from the United States District Court for the Northern
District of Texas
OWEN, Chief Judge, and HAYNES and COSTA, Circuit Judges.
HAYNES, CIRCUIT JUDGE:
White Glove Staffing, Inc. ("White Glove") appeals
the district court's dismissal of its 42 U.S.C. §
1981 racial discrimination claim and grant of summary
judgment on its § 1981 retaliation claim. We REVERSE the
district court's dismissal of White Glove's racial
discrimination claim, AFFIRM the district court's grant
of summary judgment on White Glove's retaliation claim,
and REMAND the case for proceedings consistent with our
Glove is a staffing corporation that provides clients with
temporary kitchen and food service personnel. Appellees
Methodist Hospitals of Dallas and Dallas Methodist Hospitals
Foundation, Inc. (collectively, "Methodist" or the
"Hospital") own and operate multiple hospitals in
the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
2016, White Glove employees Michael White, Shawn White, and
Pedro Gutierrez met with Methodist chef Jose Soto to discuss
whether White Glove could provide the Hospital with temporary
kitchen staff. The same White Glove employees later met with
Jeff Jennings, Methodist's catering coordinator. Jennings
said that Methodist "wanted to give [White Glove] a
shot" at providing temporary staff and that White Glove
"ha[d] the contract."
and Gutierrez met with Jennings again the next day. Linda
White, the founder and owner of White Glove, was also
present. At the meeting, Jennings allegedly stated that Soto
"only really want[ed] to work with Hispanics" and
that Soto "preferred Hispanics" over other groups.
Additionally, Gutierrez said Soto told him to "[s]end
[him] some compadres," which Gutierrez interpreted as
"meaning send Mexican people, Hispanic people."
White Glove and Methodist had not yet reached a formal
agreement, Methodist asked White Glove to begin providing it
with kitchen staff. On Thursday, May 19, White Glove sent
Carolyn Clay, an African-American woman, to work in the
Hospital's kitchen as a prep cook. Clay returned to work
without issue the following Friday and Saturday. But during
Clay's Saturday shift, the only other African-American
working in the kitchen allegedly told her, "I'm
surprised you're in here. They usually don't let
blacks in this kitchen." The employee said that she was
working there "only because" she had been there for
returned to work the following Monday and finished her shift
without incident. But afterwards, a "very upset"
Jennings told Shawn that Soto "was not happy because he
wanted only Hispanics. That's what Chef wanted. . . . I
don't want anybody else out here. . . . We went over
this. I don't know why you're sending out other
responded, "that's kind of messed up, I mean for you
to tell me that this is exactly all you're wanting."
He continued: "I have a lot of people of all different
backgrounds, so if you're needing someone else tomorrow .
. . I'll do what I can to try and put someone else in
that spot. . . ." But he cautioned that "being as
it's so late in the day, and [that the company needs
someone] so early tomorrow, I'm not sure if I can get you
anyone else. And, you know, [Clay] is already familiar with
the kitchen." Shawn claimed that Jennings
"wasn't too happy" about the conversation.
Glove did not have a Hispanic staffer to send to Methodist
the next morning, so it again sent Clay to the Hospital.
Three hours after Clay arrived, a junior chef told her to
leave because "[w]e don't need you anymore
today." A "clearly upset" Jennings then called
Linda, stating that Soto "didn't want to use [White
Glove] anymore because he was mad about [Clay] because she
wasn't Hispanic." Michael said that Jennings
"wanted to cancel everything" and indicated that
"the whole deal was off."
Linda asked Jennings "if that was the only reason"
for the termination, Jennings reiterated Soto's
displeasure at being sent a non-Hispanic worker. Linda
responded, "That's a little hard to say out loud
sometimes, isn't it, Jeff?" Jennings said,
"Yeah, it is. But it is what it is."
asked Jennings for another opportunity to work out an
agreement with Methodist. Though Jennings initially agreed to
meet, he called back several minutes later and said there
would be no follow-up meeting: he "was going to go with
what [Soto] wanted." White Glove did not work with
Methodist after that day.
Glove and Clay sued Methodist in May 2017, alleging
violations of § 1981 and Title VII, among other claims.
Methodist moved to dismiss White Glove's § 1981
racial discrimination claim under Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 12(b)(6). The district court granted the motion,
concluding that White Glove lacked standing to assert a
discrimination claim because it was a corporation without a
racial identity. Methodist also moved for summary judgment on
White Glove's § 1981 retaliation claim. The district
court granted Methodist's motion. This appeal followed.