United States District Court, E.D. Virginia, Alexandria Division
TERRI M. PRETTYMAN, Plaintiff,
LTF CLUB OPERATIONS CO., INC., Defendant.
ELTIS III UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Title VII and ADEA action, plaintiff, a former group fitness
manager at defendant's Fairfax, VA fitness club, alleges
(i) that her immediate supervisor, Devin Nickerson
(“Nickerson”), discriminated against her on the
basis of her religion and age, (ii) that Nickerson created a
hostile work environment by making derogatory statements
about her age and religion, and (iii) that Jorge Hernandez
(“Hernandez”), the senior general manager at the
fitness club, retaliated against her for reporting
Nickerson's discriminatory comments. Defendant has
moved for summary judgment on all of plaintiff's claims.
Although plaintiff opposes the motions, she has not created
triable issues of fact as to her Title VII and ADEA disparate
treatment claims, her ADEA hostile work environment claim,
and her retaliation claim. Yet, plaintiff has produced
sufficient record evidence to create a triable issue of fact
as to her Title VII hostile work environment claim.
summary judgment motion complies with the federal and local
rules by setting forth its statement of undisputed material
fact in separately numbered paragraphs. Plaintiff also
complied with the rules by responding to each of
defendant's undisputed facts and by including her own
list of undisputed facts. From these pleadings, it appears
that although certain facts are disputed, the following facts
• Defendant operates a fitness/health club in Fairfax,
Virginia and employed plaintiff for almost nine years.
• Nickerson, plaintiff's immediate supervisor, has
been employed with defendant since 2003 and has been the
General Manager of defendant's Fairfax fitness club since
• Hernandez has been a Senior General Manager with
defendant since 2010.
• On December 19, 2007, plaintiff was hired by defendant
as a fitness group instructor.
• On October 30, 2013, Nickerson promoted plaintiff to
Group Fitness Department Head. At the time of plaintiff's
promotion, she was 54 years old.
• Plaintiff is Jewish.
• In March 2017, plaintiff was responsible for
organizing and hosting an event for customers at the fitness
center and, as part of the planning, plaintiff engaged in a
heated argument with Melanie Heidt, the manager of the
café at the fitness center.
• On March 9, 2017, Nickerson had a one-on-one meeting
with plaintiff and discussed her interactions with Ms. Heidt.
• On March 10, 2017, plaintiff contacted defendant's
employee relations specialist, Mark Savage, and reported that
Nickerson had made anti-Semitic and ageist remarks to
plaintiff over the course of her nine years in
• On March 13, 2017, plaintiff had an in-person meeting
with Hernandez to discuss what occurred at the March
• At the end of the March 13th meeting,
plaintiff handed Hernandez an envelope containing a letter
she had written. The letter states that at the March 9, 2017
meeting between plaintiff and Nickerson, plaintiff
“called [Nickerson] a liar, and gave him [her]
notice.” Def.'s Ex. I.
• On May 1, 2017, Nickerson hired Amelia Lotz Chung, a
41-year-old woman at the time of her hire, as the Studio
Manager to replace plaintiff.
the parties appear to agree on the above-recited facts, they
are contesting the following facts:
• Whether plaintiff resigned or was terminated.
• Defendant contends that during the March 9, 2017
meeting between plaintiff and Nickerson, plaintiff called
Nickerson a liar, resigned and offered Nickerson her two-week
• By contrast, plaintiff claims that during the March
9th meeting, Nickerson began to criticize her
sharply and she said, “I feel like you want me to quit.
I guess you just want me to give my two weeks' notice,
” and Nickerson then stated that he accepted her
resignation. Plaintiff contends that she never intended to
resign, and that Nickerson twisted her words to achieve his
desired result: i.e. plaintiff's termination.
• Whether Nickerson and other employees made
discriminatory remarks to plaintiff.
• Plaintiff claims that Nickerson made a host of ageist
comments throughout her tenure at defendant's fitness
center, including saying: (i) that she is “as old as
the hills, ” (ii) that plaintiff reminds Nickerson of
his “pain in the ass mother, ” and (iii) that
plaintiff should “become friends with and drink wine
with [Nickerson's] mother.” Plaintiff also claims
that Nickerson uttered anti-Semitic remarks, including: (i)
commenting on plaintiff's “Jewish money, ”
(ii) discussing plaintiff's “trust fund, ”
and asking where her “Jewish money” came from,
and (iii) commenting that plaintiff purchased her big house
with “Jewish money.” Plaintiff also claims that
Nickerson encouraged other employees to treat plaintiff
differently because of her Jewish faith and that Erin
Jacobsen, the operations department head at the Fairfax
fitness center, called plaintiff a “JAP” (Jewish
• Defendant disputes that any anti-Semitic or ageist
comments were made by any of its employees, including
the factual record on summary judgment, it is necessary to
determine whether summary judgment is appropriate as to any
of plaintiff's claims or whether triable issues of