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Gaines v. Techline Inc.

United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Alexandria Division

March 29, 2017

KENNETH B. GAINES
v.
TECHLINE, INC.

          PEREZ-MONTES MAG. JUDGE

          MEMORANDUM RULING

          DEE D. DRELL, CHIEF JUDGE

         Before the court is a motion for summary judgment (Doc. 86) filed by defendant, Techline, Inc. in which it seeks dismissal of all claims against it in the above captioned matter. For the reasons expressed below, the court finds the defendants' motion should be GRANTED.

         Facts

         Plaintiff, Kenneth B. Gaines, filed suit against his (then) employer, Techline, Inc. on March 20, 2013, alleging employment discrimination and federal wage loss. (Doc. 1). According to the complaint, Gaines began working as a driver for Techline in March 2007, and from the outset of his employment, was subjected to a racially hostile working environment by a white warehouse manager and a fellow white driver. The warehouse manager, Leo Ladner ("Ladner"), called him "nigger", told him "you niggers all want something for nothing", threatened him with injury and denied him overtime assignments; while a fellow white driver, J.W. McKee ("McKee") called him "colored". Further, despite its knowledge of the hostile work environment, Techline failed to take prompt and effective remedial action to stop the racially discriminatory practices. Gaines further alleges Techline paid him significantly less than it paid McKee and paid Gaines the same as a white warehouse worker by the name of Lance Melder ("Melder").

         On August 26, 2015, Gaines filed an amended complaint incorporating the aforementioned facts and claims and asserting new factual allegations and claims for "retaliation and discrimination" and "violation of the American Disability Act [sic]." (Doc. 63, p.2). Gaines says Techline terminated him on July 2, 2014 in retaliation for filing this suit in 2013 and for requesting medical leave "due to the death of his mother" in June 2014. (Doc. 63). No other factual allegations were asserted therein.

         Techline filed the instant Motion for Summary Judgment on April 15, 2016 arguing Gaines' claims should be denied as he cannot establish prima facie cases of discrimination, harassment or retaliation. The motion also urges that Gaines' claim for overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA") was time barred. (Doc. 86). Attached thereto was a statement of uncontested material facts with 112 factual assertions. (Doc. 86-2). Gaines filed an opposition on May 6, 2016 (Doc. 94) restating allegations contained in his various complaints and noting parts of his deposition testimony. Also filed on that date was "Plaintiffs Statement of Contested Facts" (Doc. 93) which set forth the following:

(1) Plaintiff was called racial epithets while employed by Defendant, including "colored boy, " and "you niggers all want something for nothing".
(2) Plaintiffs supervisor falsified his time records whenever the supervisor was made at him in an effort to divert overtime away from Plaintiff for racially discriminatory motives.
(3) J.W. McKee, a white driver, was paid more for the same work [as] Plaintiff. Lance [Melder] was paid the same as Plaintiff, even though he was a warehouse worker and not a driver.
(4) Plaintiff was terminated by Defendant for filing an EEOC complaint and requesting medical leave following the death of his mother.
(5) Although Plaintiff reported the discriminatory acts, Defendant did not take prompt remedial action.
(6) Plaintiff suffered from post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD).
(7) Defendant was aware of Plaintiff s condition.
(8) Other employees harassed Plaintiff over his condition.
(9) Defendant knew of this harassment.

         Applicable ...


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