United States District Court, M.D. Louisiana
RULING AND ORDER
A. JACKSON, CHIEF JUDGE
the Court is the Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. 9) filed
by the Baton Rouge City Constable's Office (hereinafter
"Constable's Office" or "Defendant")
pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
("Rule") 56. Through its motion, Defendant seeks
summary judgment on Rhea Davis' ("Plaintiff')
Title VII claims of gender discrimination and retaliation.
Plaintiff filed a memorandum opposing Defendant's motion.
(Doc. 16). The Court has jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 1331. Oral argument is not necessary. For reasons that
follow, Defendant's motion is GRANTED IN PART and DENIED
was employed as a Deputy Constable for Defendant from January
19, 2010 until mid-todate 2012, at which time she received a
promotion to the position of Jail Corporal. Plaintiff
retained that position her resignation on January 2, 2015.
(See Doc. 1-2). During her employment, Plaintiff
avers that she successfully executed her job duties and
responsibilities and was recognized as an exemplary employee.
(Doc. 1-2 at ¶ 4).
early 2014, when the position of Jail Sergeant of the
Constable's Office became available, Plaintiff, along
with three other applicants, applied. (Doc. 1-2 at ¶
20). Plaintiff alleges that although she received the highest
score on the civil service sergeant examination and had the
most experience as a Deputy Constable of the three candidates
who applied for the position, Defendant hired Deputy
Constable Travis Brooks (hereinafter Sgt. Brooks), a male
employee and allegedly the only male applicant, for the Jail
Sergeant position. (Doc. 1-2 at ¶ 21). When Plaintiff
inquired about why Sgt. Brooks was chosen for the position,
Plaintiff alleges that she was told the final decision was
based on seniority, although seniority was not listed as a
criteria to be considered for the position. (Doc. 1-2 at
weeks later, a position in Defendant's Judicial
Enforcement Division became available. (Doc. 1-2 at ¶
26). After speaking with Sergeant Ganiyu Jimoh (hereinafter
"Sgt. Jimoh"), the supervisor in the Judicial
Enforcement Division, about the position, Plaintiff applied
and was thereafter interviewed. (Doc. 1-2 at ¶¶
26-30). Following her interview, Plaintiff learned that
Deputy Constable Anthony Haynes (hereinafter "Deputy
Haynes"), a male deputy who had been working for
Defendant for less than a year, was selected for the vacant
position in the Judicial Enforcement Division. (Doc. 1-2 at
¶ 30). After speaking with Sgt. Jimoh, Plaintiff learned
that despite being highly recommended for the position,
Constable Brown selected Deputy Haynes. (Doc. 1-2 at ¶
response to being overlooked for the position of Jail
Sergeant and the position in Defendant's Judicial
Enforcement Division, Plaintiff filed her first EEOC Charge
of Discrimination ("the Discrimination Charge") on
April 16, 2014. (Doc. 1-2 at ¶ 32; Doc. 9-3). Therein,
Plaintiff complained that, although she interviewed for the
Jail Sergeant position and was told that she was
"exceptionally qualified, " Defendant hired Deputy
Brooks for the position. (Doc. 9-3 at p. 2). Plaintiff also
alleged that, after applying for a position in
Defendant's Judicial Enforcement Division, Defendant
hired Deputy Haynes, who had only been employed by Defendant
for eleven months. (Id.).
after Plaintiff filed the Discrimination Charge, she was
accused by an employee to have used illegal drugs
recreationally. (Doc. 1-2 at ¶ 36). That same day,
Defendant placed Plaintiff on paid administrative leave
pending an internal investigation into the accusations of her
alleged drug use. (Doc. 1-2 at ¶ 38). In accordance with
the underlying investigation, Plaintiff was required to
submit both urine and hair samples to test for drugs, a
protocol which Plaintiff argues was contrary to
Defendant's practice. (Doc. 1-2 at ¶ 38). While the
investigation was ongoing, Plaintiff resigned from the
Constable's Office. After Plaintiff resigned from her
employ with Defendant, she filed a second Charge of
Discrimination with the Louisiana Commission on Human Rights
("the Retaliation Charge") on January 15, 2017. In
her complaint, Plaintiff stated her belief that she was
placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of an
internal investigation in retaliation for filing the
Discrimination Charge. (Doc. 9-4 at p. 2).
filed the instant action on January 12, 2016, asserting
claims of gender discrimination and retaliation under Title
VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S. §§
2OOOe, et seq., and the Louisiana Employment
Discrimination Law, La. R.S. § 23:301, et seq.
("LEDL"). Specifically, Plaintiffs Petition outlines
five discrete actions-which Plaintiffs petition calls
"disparate treatment"-taken by Defendant that she
believes either amount to or are evidence of violations of
Title VII and the LEDL: i) temporarily changing Plaintiffs
work hours from 7:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
after she notified Defendant that she was pregnant and would
need to go on "light duty status"; ii) promoting
Sgt. Brooks, a male employee, over Plaintiff to the position
of Jail Sergeant; iii) allegedly demoting Plaintiff from her
position as Jail Corporal while she was on maternity leave;
iv) promoting Deputy Haynes, a male employee, over Plaintiff
to a position in Defendant's Judicial Enforcement
Division; and v) placing Plaintiff on administrative leave
and failing to reinstate her after receiving a complaint
alleging misconduct. (See Doc. 1-2 at pp. 6-13). On
February 21, 2017, Defendant filed the instant motion for
summary judgment. (See Doc. 9).
STANDARD OF REVIEW
to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, "[t]he court
shall grant summary judgment if the movant shows that there
is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant
is entitled to judgment as a matter of law."
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). In determining whether the movant is
entitled to summary judgment, the court views the facts in
the light most favorable to the non-movant and draws all
reasonable inferences in the non-movant's favor.
Coleman v. Hous. Indep. Sch. Dist., 113 F.3d 528,
533 (5th Cir. 1997).
proper motion for summary judgment is made, the non-movant
"must set forth specific facts showing there is a
genuine issue for trial." Anderson v. Liberty Lobby,
Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 250 (1986) (internal citations
omitted). At this stage, the court does not evaluate the
credibility of witnesses, weigh the evidence, or resolve
factual disputes. Int'l Shortstop, Inc. v.
Rally's, Inc., 939 F.2d 1257, 1263 (5th Cir. 1991),
cert, denied, 502 U.S. 1059 (1992). However, if
"the evidence in the record is such that a reasonable
jury, drawing all inferences in favor of the non-moving
party, could arrive at a verdict in that party's favor,
" the motion for summary judgment must be denied.
Id. at 1263.
other hand, the non-movant's burden is not satisfied by
some metaphysical doubt as to the material facts, or by
conclusory allegations, unsubstantiated assertions, or a mere
scintilla of evidence. Little v. Liquid Air Corp.,37 F.3d 1069, 1075 (5th Cir.1994) (internal quotations
omitted). Summary judgment is appropriate if the non-movant
"fails to make a showing sufficient to establish the
existence of an element essential to that party's
case." Celotex Corp. v. Catrett,477 U.S. 317,
322 (1986). In other words, summary judgment will he only
"if the pleadings, depositions, answers to
interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with
affidavits if any, show that there is no genuine ...