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Union Pacific Case Summary

The Complainant began her employment as an Associate Systems Consultant (Assoc. Sys. Consult. ) on July 25, 2011. She was a member of the Information Technology (IT) Team, referred to as Application Development-Operations. Jason Hochwender, Director, Information Technology , oversees the Application Development area. The Assoc. Sys. Consult. position is associated with a specific career path designed for individuals who contribute within a team environment.

The duties of an Assoc. Sys. Consult. include, but are not limited to the following: 1. taking current practices and procedures and improve upon them with innovative ideas. Understand and integrate systems development/maintenance efforts in a multi-systems environment 2. Share responsibilty with peers for accurate definition of customers requirements and customer satisfaction 3. Technical knowledge of systems and technical architecture in order to provide integration in a mulit-systems environment 4. Requires basic working knowledge of multiple UP business processes, allowing the incumbent to act as the primary communications link between IT and its customers

Hochwender explained that the Complainant would collect information from customers. The Complianant meets with customers to determine their business needs. She gets very specific, detailed information from the customers. She then hands off the information to co-workers to develop the software systems to meet the customers’ end needs. The co-workers on the project then take each of the required steps the customer is seeking and develops the computer IT systems to allow the project to execute. Hochwender explained that he introduced two team leads roles.

The Team Lead would support several critical projects for his area of responsibility. Hochwender explained that individuals placed in Team Lead roles do not receive additional compensation. The Team Lead is a development role. The Team Lead has the opportunity to oversee projects or to solicit projects for the employee’s in the IT department. The Team Leads have individuals assigned to them. The Team Leads monitor the projects and therefore the employees assigned to the project. The Team Leads are the liaison between Hochwender and the employees.

Hochwender noted that the Team Leads might over see more experienced and higher-ranking staff. The Team Lead role is a coordinating and leading role. The Team Lead also supplies input into the employees performance review, and the Team Lead meets with the employee to discuss their performance. Hochwender receives briefings from the Team Lead on the performance review, prior to the meeting with the employee, about their performance. Hochwender met with the Complainant in November 2014. Hochwender asked her to take the lead on a projected referred to as the Transportation Manager Portal Project.

This would place her in a Team Lead role with a small group of four people reporting to her on the project. Hochwender indicated the Complainant wanted to continue with all the projects she was working on and concurrently accept the Team Lead role. Hochwender did not believe that she could manage the increase in workload and maintain the other projects, which he explained to her. The Complainant chose to decline the team lead role. Hochwender, after the Complainant rejected the role, offered the Team Lead role to Matthew Allen who accepted.

Hochwender told the Complainant that Allen accepted the position. She became angry and she announced she quit. Hochwender was able to persaude her to rescind the resignation in November 2014. However, the Complainant would complain to Hochwender about Allen’s inexperience in the field after she rejected the role. Hochwender reminded her that she had chosen to reject the Team Lead role. Hochwender said that the Complainant did not respect Allen and often made disparaging remarks about him, this included references to his physique, as he was a “large man” according to Hochwender. Performance Review Process

The Complainant alleges that it was inappropriate for Allen to conduct her evaluation. Union Pacific has designed its Performance Management process to ensure employees have a clear understanding of what is expected of them, how their work links to Union Pacific’s business goals, and how the employee will be measured. Union Pacific refers to its Performance Management system as the Total Performance Tracker (TPT). An employee’s supervisor/team lead prepares the annual and mid-year TPT. Union Pacific assigns ratings at the year ending TPT. The mid-year TPT is analgous to a mid-cycle progress report.

The annual TPT examines performance during the preceding 12-month period. The annual TPT is a composite of the employees’ performance over the preceding 12 months. The TPT captures successes and challenges experienced during the evaluation cycle. The employees’ supervisor meets with them to discuss their performance. Delegating input to supervisors/teams is consistent with Union Pacific’s policies. Complainants’ TPT Hochwender affirmed that the Allen supplied information on his team, that was assigned the Transportation Manager Portal, for the mid-year TPT.

