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Moreaux v. Southwest Louisiana Credit Union

United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Lake Charles Division

March 13, 2017

ANNETTE MOREAUX
v.
SOUTHWEST LOUISIANA CREDIT UNION

          MAG. JUDGE KAY

          MEMORANDUM RULING

          JAMES T. TRIMBLE, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Before the court is "Southwest Louisiana Credit Union's Motion for Summary Judgment" (R. #13) wherein defendant moves to dismiss Plaintiff's claims with prejudice. Plaintiff, Annette Moreaux, opposes the motion.

         FACTUAL STATEMENT

         Plaintiff, Annette Moreaux, is a black female over the age of 40 who was employed with the Southwest Louisiana Credit Union ("Credit Union") from January 2005 until she was terminated in January 2013. Ms. Moreaux was hired and continued to be an at-will employee. During her employment with the Credit Union, Ms. Moreaux received and acknowledged receiving employee hand books stating that her employment was not for a specified length of time and that either the Credit Union or she could terminate the employment at any time.

         The Credit Union asserts that despite being given numerous warnings, Ms. Moreaux maintained a defiant and uncooperative attitude, and exhibited disruptive behavior while employed. Other employees complained that Ms. Moreaux's defiant behavior was disruptive and created a disharmonious atmosphere. In response to those complaints the Credit Union terminated Ms. Moreaux during October 2013.

         SUMMARY JUDGMENT STANDARD

         Summary judgment is appropriate "if the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, when viewed in the light most favorable to the non-moving party, indicate that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.[1] A fact is "material" if its existence or nonexistence "might affect the outcome of the suit under governing law."[2] A dispute about a material fact is "genuine" if the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the non-moving party.[3] As to issues which the non-moving party has the burden of proof at trial, the moving party may satisfy this burden by demonstrating the absence of evidence supporting the non-moving party's claim."[4] Once the movant makes this showing, the burden shifts to the non-moving party to set forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial.[5] The burden requires more than mere allegations or denials of the adverse party's pleadings. The non-moving party must demonstrate by way of affidavit or other admissible evidence that there are genuine issues of material fact or law.[6] There is no genuine issue of material fact if, viewing the evidence in the light more favorable to the non-moving party, no reasonable trier of fact could find for the non-moving party.[7] If the evidence is merely colorable, or is not significantly probative, summary judgment may be granted.[8]

         LAW AND ANALYSIS

         The Credit Union maintains that it terminated Ms. Moreaux's employment based on numerous warnings wherein Plaintiff was defiant, had an uncooperative attitude, and exhibited disruptive behavior while employed by the Credit Union. As summary judgment evidence, the Credit Union submits the affidavit of Ms. Angela Bellow, the Chief Operating Officer which explains the following events[9] which the Credit Union considered in terminating Ms. Moreaux's employment:

         October 20, 2009 incident- Ms. Moreaux disobeyed direct orders not to leave early from work to attend a continuing education seminar, and also changed her hotel reservations without seeking the appropriate approval.

         Courtesy pay policy incident - Ms. Moreaux disregarded the courtesy pay policy and allowed an employee to exceed the limit in direct violation of the policy.

         Credit Union Electronic Funds Policy - Ms. Moreaux honored a verbal stop payment in direct violation of Credit Union policy and failed to obtain the appropriate written authorization.

         Member Privacy Policy - Ms. Moreaux violated its Member Privacy Policy by arranging to have a member's VISA card sent via Federal Express to the Credit Union's main office and did not arrange for the Member to pay for the Federal Express charge. She also ...


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