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Concetta M. Sawyers v. United Parcel Service

May 16, 2013

CONCETTA M. SAWYERS, PLAINTIFF,
v.
UNITED PARCEL SERVICE, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: George L. Russell, III United States District Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION

Pending before the Court is Defendant United Parcel Service's ("UPS") Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff Concetta M. Sawyers' First Amended Complaint. (ECF No. 15). Sawyers alleges harassment, sex and religious discrimination, and retaliation in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 ("Title VII"), as amended, 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000e et seq. (2012). (ECF No. 11). The Court, having reviewed the pleadings and supporting documents, finds no hearing necessary. See Local Rule 105.6 (D.Md. 2011).

For the reasons stated herein, UPS' Motion will be granted. Sawyers' harassment, religious discrimination, and retaliation claims will be dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. Sawyers' sex discrimination claim will be dismissed for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.

I. BACKGROUND*fn1

UPS operates a worldwide package pick-up and delivery system. In 1996, UPS hired Sawyers, a member of the Pentecostal faith, as a feeder truck driver at its Hagerstown, Maryland facility. During the time in question, Sawyers was the only female among the group of eighteen drivers at the facility. (Def.'s Mot. to Dismiss ["Def.'s Mot."] Ex. 2, at 1, ECF No. 15-3). According to Sawyers, UPS unlawfully harassed and discriminated against her on the basis of sex and religion from Fall 2009 until May 2010.

Sawyers alleges that UPS refused to assign her double loads and overtime pay while her male counterparts received the coveted opportunities. According to Sawyers, this refusal negatively affected her income compared to other male drivers.

Sawyers also alleges that UPS issued differential discipline regarding lunch break extensions based upon sex.*fn2

Specifically, on November 20, 2009, management accused Sawyers of failing to follow proper methods and procedures by extending her lunch break the previous day. On December 4, 2009, management accused Sawyers of committing the same infraction and issued a three-day suspension. In response, Sawyers filed a grievance with the union contending that suspensions were not issued for similarly situated male drivers who engaged in the same activity. Sawyers only served one day of the suspension, however, because management allegedly instructed her to return to work.

On May 5, 2010, Sawyers' supervisor, Matthew Chaney, allegedly falsely accused her of failing to blow the horn and notify loaders before backing out her truck. As a result, Chaney allegedly placed Sawyers on notice of termination of employment. On the same day, Chaney allegedly pushed Sawyers in an offensive manner as she prepared to leave for her run to Dulles Airport, while telling her to get into her truck and get down the road. On May 6, 2010, Sawyers filed a civil complaint against Chaney in the District Court of Maryland for Washington County. (See Pl.'s Opp'n to Def.'s Mot. to Dismiss ["Pl.'s Opp'n"] Ex. B, ECF No. 19-3).

On May 12, 2010, UPS informed Sawyers that she would be out-of-service because management stated Sawyers claimed to have seen "invisible things and demons in her truck." (Am. Compl. ¶ 20). Sawyers denied ever making the statement and denied its validity. Notwithstanding her objection, UPS instructed Sawyers to undergo an evaluation by Dr. Allan Levy to gauge the status of her mental health. Dr. Levy conducted the evaluation on May 21, 2010, and determined that Sawyers suffered from a mental illness.

Upon learning of Dr. Levy's findings, Sawyers, disagreeing with his conclusion, contacted Dr. Paul F. Kradel to perform an independent evaluation on June 5, 2010. Dr. Kradel's findings ultimately contradicted Dr. Levy's report. Upon these findings, UPS provided a list of mental health providers Sawyers could contact for a third evaluation. Sawyers selected Dr. Ronald F. Means who issued an October 22, 2010 report concluding that Sawyers did not have a mental illness that would impact her ability to perform her job duties. As a result, Sawyers returned to work on November 1, 2010. During the time of her suspension, however, Sawyers did not receive compensation.

Prior to her appointment with Dr. Levy, Sawyers initiated the administrative complaint process by completing an intake questionnaire with the Maryland Commission on Civil Rights ("MCCR") on May 17, 2010. Sawyers alleges that the intake questionnaire listed sex and retaliation as bases for her complaint, and indicated that the issues included harassment, suspension, and differential treatment.*fn3 According to Sawyers,

MCCR employee Barbara Green facilitated the filing process and, in December 2010, allegedly encouraged Sawyers to drop her discrimination charges against UPS. Green also allegedly mailed Sawyers a withdrawal form and contacted her several times seeking its execution. Sawyers alleges that when she met with Green, she explained that her issues involved discriminatory enforcement of company policies, such as the use of idle time, as well as the distribution of overtime work and start times.

Sawyers' final charge of discrimination, however, lists sex as the sole discriminatory basis. (See Def.'s Mot. Ex. 1). Moreover, the charge describes issues related to the idle time, lunch break extensions, overtime, and demons referenced above. (See id.) On March 26, 2012, the MCCR entered a decision adverse to Sawyers. Sawyers timely filed a request for reconsideration, which the MCCR denied on April 16, 2012. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") adopted the MCCR's findings and issued its Dismissal and Notice of Right to Sue on August 1, 2012.

Sawyers commenced the pending action in this Court on October 30, 2012. UPS filed a Motion to Dismiss on January 14, 2013. On February 4, 2013, Sawyers filed the First Amended (Compare Def.'s ...


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