A federal judge threw out a complaint by an Olney woman who sued the U.S. Postmaster General for race and gender discrimination after she was dismissed from her postal job in June 2005.
In a ruling handed up on Friday, U.S. District Judge Gene E.K. Pratter said that even though Michelle E. Brisker had established a prima facie case for race discrimination, there was insufficient evidence that the Post Office's stated reasons for discharging her were fabricated to cover up the alleged discrimination.
Pratter granted summary judgment for the Postmaster General and ordered the case closed.
Postal authorities said they canned Brisker, a black female who worked in the King of Prussia post office as a mail sorter and carrier, because she was taking too long to deliver her routes and also had a poor driving record while on the job.
At the time of her dismissal, Brisker was in a 90-day probationary status.
Brisker had alleged that racial animus was the real motivating factor in her dismissal.
She said in a court filing that her supervisor, Gerard Kudach, told her at the time of her dismissal that it would be in her best interest to deliver mail in "[her] own neighborhood with [her] own kind," a remark Brisker interpreted to be derogatory.
In court papers, Kudach denied having made the remark.
Although the reasons for Brisker's performance deficiencies were disputed, Pratter said in her 19-page ruling that it was "undisputed" that Brisker "frequently failed to complete her routes on time" and that Kudach had written her up for poor driving.
In one evaluation cited by Pratter, Kudach said Brisker had "pulled up on a customer's lawn instead of the driveway" to deliver a parcel.
Pratter said that Kudach's allegedly racist comment was the only evidence in the record that indicated racial animus and there was no evidence of animus towards women.
But the judge said that that comment was "counterbalanced" by the fact that another black female employee who worked under Kudach passed her probation and was hired as a permanent employee during the same time period Brisker worked there. *