The opinion of the court was delivered by: JOHN NORDBERG, Senior District Judge
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Plaintiff Marla Wallin worked as a pharmacy technician for
Kindred Hospital*fn1 for almost eight years until she was
fired on January 18, 1999 by the Hospital's CEO because she
allegedly talked candidly and openly with coworkers about an
affair that she had been having with a doctor working at the
Hospital. Wallin believes that this reason was pretextual and
that the real reason was sex discrimination given that the
Hospital did not also fire the male doctor. Plaintiff also
believes that she was the victim of religious, national origin,
racial, and retaliatory discrimination engaged in by her
immediate supervisor, an Asian male, who allegedly treated her
more harshly than coworkers on several occasions and who
allegedly tainted her reputation in the Hospital, which in turn supposedly induced the CEO to fire her. For the
reasons set forth, we grant the Hospital's motion for summary
judgment on all counts.
Marla Wallin was hired as a pharmacy technician in April 1991.
Her job involved filling patient medication orders, compounding
IV solutions, delivering medications to patients' rooms, and
overseeing purchasing of drugs and supplies from the Hospital's
warehouse. Until December 1996, she had a professional and
satisfactory working relationship with four different
supervisors. Things began to change in December 1996, when she
began reporting to Ted Tse, who is an Asian male. It is
undisputed that Tse and Wallin did not get along well during the
time they worked together. There is a dispute, however, as to the
reason for the conflict and whether it ultimately had any
influence on the Hospital's later decision to fire her.
Although she did not believe so at the time of the events in
question, Wallin now believes that Tse was discriminating against
her. She also believes that his discriminatory bias tainted her
reputation in the Hospital. Set forth below are the various
incidents and comments that allegedly evidence Tse's
discriminatory bias and conduct.
Wallin claims that Tse made two comments suggesting that he was
trying to discriminate against her based on her sex. She
described them in her deposition:
[W]hen he first met me he was like, you know, oh,
pretty woman, very pretty woman, and you know, that
was okay. But later on he had made a comment 
either during my performance evaluation or at a time
when he brought me in to just discuss a situation
with him, that his expectation of me was to be like
his little sister. And I said I don't want to be your
little sister, I'm your employee, you know, what do
you mean by your little sister. I mean I felt that it
was a little downgrading of me, you know.
(Dep. 127.) Although Wallin did not appreciate the comments, she
did not view them as sexual harassment at the time they were
made. It was only later after she was fired that she concluded
the comments were sexual harassment when someone (presumably her
lawyer) "said, you know what, that's sexual harassment if someone
tells you things like that." (Dep. 172.)
Tse Gives Wallin Three ECRs
On three occasions, Tse met with Wallin and gave her an
Employee Conference Record ("ECR"), which is a document used to
memorialize a counseling session held by a supervisor relating to
concerns about an employee's job performance. Prior to this time,
Wallin had never been given an ECR.
First, in January 1997, Tse gave Wallin an ECR for failing to
file complete reports of medication inventory. Wallin thought
this was unfair and explained to Tse at the time that her report
was incomplete because she did not have a key to the narcotics
vault. At the time, Wallin did not believe that Tse's criticism
was motivated by any discriminatory animus but instead thought he
was confused as to "how we actually had done inventory." (Dep.
Second, also in January 1997, Tse gave Wallin an ECR for
clocking in before her shift started. She was again upset.
Although she did not believe that the ECR contained any factual
misstatements or that Tse was harassing her, she thought it was
unfair that she was written up when a Hispanic male co-worker
(Tony Zarzoza) allegedly had done the same thing and was not
disciplined to Wallin's knowledge. She complained that "Tony was
getting special privileges that I wasn't." (Dep. 53.)
Third, in August 1997, Wallin received a third ECR from Tse
after he learned that Wallin modified a work schedule of a
co-worker (the same male Hispanic identified above with whom plaintiff had a good working relationship) to keep him from
getting overtime while she was on vacation. She changed his
schedule because she thought it was unfair that he could get
overtime while she was on vacation when she had been unable to
get overtime while he was on vacation.
The 1997 and 1998 Performance Evaluations
On two occasions, Tse gave Wallin performance evaluations that
contained two negative marks, which she thought were undeserved.
In April 1997, Tse met with Wallin to discuss her performance
evaluation for that year. Although Tse gave Wallin a favorable
evaluation and an annual salary increase, she was unhappy because
he also gave her (for the first time in her career at the
Hospital) two "below standard" marks. Neither mark affected
Wallin's overall favorable performance rating. One mark related
to her ability to review purchasing contracts and the other
related to her ability to get along with co-workers. Wallin
complained to Tse, telling him that she had never received any
training in reviewing purchasing contracts. Tse agreed with her
on this point and revised the mark to "not applicable."
Wallin asked Tse why he thought she did not work effectively
with her co-workers. Tse explained that Wallin's co-worker, Alice
Lai (who is of Asian descent), told him that she, along with
other co-workers, found it difficult to work with her. Wallin
admitted that she had communication problems with Lai in the
past, but was surprised to hear that Lai would say something like
that to Tse.
Towards the end of this April 1997 meeting, Tse gave Wallin
three or four biblical scriptures to read. Tse claims that he
thought the scriptures would be helpful to Wallin because she had
told him in the past that she found religion to be comforting.
Wallin disputes that she ever told Tse this and says that she was very offended by Tse's
actions.*fn2 A few days later, she ...