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Griffin v. Delta Technical College

United States District Court, W.D. Tennessee, Western Division

November 29, 2017

JAMES DEWAYNE GRIFFIN, Plaintiff,
v.
DELTA TECHNICAL COLLEGE, Defendant.

          ORDER

          SAMUEL H. MAYS, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Before the Court is the Magistrate Judge's Report and Recommendation, dated September 22, 2017 (the “Report”). (ECF No. 21.) The Report recommends granting Defendant Delta Technical College's Motion to Dismiss pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) (ECF No. 15). (Id.) Griffin filed an objection to the Report on October 6, 2017. (ECF No. 22.) Defendant has not filed a response to Griffin's objection, and the deadline to do so has passed. L.R. 72.1(g)(2).

         Also before the Court are Griffin's March 17, 2017 motion for extension of time to respond to Defendant's Motion to Dismiss (ECF No. 16), and Defendant's July 24, 2017 motion to rule on its Motion to Dismiss (ECF No. 19).

         For the following reasons, the Report is ADOPTED. Griffin's complaint is DISMISSED. Griffin's motion for extension of time and Defendant's motion to rule are DENIED as MOOT.

         I. Background

         On January 20, 2017, Griffin filed a pro se complaint against Defendant and individual defendants[1], asserting employment discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”), 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000e, et seq. (Compl., ECF No. 1.) The complaint alleges that Defendant discriminated against Griffin based on Griffin's race (African-American), gender (male), and color (brown-dark skinned). (Id.) Defendant's alleged discriminatory conduct includes termination of Griffin's employment, failure to promote, unequal terms and conditions of employment, and retaliation. (Id.) The complaint also alleges that Griffin was humiliated, intimidated, and disrespected. (Id.) It alleges that Defendant “fabricate[d] facts” and violated the Federal Motor Safety regulations by asking Griffin to perform work with a flat tire on a tractor-trailer, clean a restroom, and cut grass __ despite Griffin's informing Defendant that he was allergic to grass. (Id.)

         On March 3, 2017, Defendant filed a Motion to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim. (ECF No. 15.)

         On March 17, 2017, Griffin filed a motion for extension of time to respond to Defendant's Motion to Dismiss. (ECF No. 16.)

         On July 24, 2017, Defendant filed a motion to rule, asking the Court to rule on its Motion to Dismiss. (ECF No. 19.)

         Defendant filed its answer on September 8, 2017. (ECF No. 20.)

         United States Magistrate Judge Edward G. Bryant entered the Report on September 22, 2017. (ECF No. 21.) The Report finds that the complaint fails to state a claim for discrimination based on race because the complaint “fails to allege sufficient factual allegations to determine if [Griffin] was qualified for the position he held with Defendant or if [Griffin] was treated differently than similarly situated members of an unprotected class.” (Id. at 67.) The Report finds that the complaint fails to state a claim based on color discrimination because the “complaint lacks any facts that link discrimination to the color of [Griffin's] skin. . . .” (Id. at 68.) The Report finds that the complaint fails to state a claim for discrimination based on gender because the complaint fails “to present any facts that support that Defendant is an ‘unusual employer who discriminates against the majority' . . . [and] does not allege any treatment of female employees. . . .” (Id.) The Report finds that the complaint fails to state a claim for retaliation because the complaint does “not satisfactorily allege[] what protected activity [Griffin] engaged in, the knowledge of that protected activity by Defendant, or a causal connection between the protected activity and the adverse action.” (Id. at 69.) The Report also finds that that the complaint's “unspecified Federal Motor Safety Violation would not in itself be prohibited under Title VII.” (Id.)

         Griffin filed a timely objection on October 6, 2017. (ECF No. 22.) Griffin includes new assertions about his treatment by Defendant's employees. He claims he faced racial discrimination when he was terminated from his position as a Commercial Driver's License (“CDL”) instructor, despite his qualifications. (Id. at 70.) Griffin represents that he “never had unsatisfactory job performance and had the best success rate out of all instructors.” (Id. at 72.) Griffin claims that Lead Instructor Ryals would require Griffin to work before starting his shift and would later claim Griffin was late. (Id. at 70.) Griffin includes new assertions about the day before his termination. He claims he had a conversation with CDL Program Director Sloan and Lead Instructor Ryals about Griffin's alleged tardiness and certain Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration issues and violations that had occurred. (Id. at 71.) The conversation ended with CDL Program Director Sloan's insisting Griffin take the day off. (Id.) That evening, Griffin sent Brian Huff, Defendant's Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”), an email describing racist practices of Lead Instructor Ryals and other managing employees. (Id.)

         The next morning, Griffin was asked to meet with Defendant's School Director Fitzgerald and CDL Program Director Sloan at an office in Horn Lake, Mississippi. (Id. at 72.) School Director Fitzgerald and CDL Program Director Sloan gave Griffin a Separation Notice Document to sign. (Id.) Griffin signed “DO NOT IN AGREEMENT WITH BUT ACCEPT.” (Id.)

         As to his color discrimination claim, Griffin asserts that he was denied time off for a medical physical, while light-skinned and white CDL instructors received time off “none military related and medical for personal reasons.” (Id.)

         As to his gender discrimination claim, Griffin asserts that he “was falsely accused of my sex (male-not conforming to gender stereotypes), racial slurs, and degrading indentifications [sic] multiple times in which Plaintiff deny by Delta (Lead Instr. ...


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