Many discrimination cases lose on motions for summary judgment. In Gutierrez v. City of Converse, No. 17-CV-01233-JKP (W.D. Tex. Jan. 10, 2020), the Western District denied in part and granted in part the City of Converse’s Motion for Summary Judgment. Ms. Gutierrez worked for the Converse Fire Department for eight years when she was fired in 2017. Plaintiff Gutierrez was an EMT paramedic. She was accused of leaving the scene of a critically ill patient without leave to do so.The Acadian Ambulance crew was first to arrive and was the crew in charge.

Scene of Critically Ill patient

Ms. Gutierrez went to the scene of the patient and then came back out of the house. She met her partner in the garage and said they cannot get a stretcher in there and that they would leave. Her Captain said there was no Converse Fire Department policy regarding leaving the scene of a patient. But, the Chief of the department testified that there was a policy about leaving a work site and Plaintiff violated that policy. Gutierrez argued that her male partner was not disciplined for the same offense. he too left the scene with Gutierrez. But, the Chief said the male partner did not go inside the house. That amounts to sex discrimination, said the female EMT.

But, the male partner was not involved in the decision to leave the house of the ill patient, noted the Court. Judge Pulliam found Gutierrez could not show a male employee was treated better than Gutierrez. So, he granted summary judgment regarding Plaintiff’s sex discrimination claim.

Equal Pay Act

The Judge also granted summary judgment regarding Plaintiff’s disability discrimination claim and her claim for retaliation. Her retaliation claim failed, said the Court, because she complained about discrimination after she was already scheduled for discipline regarding leaving the scene of an ill patient.

The Court did allow Plaintiff’s claim under the Equal Pay Act to stand. The Court noted in just a few paragraphs that Gutierrez was hired about the same time as a male employee. The male employee started off being paid more than Plaintiff. As time progressed, that male employee consistently remained paid more than Plaintiff Gutierrez.

See the decision in Gutierrez v. City of Converse here.