Allen, as instructed, prepared his Team’s TPT, which included the Complainant. He submitted the Teams’ TPT to Hochwender for his input. Both Hochwender and Allen said that they “had no issues” with the Complainant’s performance. Allen’s comments on the Complainants’ TPT were positive. (See Exhibit 4, page 9, Mid-Year Review Allen’s Comment) Allen tried to schedule a TPT meeting the Complainant. She refused to meet. Hochwender met with the Complainant on July 31, 2015 to discuss her performance. As noted in this position statement, Hochwender was aware, the Complainant made comments about Allen through out the year.

He was also aware she refused to meet with Allen to discuss her TPT. Hochwender said he did not believe the Complainant respected Allen because he was inexperienced. He encouraged her to colaborate with him, and be respectful despite his junior status. Hochwender denied raising his voice or being disrespectful. She became angry, wrote on a piece of paper “I quit”, and threw it at Hochwender. He asked her to reconsider. She did not, and she quit her job with Union Pacific. Allen performed mid-year TPT’s with other members of his work team.

The Complainant in her charge affidavit filed with the EEOC, Item 2, identifies three male co-workers under Allen that also had their TPT’s completed by him; Deepak Pawar , Assoc Sys Engr, Perry l. Mostek , Assoc Sys Engr, and Joshua M. Rupiper , Assoc Sys Engr. The co-workers in her work team were all younger and male. Complainants Terms and Conditions Allegation Hochwender had placed Ashley Banaszek in a role of Team Lead, too. Allen and Banasek confirmed that in their Team Lead role they would meet with the employees, serve as a liaison and provide assistance with customer service for members of their team.

Banaszek and Allen confirmed they were heavily involved with creating the performance review. Upon completing the TPT it was submitted to Hochwender. This was prior to meeting with the employee. Complainant alleged she did not have manyt meetings with Hoschwender. Banaszek confirmed that the employees on the projects team would not have regular meetings with Hochwender. Instead, the meetings would be with the Team Leads. Banaszek reported that she conducted the mid-year TPT’s for her team as well. Her team consisted of the following people, many whom she acknowledged, held higher-level positions than she did: Thomas Bolster , Sr.

Proj Consult, Meagan McReae-Hastings , Assoc Sys Consult, Brian Salmon , Sys Consult, Jeanne Petty , Sr Proj Consult, Gerald Burke , Sr. Proj Consult, Ryan Horn , Sr. Proj Consult, and Amy Dugdeon , Sr. Proj Consult. Her team reported to her and she conducted their TPT’s just as Allen did with his team. Co-workers reported that Complainant had been vocal about her disapprove of Allen. Allen reported one exchanged with the Complainant. It was a loud and confrontive in the open cubicle environment. Allen inadvertently misaddressed an email. The Complainant saw the email and loudly denounced Allen’s mistake.

She belittled him in a public area. Allen admitted he made a mistake. Another Team Leader could not make out the specific words in this conversation but could hear the Complainant in a very loud and angry voice addressing Allen. One co-worker spoke of another comment made by the Complainant behind Allen’s back. The Complainant told the co-worker (Allen) hadn’t earned her respect enough to conduct her evaluation”. Complainant alleges to butress her allegation of difference treatment she argues that she did not have as many meetings with Hochwender as before Hochwender assigned Team Leads.

The evidence showed that Complainant met with Hochwender on 35 occasions in 2014 (July to December 2014) and it dropped to 11 meetings in 2015. Allen did have more meetings than the Complainant during the first six months of 2015; he met with Hochwender on approximately 105 occasions. Union Pacific reviewed Hochwender’s calendar and the other team members under Allen. The review of Calendar showed that Pawar, Mostek and Rupiper weren’t even listed on the calendar. The Complainant’s TPT, its preparation, and adminstration are not unusual in any aspect. Union Pacific followed its standard procedures, and notable Complainant’s TPT was positive.

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