Not what you're
looking for? Try an advanced search.
Buy This Entire Record For
Murgida v. Ohio Department of Transportation
United States District Court, N.D. Ohio, Eastern Division
June 19, 2018
CHRISTINE C. MURGIDA, Plaintiff,
OHIO DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, DISTRICT NO. 11, et al., Defendants.
MEMORANDUM OF OPINION AND ORDER
Y. PEARSON JUDGE
is Defendant Ohio Department of Transportation's
(“ODOT”) Motion for Summary Judgment (ECF No.
28). The Court has been advised, having reviewed the
record, the parties' briefs, and the applicable law. The
Court has also considered the oral arguments of counsel
offered during the Final Pretrial Conference held on April
11, 2018. For the reasons set forth below, the motion is
Stipulated Facts and Background
stipulated facts are as follows:
1. Plaintiff Christine C. Murgida is a female over the age of
18 and a resident of North Canton, Ohio. ODOT is an
administrative department of the State of Ohio created by
Ohio Rev. Code § 121.01, et seq.District 11 is
a division of ODOT located at 2201 Reiser Ave., New
Philadelphia, Ohio 44663. Plaintiff is assigned to and works
out of District 11.
2. Plaintiff began working for ODOT as an Engineer in
Training in 1985. She later became a Transportation Engineer,
Transportation Engineer 2 (“TE2”) (1989-2000),
and Transportation Engineer 3 (“TE3”)
(2000-2010). In these roles, she worked out of District 4 and
was responsible for overseeing construction projects that
grew in cost and complication as her rank progressed. As a
TE3, Plaintiff supervised up to 10 subordinates, which
included TE2s and Project Inspector 2s. Plaintiff is
currently employed by ODOT as a TE3.
3. In 2010, Plaintiff applied for the District Construction
Engineer (“DCE”) position at District 11. Richard
Bible, then District Deputy Director (“DDD”) for
District 11, awarded Plaintiff the position, which she
assumed in June 2010. This position was classified as a
Transportation Engineer 5 (“TE5”). Plaintiff had
not worked in District 11 prior to being hired as DCE. During
her tenure as DCE, Plaintiff had between 10 and 50 direct
4. In January 2011, Lloyd MacAdam became DDD for District 11.
At the time of MacAdam's appointment as DDD, Plaintiff
was serving as DCE.
5. In March 2012, ODOT Director Jerry Wray decided to
eliminate the DCE position and create the District
Construction Administrator (“DCA”) position. The
change was implemented across all 12 ODOT districts. MacAdam
selected Nick Susich to serve as DCA for District 11.
6. Before MacAdam offered the DCA position to Susich, MacAdam
related his intentions to Plaintiff. She recalls him sending
out an email in which he stated that Susich had the respect
of both ODOT employees and the construction industry.
7. After the DCE position was eliminated, Plaintiff remained
a TE5 for some time, but received new duties. First, Murgida
was assigned to be an area engineer. Plaintiff was ultimately
assigned to be Local Public Agency (“LPA”)
Project Coordinator for the District 11 LPA Program, the
position she holds to this day. As LPA Coordinator, Murgida
oversees projects that are managed by local entities with
federal funds and therefore require ODOT monitoring and
8. In July 2015, Plaintiff was notified by the Ohio
Department of Administrative Services (“DAS”)
that she would be subject to a job audit. A job audit is a
process by which someone's job is evaluated to determine
whether or not they are appropriately classified. Both
Plaintiff and her supervisor, Susich, filled out paperwork to
facilitate this process. Susich did not dispute the job
description Murgida submitted to DAS.
9. After conducting the job audit, DAS determined Plaintiff
was misclassified as a TE5, and her proper classification was
TE3. Ohio Rev. Code § 124.14 permits the
director of DAS to “reassign to a proper classification
those positions that have been assigned to an improper
classification, ” and dictates that, “[i]f the
compensation of an employee in a reassigned position exceeds
the maximum rate of pay for the employee's new
classification, the employee shall be placed in pay step X
and shall not receive an increase in compensation until the
maximum rate of pay for that classification exceeds the
employee's compensation.” As a result of the job
audit, and in accordance with § 124.14,
Plaintiff was re-classified as a TE3 and placed in step X.
