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Johnson v. PNC Bank

United States District Court, Tenth Circuit

November 13, 2013

HASSAN T. JOHNSON, Plaintiff,
v.
PNC BANK, Defendant.

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

CARLOS MURGUIA United States District Judge

Plaintiff brings claims for race discrimination and retaliation against his former employer. He generally alleges defendant gave him unfavorable reviews, overlooked him for a promotion, and terminated his employment because of his race and in retaliation for his discrimination complaints.

This matter is before the court on defendant’s summary judgment motion (Doc. 43). Defendant argues the court lacks subject-matter jurisdiction over plaintiff’s termination claim. Defendant also contends it is entitled to summary judgment because plaintiff cannot show a prima facie case or pretext for his remaining claims. For the following reasons, the court grants the motion.

I. Background[1]

Plaintiff is an African American male. He began working for defendant as a Loan Servicing Analyst I on June 1, 2010. Plaintiff reported to Athena Monger, and Monger reported to Tina LaFon.

His initial job responsibilities included data entry, indexing documents, and paying invoices. After learning these tasks, plaintiff was trained on processing evidences. Since he began working for defendant, the following events occurred:

• On November 17, 2010, LaFon and Monger met with plaintiff to discuss their concerns with his performance. LaFon told plaintiff he could not work overtime until his performance improved.
• On December 2, 2010, LaFon and Monger issued a verbal warning to plaintiff about his continued poor performance and low productivity.
• On December 9, 2010, plaintiff sent a complaint via email to defendant’s Employee Relations Information Center (“ERIC”), LaFon, and Monger, alleging unfair treatment and a hostile work environment. After an investigation, defendant concluded his allegations lacked merit.
• On February 10, 2011, LaFon and Monger gave plaintiff a “Marginally Achieves” for his 2010 performance rating. They determined his performance failed to improve despite coaching and additional training.
• On February 11, 2011, plaintiff filed a second complaint with ERIC alleging his 2010 performance rating was retaliatory for his earlier complaint. After an investigation, defendant determined his allegations lacked merit.
• On March 14, 2011, Monger transferred departments. Sometime following his 2010 performance review, plaintiff asked LaFon about applying for Monger’s old position. LaFon told plaintiff he could not apply because he had not been in his position for one year.
• On March 25, 2011, LaFon promoted Amy Barnett, a Caucasian female, to Monger’s position. LaFon waived the one-year requirement for Barnett since she had only been employed by defendant since November 2010.
• On April 14, 2011, LaFon, Barnett, and Kevin Niekamp met with plaintiff to discuss their concerns with his performance. LaFon told plaintiff he was not meeting his production goals. During this meeting, plaintiff admitted that he regularly worked overtime without authorization and without reporting it on his timesheets.
• On April 25, 2011, LaFon contacted ERIC with concerns about plaintiff not accurately reporting his time. Defendant initiated an investigation.
• On April 29, 2011, LaFon and Barnett presented plaintiff with a written warning for deficient productivity and performance standards.
• On June 7, 2011, defendant terminated plaintiff’s employment for committing a dishonest act after the investigation confirmed that he falsified timesheets and worked additional hours without reporting the time as required by defendant’s policy.

Plaintiff filed the instant complaint on May 1, 2012, asserting various claims under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”). He generally alleges defendant gave him unfavorable performance ratings, overlooked him for a promotion, and terminated his employment because of his race and in retaliation for his complaints about discrimination. Defendant moves for summary judgment, arguing that the court lacks subject-matter jurisdiction over ...


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