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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:Essie Turner is an African-American female. Richardson Hospital Authority (RHA) is a governmental subunit of the state of Texas and operates a general hospital in Richardson. The Richardson Medical Center Foundation (the foundation) is a nonprofit Texas corporation that coordinates fundraising activities for RHA and publicizes the availability of the RHA’s services to the community. The foundation’s board of directors and officers are not affiliated with RHA and are members of the community who voluntarily serve without pay. RHA hired Turner as a secretary in June 1999. RHA officially employed Turner, but her secretarial services benefited the foundation. Turner’s primary responsibility: preparing weekly reports on fundraising activity, which were distributed to several foundation officers. Initially, Ed Foulk supervised Turner. Management terminated Foulk in June 2001, leaving Turner as the only RHA employee who performed services for the foundation. From June 2001 to June 2002, RHA’s chief executive officer Ronald L. Boring nominally supervised Turner. Turner received generally positive work reviews during this period, and she received a merit-based raise and bonus. Boring, however, testified that some foundation board members complained about the timeliness and accuracy of her work. Further, during this time someone warned Turner about the need to improve her organizational skills, cease excessive personal phone use and learn to use Microsoft’s Excel spreadsheet software. In January 2002, RHA hired Mary Colston, a white female, to fill the position of foundation director and serve as Turner’s direct supervisor. Within several weeks, Colston and Turner’s working relationship deteriorated. According to RHA and the foundation, they ultimately dismissed Turner, because Turner: repeatedly failed to complete her work in an accurate and timely manner; was chronically tardy and otherwise failed to maintain her prescribed work schedule; engaged in excessive personal telephone and e-mail use during business hours; and was insubordinate to Colston. Turner denied RHA and the foundation account of her work performance. Instead, Turner contended that the difficulties and her eventual discharge resulted from racial discrimination. Turner alleges that Colston made a series of racially insensitive or derogatory remarks to her during the course of her employment. Specifically, Colston allegedly discussed volunteer work she had done with inner-city children, repeatedly referring to them as “ghetto children.” When Turner told Colston that she did not want to hear these stories, Colston stopped mentioning them. Later, when Turner mentioned to Colston that she was considering taking college classes, Colston allegedly told Turner that she had previously worked at a university where African-American students attended evening classes because they could not qualify for regular admission. Turner also felt that Colston exhibited surprise or disdain when she learned that Turner shopped at an upscale shopping mall, drove a Volvo and had a son who bought and sold cars as a hobby. Turner concedes that at no time during her employment did she complain to Boring or other RHA employees about racial discrimination or harassment. In March 2002, Colston notified Boring and RHA’s human resources representative, Connie Wright, of her dissatisfaction with Turner’s workplace behavior and performance. Shortly thereafter, Turner e-mailed Boring and Wright to complain about Colston’s treatment of her during a dispute over a project but did not mention race. After a meeting was held between Colston, Wright and Turner, RHA placed Turner on administrative suspension. Five days later, RHA terminated Turner. Jenna Holtz, a Caucasian female from a personnel-staffing agency, filled her position. Turner later filed a charge of racial discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The EEOC issued Turner a right-to-sue notice. Turner then filed suit against RHA and the foundation in district court, alleging racially discriminatory discharge, creation of a hostile work environment and retaliation in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1991 and 42 U.S.C. �1981. RHA and the foundation moved for summary judgment on all claims. Eventually, the district court dismissed all claims against the foundation as a matter of law and granted summary judgment in favor of RHA on the remaining claims against it. Turner appealed. HOLDING:Affirmed. First, the court stated, Turner argued that the district court erred in finding that Turner was not an employee of the foundation under either an integrated-enterprise or joint-employer theory of enterprise liability. In making her integrated-enterprise argument, the court stated, Turner implied that RHA and the foundation shared common control over her employment. But the court stated that the record indicated the opposite is true. The court then gave several examples, such as the fact that RHA both hired and fired Turner. Moreover, the court stated, Turner presented no evidence of centralized control of labor relations. Weighing Turner’s joint-employer theory, the court deemed it waived, because Turner did not raise the joint-employer theory of liability until her motion for new trial. The court therefore found that Turner failed to show that she was an employee of the foundation. Accordingly, the court held that the district court did not err in dismissing Turner’s claims against the foundation as a matter of law. Turner, the court stated, also appealed the district court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of RHA on her racially discriminatory discharge, creation of a hostile work environment, and retaliation claims against RHA. RHA, the court stated, concedes that Turner has established a prima facie case of discrimination. But RHA, the court stated, articulated a host of legitimate nondiscriminatory reasons for her termination related to the quality and timeliness of her work, insubordination, chronic tardiness, and excessive personal telephone and e-mail use during business hours. The court found that Turner failed to show these legitimate nondiscriminatory reasons were pretextual. Turner also argued that she can prove that she suffered unlawful employment discrimination under a “mixed-motive” theory. But the court held that Turner waived any error by not properly raising her mixed-motive argument until her motion to the district court for a new trial. Turner, the court stated, claimed that Colston’s “ghetto children” comments, university night school comment, and comments related to Turner’s shopping habits, car and son’s hobby created a hostile work environment. The “ghetto children” comments, while perhaps racially inappropriate, ceased upon Turner’s request, the court stated. Colston’s other comments were isolated incidents, the court stated. The court found that Colston’s comments paled in comparison to those found in cases cited by Turner in support of her case. Those cases turned on the use of racial epithets and racist slurs. Therefore, the court found that because Turner did not introduce evidence sufficient for a reasonable jury to find that a hostile work environment existed, the district court was correct in granting summary judgment in favor of RHA on the hostile-work environment claim. The court also rejected Turner’s retaliation claim, finding that she could not have reasonably believed that Colston’s conduct, described in an e-mail that Turner sent, constituted an unlawful employment practice under Title VII. In the e-mail at issue, Turner complained to Boring about Colston’s treatment of her during a dispute over a project but did not mention race. Thus, this incident did not give rise to protected activity. Accordingly, the court found that Turner failed to make a prima facie showing of unlawful retaliation. Therefore, the court affirmed the district court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of RHA on Turner’s retaliation claim. OPINION:Garza, J; Jones, C.J., and Davis and Garza, J.J.

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