
[Nasirullah] was not interested in hearing [Woolley]'s
feedback or contributions that [Woolley] could have
potentially made to the restructure. [Nasirullah] made it
clear that he wanted his plan followed, and that he did not
care for feedback from [Woolley].
This is only a recent example of a series of events that show
[Nasirullah] does not respect the policies process. [Woolley]
states that [Nasirullah] is not following Teva's company
values of collaboration, respect, and leadership. The value
of respect defines that verbal acts that create a hostile
work environment are not to be tolerated. [Woolley] believes
that [Nasirullah] has created hostility and intimidation;
therefore violating one of Teva's company values. Again,
this only of [sic] many examples of the company values that
[Nasirullah] is violating. [Woolley] states that
[Nasirullah]'s actions are putting many employees into a
position that compromises their personal values and
Teva's values. [Nasirullah] is mandating that employees
not follow the company values.
April 2015 Complaint does not state that he believed
Nasirullah promoted Tanner over Harrison because of
Woolley claims that the April 2015 Complaint was made by way
of a phone call in which he indicated that Harrison was being
denied a promotion because of her gender. Woolley also claims
that he made later statements indicating that Nasirullah
discriminated against Harrison because of her gender.
Woolley claims that because the April 2015 Complaint was
drafted by someone else, he is not responsible for the
failure to include in the complaint his allegations about
gender discrimination by Nasirullah.
None of Woolley's complaints about gender-based
discrimination are included the April 2015 Complaint.
April 28, 2015, Harrison filed her own OBI complaint against
Nasirullah alleging that Nasirullah had not “treated
her fairly in the selection process” and that she felt
his decision “was favoritism because he wanted . . .
Tanner - Packaging Line Lead in the
Harrison's OBI complaint likewise does not state that she
felt discriminated against or harassed by Nasirullah, or
anyone at Teva, based on her gender.
Parker testified that she spoke with Harrison regarding
Harrison's OBI complaint and that Harrison “said
something about Tanner being more technical. I remember her
saying that she thought [Nasirullah] didn't know anything
about her, what she does or anything like
conducted formal investigations into both Woolley's and
Harrison's complaints against Nasirullah. Leander Jones
(“Jones”), who was part of Teva's human
resources department in Virginia, led those investigations
and prepared two detailed reports that memorialized his
part of the investigation into the April 2015 Complaint filed
by Woolley, Jones interviewed several Teva employees,
including Nasirullah, Woolley, Patricia Kitchen
(“Kitchen”), and Joel Childs
Jones' OBI report indicates that Nasirullah preferred
Tanner over Harrison because Tanner provided better answers
to Nasirullah's interview questions, and because Tanner
had more experience.
Nasirullah told Jones that “[Tanner] had the technical
ability and knowledge to move the plant forward”;
“[Harrison] on the other hand, did not have the
technical ability for the role”; and Tanner had twelve
years of experience.
Childs, who was on the Hiring Panel, reported to Jones that
“at the end of the process [Childs] felt . . . Tanner
had exhibited that he had the expertise and skill to fill the
role”; that Harrison “did a good job in the
interview, but [Childs] felt her strengths were more on the
documentation side of the role”; and that Harrison
“didn't appear to have the technical level of
expertise that [Tanner] had.”
Kitchen, who was hired by Nasirullah, likewise told Jones
that, although she did not participate in the interview
conveyed to [Nasirullah] that when she has gone to the floor
it's obvious to her that [Tanner] is well versed in the
equipment and the processes associated with Packaging. Says
she has seen [Harrison] involved in more of the batch records
and other data management side of the process. Says
[Harrison] does a very good job with this, but says
[Harrison] does not seem to be involved that much in a lot of
the technical troubleshooting and fixes in the area. Said
[Tanner] is clearly more technically proficient on the
equipment and process. Said she told [Nasirullah] that
[Tanner] would be the best fit for the position and not
Neither of Jones' two comprehensive reports makes any
mention of gender discrimination, gender stereotyping, or
Woolley claims that Jones' notes from his interview with
Woolley show that Woolley's complaint included
allegations of gender discrimination by Nasirullah.
Jones did, however, partially substantiate some of the claims
Woolley made against Nasirullah, including that Nasirullah
did not follow the Hiring Panel's recommendation for the
vacant supervisor position; that Nasirullah did not take
Woolley's opinion into account when deciding whether and
how to restructure the department; that Nasirullah did not
follow proper procedures when he verbally offered the
position to Tanner; and that Nasirullah did not follow
company values of collaboration, respect, and leadership with
respect to Nasirullah's issue of micro-managing his
Jones' report noted that Woolley and Nasirullah's
“relationship is not working well and has deteriorated
to the extent that neither party seems willing to work
through their difference[s], ” but that there
“was no evidence to support that [Nasirullah]
deliberately worked against the company
Jones also investigated Harrison's complaint that
“Nasirullah had not treated her fairly in the selection
process” and that Nasirullah “did not listen to
what she was sharing with him and did not take her background
and experience into consideration when making a hiring
part of his investigation into Harrison's complaint,
Jones interviewed Nasirullah, Woolley, Castillo, and Parker.
None of the individuals interviewed, including Harrison, told
Jones that they felt as though Nasirullah's decision to
promote Tanner over Harrison was because of Harrison's
Woolley claims that is contradicted by Jones' own notes.
Tanner ultimately declined the position sometime after
Woolley told Tanner that Woolley had rated other candidates
higher than him and had a “very candid conversation
about what [Tanner] ...