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Suteerachanon v. McDonald's Restaurants of Maryland, Inc.

United States District Court, D. Maryland

November 24, 2014

RUNGRUDEE SUTEERACHANON, Plaintiff,
v.
MCDONALD'S RESTAURANTS OF MARYLAND, INC., Defendant. RUNGRUDEE SUTEERACHANON, Plaintiff,
v.
MCDONALD'S RESTAURANTS OF MARYLAND, INC., Defendant. RUNGRUDEE SUTEERACHANON, Plaintiff,
v.
MCDONALD'S RESTAURANTS OF MARYLAND, INC., Defendant.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

ROGER W. TITUS, District Judge.

Pending before the Court are cross-motions for summary judgment in the above-captioned lawsuits.[1] Also pending are Plaintiff's requests to rewrite her motions. For the reasons below, Defendant's motions for summary judgment will be granted, and Plaintiff will not be granted leave to rewrite her motions.

BACKGROUND

Plaintiff has worked for McDonald's Restaurants of Maryland, Inc. ("McDonald's") since 2004. Case No. 13-2889, Doc. No. 55 at 3. She first worked at McDonald's Quince Orchard location, later transferring to the Rockville Pike location, where she was promoted to Floor Supervisor. Id. After experiencing conflict with her supervisors at the Rockville Pike location, Plaintiff requested a transfer to the Urbana location, which McDonald's granted. Id. 4-6. At the Urbana McDonald's, Plaintiff continued to have conflicts with her supervisors. Id. at 7. As of August 2014, Plaintiff still worked for McDonald's. Id. at 8.

In her lawsuits, Plaintiff challenges a number of employment actions taken by McDonald's against her, allegedly on the basis of race, national origin, and religion, and as retaliation for engaging in protected activity.

I. Case No. 13-2889

In this case, Plaintiff challenges the following employment actions: (1) being written up in May 2012; (2) being taken off the work schedule for the month of June; (3) being told she could only work in June if she worked the overnight shift; (4) being "forced" to transfer to the Urbana location; and (5) not being given management responsibilities after her transfer to the Urbana location. Case No. 13-2889, Doc. No. 3.

II. Case No. 13-2890

In this case, Plaintiff challenges: (1) McDonald's failure, on two occasions, to give her a biannual raise, and to give her vacation pay; (2) disciplinary actions taken against her in December and May 2011, including a suspension; and (3) unequal pay and work responsibilities. Case No. 13-2890, Doc. No. 3.

III. Case No. 13-3150 In this case, Plaintiff challenges: (1) McDonald's failure to train and promote her; and (2) a negative evaluation she received. Case No. 13-3150, Doc. No. 1.

STANDARD OF REVIEW

I. Summary Judgment

Summary judgment is proper if there are no genuine issues of material fact and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986); Francis v. Booz, Allen & Hamilton, Inc., 452 F.3d 299, 302 (4th Cir. 2006). A material fact is one that "might affect the outcome of the suit under the governing law." Spriggs v. Diamond Auto Glass, 242 F.3d 179, 183 (4th Cir. 2001) (quoting Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986)). A dispute of material fact is only "genuine" if sufficient evidence favoring the non-moving party exists for the trier of fact to return a verdict for that party. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248-49. However, the non-moving party "cannot create a genuine issue of material fact through mere speculation or the building of one inference upon another." Beale v. Hardy, 769 F.2d 213, 214 (4th Cir. 1986). "A party opposing a properly supported motion for summary judgment may not rest upon the mere allegations or denials of [his] pleadings, ' but rather must set forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial.'" Bouchat v. Baltimore Ravens Football Club, Inc., 346 F.3d 514, 522 (4th Cir. 2003) (alteration in original) (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e)).

The Court may only rely on facts supported in the record, not simply assertions in the pleadings, in order to fulfill its "affirmative obligation... to prevent factually unsupported claims or defenses' from proceeding to trial." Felty v. Grave-Humphreys Co., 818 F.2d 1126, 1128 (4th Cir. 1987) (citing Celotex, 477 U.S. at 323-24). When ruling on a motion for summary judgment, "[t]he evidence of the nonmovant is to be believed, and all justifiable inferences are to be drawn in his favor." Anderson, 477 U.S. at 255 (emphasis added). However, "if the evidence is merely colorable or not significantly probative, it may not be adequate to oppose entry of summary judgment." Thompson Everett, Inc. v. Nat'l Cable Adv., 57 F.3d 1312, 1323 (4th Cir. 1995).

II. Application of the McDonnell Douglas Standard

A review of the facts and allegations in this case shows that Plaintiff has not put forth any direct evidence of discrimination. Accordingly, in evaluating the law and material facts on the record, this Court will apply the McDonnell Douglas burden shifting standard. In McDonnell Douglas Corp. v. Green, 411 U.S. 792 (1973), the Supreme Court established a burden-shifting framework for evaluating claims of employment discrimination and retaliation under Title VII.[2] Under this framework, Plaintiff has the initial burden of establishing a prima facie case by a preponderance of the evidence. McDonnell Douglas, 411 U.S. at 802. If Plaintiff establishes a prima facie case, the burden of production shifts to McDonald's to articulate legitimate, nondiscriminatory reasons for its actions. See Reeves v. Sanderson Plumbing Prods., Inc., 530 U.S. 133, 142 (2000). Plaintiff must then prove by a preponderance of evidence that the legitimate reasons offered by her employer are but a pretext for discrimination, thus ...


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