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Stevens v. Lockheed Martin Energy Systems

July 27, 2006

HARVEY STEVENS, PLAINTIFF,
v.
LOCKHEED MARTIN ENERGY SYSTEMS, INC., AND BWXT Y-12, L.L.C., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Thomas W. Phillips United States District Judge

(Phillips)

MEMORANDUM OPINION

Plaintiff Harvey Stevens has sued his former employers, Lockheed Martin Energy Systems, Inc. (LMES) and BWXT Y-12, L.L.C. (BWXT), alleging "systemic racial discrimination in employment through discriminatory selection, promotion, compensation, and disciplinary policies, practices and procedures, discriminatory terms and conditions of employment, and the existence and perpetuation of a racially hostile work environment" in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 2000e, et seq., (Title VII) and 42 U.S.C. § 1981 as amended. Defendant LMES has moved for summary judgment asserting that there are no genuine issues as to material facts, and that LMES is entitled to judgment as a matter of law on all of plaintiff's claims. For the reasons which follow, defendant's motion for summary judgment will be granted, and this action will be dismissed against LMES.

Factual Background

Beginning April 1, 1984, pursuant to a contract with the Department of Energy, LMES managed, operated and maintained the Y-12 facility in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. LMES' contract for operating the Y-12 facility ended on October 31, 2000, and BWXT assumed management and operation on November 1, 2000. Stevens, an African-American male, was employed by LMES and the predecessor government contractors at Y-12 from July, 1965 until October 31, 2000. Stevens has been employed by BWXT from November 1, 2000 to the present.

Stevens is an hourly employee, and has worked as a machine operator at Y-12 since 1969. He is a member of the International Machinist and Aerospace Workers' Local 480, and the terms of his employment are governed by a contract between BWXT and the Atomic Trades and Labor Council. Stevens served as the chief steward in the union's leadership from 1985 to 1990.

Hostile Work Environment

Stevens claims he was subjected to a hostile work environment during his employment at LMES. Stevens testified that over the last five years at Y-12, he was not subjected to any racially derogatory remarks. That testimony stands in contrast to Stevens' statement that, within the last seven years, he was subjected to racial jokes, slurs and graffiti "every once in a while." However, Stevens remembers neither what happened during any specific incident nor the identity of the individual who purportedly engaged in the conduct. These isolated incidents apparently did not affect Stevens' employment, as can be inferred from his following testimony:

Q: What happened each time?

A: I don't remember. I don't dwell on stuff like that. I don't have time for that.

Similarly, Stevens testified "... I'm not that sensitive where every time somebody say something," in response to questions concerning his hostile work environment claim. The record shows that Stevens did not complain to his supervisor about the incidents he claims created a hostile work environment. He did not register a complaint about the incidents with either Workforce Diversity or Labor Relations. Nor did Stevens make either a written or verbal complaint to the LMES Employee Concerns Response Program.

Failure to Promote

The record shows that Stevens did not apply for a promotion during the last three or four years LMES managed the Y-12 facility.

Unequal Discipline

Stevens also complains that he was subjected to unequal discipline on two occasions during his tenure with LMES. First, in 1999, Stevens worked the 7:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. shift. LMES' contract with the ATLC provided that each machinist was allotted thirty minutes for lunch. Because Stevens was away from work longer than the prescribed time, Mark Potter, Stevens' direct supervisor, gave him a coaching and counseling session in April 1999. Potter advised Stevens that a written warning would follow unless his lunch breaks complied with the Union rule. However, Stevens never received a written reprimand. Because Stevens' wages and benefits were governed by the contract with the ATLC, Potter's coaching ...


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