United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana
SECTION: "A" (2)
ORDER AND REASONS
ZAINEY, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the Court is a Motion for Summary Judgment (Rec. Doc.
31) filed by defendant UPS Ground Freight, Inc.
Plaintiff Julian Jackson opposes the motion. The motion,
noticed for submission on November 15, 2017, is before the
Court on the briefs without oral argument. For the reasons
that follow, the motion is GRANTED.
Julian Jackson filed this action against UPS Ground Freight,
Inc., his former employer, asserting claims of racial
discrimination (African American) and retaliation under Title
VII and state law. Jackson began his employment with UPS in
April 2006, when he was hired as a driver.
2012, Jackson was terminated by his then-supervisor, Mike Lee
(Caucasian). Jackson filed a grievance with the union
and a charge of discrimination with the EEOC (“the 2012
EEOC charge”). (Rec. Doc. 31-6 at 46). The labor union
resolved the claim in Jackson's favor; he was reinstated
on October 1, 2012, with back pay. Jackson declined to pursue
legal action pertaining to the 2012 EEOC charge even after
receiving the right to sue letter.
contends that after he returned to work in October 2012, he
was subjected to constant harassment.
terminated Jackson a second time on December 9, 2014, for
insubordination. Jackson filed a charge of discrimination on
September 29, 2015, claiming that he had been terminated in
violation of Title VII because of his race and in retaliation
for the 2012 EEOC charge. (Rec. Doc. 1-2 at 5). The 2015
charge also refers to disparate treatment in favor of white
coworkers who were not terminated even after they had acted
belligerently and cursed management. Even though
Jackson's Complaint is devoted in large part to
“constant harassment” allegedly occurring from
October 2012 (when he was reinstated) to the date of his
termination, the EEOC charge does not refer to problems with
a hostile work environment. The EEOC declined the 2015 charge
and issued a right to sue letter on May 4, 2016. (Rec. Doc.
1-2 at 1). Jackson filed this lawsuit on August 2, 2016.
moves for summary judgment arguing that Jackson cannot
demonstrate that race played any role in his termination,
that he was subjected to a racially hostile work environment,
or that UPS terminated him in retaliation for his prior
(2012) EEOC charge.
trial is scheduled to commence on January 29, 2018.
judgment is appropriate only 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-movant,
"show that there is no genuine issue as to any material
fact." TIG Ins. Co. v. Sedgwick James, 276 F.3d
754, 759 (5th Cir. 2002) (citing Anderson v. Liberty
Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 249-50 (1986)). 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. Id. (citing Anderson, 477
U.S. at 248). The court must draw all justifiable inferences
in favor of the non-moving party. Id. (citing
Anderson, 477 U.S. at 255). Once the moving party has
initially shown "that there is an absence of evidence to
support the non-moving party's cause, " Celotex
Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 325 (1986), the
non-movant must come forward with "specific facts"
showing a genuine factual issue for trial. Id.
(citing Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(e); Matsushita Elec.
Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio, 475 U.S. 574, 587 (1986)).
Conclusional allegations and denials, speculation, improbable
inferences, unsubstantiated assertions, and legalistic
argumentation do not adequately substitute for specific facts
showing a genuine issue for trial. Id. (citing
SEC v. Recile, 10 F.3d 1093, 1097 (5th Cir. 1993)).
faced with a well-supported motion for summary judgment, Rule
56 places the burden on the non-movant to designate the
specific facts in the record that create genuine issues
precluding summary judgment. Jones .v Sheehan, Young,
& Culp, P.C., 82 F.3d 1334, 1338 (5th
Cir. 1996). The district court has no duty to survey the
entire record in search of evidence to support a
non-movant's position. Id. (citing Forsyth
v. Barr, 19 F.3d 1527, 1537 (5th Cir. 1992);
Nissho-Iwai Am. Corp. v. Kline, 845 F.2d 1300, 1307
(5th Cir. 1988)).
claims that UPS fired him in retaliation for the 2012 EEOC
VII's anti-retaliation provision states in relevant part:
It shall be an unlawful employment practice for an employer
to discriminate against any of his employees . . . because he
has opposed any practice made an unlawful employment practice
by this subchapter, or because he has made a charge,
testified, assisted, or participated in any ...