10. DAS is a separate entity from ODOT and ODOT Director Wray
is not the director of DAS.
11. On January 14, 2016, Plaintiff sent ODOT Director Wray an
email with the subject, “Confidential Interview
Request.” ECF No. 29-1 is a true an accurate
copy of the email message.
12. After she was not selected as DCA, Plaintiff looked for
and made inquiries into other positions at ODOT. In 2012,
Murgida was interested in the DCA position in District 12,
but was not able to apply because only current district
employees were invited to apply. In 2013, Plaintiff met with
Jim Riley, Deputy Director Division of Innovative Delivery,
regarding P3 projects, but “it lead nowhere.”
Deposition of Plaintiff (ECF No. 18) at PageID #:
284. She also applied for a position related to the
Portsmouth bypass project in 2013. Plaintiff was invited to
interview for this position, but did not receive an offer.
ECF No. 29-2 contains true and accurate copies of
documents confirming the aforementioned dates Plaintiff
sought the positions mentioned. Murgida also applied for the
central office Deputy Director of Construction position in
2014, but was not successful.
13. Plaintiff is aware of ODOT's sexual harassment and
anti-retaliation policies, which were in place as far back as
2011. She received training on such policies throughout the
course of her employment with ODOT.
14. Plaintiff did not report the alleged instances of sexual
harassment described in paragraphs 12 through 22 of the
Complaint (ECF No. 1) to ODOT's office of equal
employment opportunity. She did, however, file four charges
15. Attached to the Complaint (ECF No. 1) are two
Dismissal and Notice of Rights letters relating to EEOC
Charge Nos. 22A-2016-02099C (ECF No. 1-5) and
22A-2016-02260C (ECF No. 1-6). Also attached to the
Complaint (ECF No. 1) are EEOC Charge Nos.
532-2016-01679 (ECF No. 1-3) and 532-2016-01867
(ECF No. 1-4).
16. In Ohio Civil Rights Commission (“OCRC”)
Charge No. AKR73(38394)06162016 (EEOC Charge No.
22A-2016-02099C), filed on June 16, 2016, Plaintiff alleges
sex discrimination specifying demotion, harassment/sexual
harassment, and “wage ceiling imposed” as the
types of discrimination. Her supporting statement reads, in
full, as follows: “I am a female engineer who has been
targeted, demoted from a classified Transportation Engineer 5
position to a Transportation Engineer 3, and placed under a
wage/‘glass' ceiling.” Plaintiff lists the
date of the discrimination as January 6, 2016. ECF No.
29-3 is a true and accurate copy of OCRC Charge No.
AKR73(38394)06162016 (EEOC Charge No. 22A-2016-02099C).
17. In OCRC Charge No. AKR73(38427)07082016 (EEOC Charge No.
22A-2016-02260C), filed on July 8, 2016, Plaintiff alleges
sex discrimination specifying “2.5% pay schedule
increase denied” as the type of discrimination. Her
supporting statement reads, in full, as follows: “I am
a female engineer that has been targeted and denied a pay
schedule increase.” Plaintiff lists the date of the
discrimination as July 1, 2016. ECF No. 29-4 is a
true and accurate copy of OCRC Charge No.
AKR73(38427)07082016 (EEOC Charge No. 22A-2016-02260C).
18. A cost of living increase was granted to eligible
employees at ODOT in 2016 and 2017.
19. Plaintiff is an exempt employee.
DDD had the discretion to appoint or interview any candidate
for the DCA position. MacAdam first offered the DCA position
to Susan Goodie, the District Office Engineer for
Construction, but she declined. MacAdam ...
Buy This Entire Record For