United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
OPINION, MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
HENRY EDWARD AUTREY, District Judge.
This matter is before the Court on Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment, [Doc. No. 53]. Plaintiff opposes the motion. For the reasons set forth below, the Motion is granted.
Facts and Background
Plaintiff brought this action for employment discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. 2000e. Plaintiff alleges discrimination based on his race (African American) and§gender (male), and retaliation and harassment.
In his charge of discrimination, Plaintiff challenges his termination from his employment with Defendant and alleges race discrimination and retaliation.
Plaintiff's employment with Defendant was terminated because, according to Defendant, Plaintiff failed to assure Defendant that he would abide by Defendant's policy of refraining from cursing in the work place. The facts leading up to this decision are set out below.
Plaintiff was a supervisor for Defendant. In a discussion with Mike Houlihan, another supervisor, Plaintiff said "HOLD ON MOTHER F***. I ASKED YOUR B*** A** NOT TO TALK TO ME LIKE THAT, BUT SINCE YOU WANT TO DO IT, THEN LET'S DO IT. STAY YOU'RE A** OVER ON THE PD 3, 4 AND 5. YOU HAD THE SORT AISLE AND DIDN'T DO S*** WITH IT." Hub Division manager Tony Taylor learned of the incident and spoke separately with Plaintiff and Houlihan. By the conclusion of Plaintiff's meeting with Taylor, Plaintiff understood that Taylor was telling him that "just because somebody does something inappropriate to you, [it] does not justify you doing something inappropriate back." During Taylor's meeting with Houlihan, Houlihan admitted making a comment about "power trip bulls***" but denied any of the other comments attributed to him. Houlihan agreed to conduct himself appropriately in the future.
On August 25, 2012 Plaintiff suspected that West, Houlihan or supervisor John Brozovich had taken his keys. Plaintiff accused West of taking his keys. West said "I don't know where your keys are."
Plaintiff testified that in the early morning of August 25, 2012, that Mr. West asked supervisors to come to a certain area, away from Mr. Smith's office. Mr. West gave Mr. Smith two packages to take to the other side of the building. When he came back, his keys were missing. After Mr. Smith reported his keys missing, Mr. West testified that he did not search for Mr. Smith's keys. Mr. West called no fewer than 6 people at UPS after his conversation with Mr. Smith.
Mr. Henderson did a search for Gary's keys for 20 minutes and didn't find them. He believed that if the keys had been in the desk, he would have found them. A police officer also searched and could not find the keys in Mr. Smith's office.
A few days after the keys went missing, Mr. Henderson helped prepare 4 questions on a document UPS labeled "Security Statement Questions for 8/24/12 which asked supervisory employees if they had ever had their keys taken at work or lost their keys, or whether they knew if anyone had ever taking some else's keys as a joke. Mr. Henderson stated there were no other times when a similar questionnaire was circulated when someone lost an item.
The keys turned up in the exact location which was searched 6 months later and Defendant had employees then sign a memo in March of 2013 which said:
In regards to Gary Smith and his missing keys, this investigation is ongoing. You are not to talk about it with anyone other than HR Manager Eric Henderson, Security Manager Patricia Smith, or District HR Manager Stan Roux. Discussing this investigation with anyone outside of these three will constitute a violation of confidentiality with respect to this investigation and disciplinary action up to and including termination may result.
Mr. Roux testified that it was not standard practice to distribute a memo of this sort. Mr. Roux testified the fact the ...