United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana
OTIS L. ANDERSON, JR., AND KIMBERLY JUPITER GEASON
GMA GARNET USA CORP.
ORDER AND REASONS
JAY C. ZAINEY, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
the Court is Defendant's Rule 12(b)(6) Motion to
Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim or, Alternatively,
Request for More Definite Statement (Rec. Doc. 7)
filed by Defendant GMA Garnet (USA) Corp.
(“GMA”). Plaintiffs Otis L. Anderson, Jr.
(“Anderson”) and Kimberly Jupiter Geason
(“Geason”) oppose the motion (Rec. Doc. 12) and
Defendant has replied. (Rec. Doc. 15). The motion, set for
submission on November 29, 2017, is before the Court on the
briefs without oral argument. This matter is set as a bench
trial beginning on September 10, 2018 at 9:30 a.m. Having
considered the motion and memoranda of counsel, the record,
and the applicable law, the Court finds that the
Defendant's motion should be GRANTED in
part and DENIED in part for the
reasons set forth below.
September 6, 2016, Plaintiffs Otis Anderson and Kimberly
Jupiter Geason were terminated from their employment with
Defendant GMA. (Rec. Doc. 1-3, p. 8, ¶¶ 18-19). At
the time, Anderson was employed as a Recycle Plant Supervisor
while Geason was employed as a Logistics Coordinator.
Id. Thereafter, on September 5, 2017, Plaintiffs
filed a Petition for Damages in the 40th Judicial District
Court for St. John the Baptist Parish, Louisiana. (Rec. Doc.
1-3). Plaintiffs' second cause of action alleges GMA
engaged in discrimination in direct violation of Louisiana
Revised Statutes 23:301 et seq. (Rec. Doc. 1-3, p.
8-10, ¶¶ 17-29). Plaintiffs' particular allegations
state that “there was an environment of racial
discrimination at the GMA facility in Reserve, LA where
[Plaintiffs] were employed, and that [Plaintiffs] regularly
experienced disparate treatment as compared to their White
counterparts.” Id. at ¶ 20. In their
Complaint, Plaintiffs provide the following non-exclusive
list of examples of alleged disparate treatment on the part
A. Black employees of GMA were denied overtime opportunities,
while White employees received overtime hours.
B. Black employees' requests for paid time off (PTO)
could take up to thirty (30) days for approval, whereas a
White employee routinely had PTO requests approved on the
same day in contravention of company policy requiring PTO
requests be made seven (7) days in advance. White employees
were not required to follow the PTO request guidelines when
Black employees were.
C. Black employees were required to submit to
“random” drug screens more frequently than White
employees and/or White employees were given notice of when a
“random” drug screening would be taking place,
giving White employees the opportunity to
“prepare” for passing a drug screening.
D. White employees were not held to the same rules as Black
employees following workplace accidents.
E. White employees were regularly allowed to disregard the
company cell phone policy without facing disciplinary action.
F. Plaintiff Otis Anderson was held responsible for failures
that fell under the responsibility of a White Supervisor.
G. Plaintiff Kimberly Jupiter Geason addressed a letter of
complaint to defendant GMA citing the disparate treatment she
felt she was experiencing, specifically asking why African
American employees were being treated differently than White
Employees, however no response was given and none of the
issues were addressed by defendant GMA.
H. During the tornados that hit LaPlace in 2016, Plaintiff
Kimberly Jupiter Geason requested to leave early so that she
could pick up her child from school and take him home when
school was closed for the weather emergency, and she was told
she was not allowed to leave, but a White male employee was
allowed to leave early on the same day.
Id. Both Anderson and Geason additionally allege
their discharge was made on the basis of their race, and in
the case of Geason, on the basis of her sex as ...