Lincoln v. Jear Logistics, LLC

Full title: Y’vonnie Lincoln, Plaintiff, v. Jear Logistics, LLC, Defendant.

Court: United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Charleston Division

Date published: Aug 13, 2021

Facts

Plaintiff, an African American, was an employee of Defendant from April 2017 through her termination on October 8, 2019, working as a Night Dispatcher. (Dkt. No. 1 at 2.) “In or about the beginning of February 2019, Plaintiff noticed a coffee mug on a co-worker’s desk depicting ‘Cynthia’ from the Rugrats cartoon (traditionally a Caucasian character) as an African American woman with the word ‘Ratchet’ displayed on it.” (Id.) Plaintiff alleges she then “report[ed] the incident” to her supervisor, Thomas Pindell, and she was “assured by Sallie Williams in Human Resources a few days later that the issue had been resolved.” (Id.) According to Plaintiff, “the discrimination continued.” (Id.) More specifically, “in or about July 2019, Plaintiff noticed  another racially discriminatory item on display in her workplace-a calendar with a photoshopped picture stating, ‘The civil War is not over Yankees, it’s only half-time.’” (Id.) Plaintiff alleges she again reported “what she had found to Mr. Pindell and Ms. Williams.” (Id.) According to Plaintiff, she was terminated on or about October 8, 2019, “in retaliation for her complaints of racial discrimination.” (Id.) Plaintiff alleges that the reason given for her termination, “an alleged threat against a co-worker, ” was pretextual in nature. (Id.) Plaintiff also alleges “Defendant retaliated against Plaintiff for reporting the discriminatory acts and failed to stop the discrimination, disparate treatment, and inappropriate behavior, thereby creating a hostile work environment.” (Id.) The Complaint alleges Title VII claims against Defendant for disparate treatment, hostile work environment, and retaliation. (Id. at 3-5.)

On July 20, 2021, the defendant filed a partial motion to dismiss, seeking the dismissal of the plaintiff’s claims for disparate treatment and a hostile work environment. (Dkt. No. 7.) Plaintiff filed a response in opposition on August 3, 2021 (Dkt. No. 9), to which Defendant replied on August 10, 2021 (Dkt. No. 13). The defendant’s motion has been fully briefed and is ripe for review.

Issue

Decision

It is therefore recommended, for the foregoing reasons, that the defendant’s partial motion to dismiss (Dkt. No. 7) be granted. The plaintiff’s Title VII claims for disparate treatment and a hostile work environment should be dismissed. The defendant has not sought the dismissal of the plaintiff’s retaliation claim, however, and it remains pending.

It is so recommended. 

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