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Boyd v. Miller Pipeline Corp.

United States District Court, W.D. North Carolina, Charlotte Division

July 13, 2017

HAROLD BOYD, JR., Plaintiff,


          Frank D. Whitney Chief United States District Judge.

         THIS MATTER is before the Court on Defendant's Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's Complaint or, in the Alternative, Motion to Strike Portions of Plaintiff's Complaint (Doc. No. 10); Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. No. 21); and Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. No. 22). Defendant argues in both its Motion to Dismiss and Motion for Summary Judgment that the case should be dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. (Doc. No. 10 at 1; Doc. No. 22 at 1). After careful review of the entire record, and for the reasons stated below, the Court dismisses this case for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.


         As an initial matter, the Court notes that due to clerical error, a portion of Plaintiff's initial filings were docketed under a sealed ex parte document, rather than Plaintiff's complaint. Specifically, the clerk's office inadvertently filed a hand-written statement identified as “Supporting Facts” to the sealed document (Doc. No. 2, pp. 6-10), when, instead, it should have been filed as an attachment to Plaintiff's complaint. (Doc. No. 1: Complaint). Nonetheless, the Court finds this error did not prejudice Defendant. First, Plaintiff raised many of the same factual allegations in his responsive pleadings, such as Plaintiff's Response to Defendant's Motion to Dismiss, filed on October 27, 2016. (Doc. No. 17). Second, Plaintiff notified Defendant that the portion of his complaint was missing from Defendant's copy during the Plaintiff's deposition on March 3, 2017. (Doc. No. 26, p. 28). Finally and most significantly, Defendant's copy of Plaintiff's WDNC-EEOC Complaint Form instructions note that claimants may attach additional sheets to assert supporting facts and, indeed, Plaintiff noted in a parenthetical in the appropriate section that “Supporting Facts [are] Attached.” (Doc. No. 1: Complaint at 4). Defendant never raised this issue with the Court.

         The Court now respectfully directs the Clerk of Court to refile the Plaintiff's “Supporting Facts” (Doc. No. 2, pp. 6-10) under Plaintiff's Complaint, labeled as “Doc. No. 1-2: Supporting Facts” and this Order will heretofore refer to that document under that label.


         Plaintiff Harold Boyd, Jr. (“Plaintiff”) brought this action, pro se, asserting causes of action pursuant to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. §2000e against Defendant Miller Pipeline Corp. (“Defendant”). (Doc. No. 1: Complaint).

         This action arose after Defendant terminated Plaintiff's at-will employment following two months of service. Plaintiff, an African-American male, applied to be a “Laborer” with company A&B Trenching (“A&B”) on May 2, 2015. (Doc. No. 22-4). On May 6, 2015, Miller Pipeline, a gas and water pipeline installation and maintenance company, purchased A&B, at which time all A&B employees became Miller employees. (Doc. No. 22-2 at 2-3). Plaintiff received a voicemail from A&B (now Miller Pipeline) on May 7, 2016, informing him that he had been hired. (Doc. No. 26 at 27). Once the purchase of A&B was finalized, Miller Pipeline began “incorporating” A&B employees into Miller Pipeline. (Doc. No. 22-2 at 3).

         After a “short time, ” Defendant discovered Plaintiff had not been subjected to a background check when he was hired, which was conducted on all Miller employees following an offer of employment. (Doc. No. 22-2 at 3). Plaintiff authorized a background check from his job site on June 15, 2015, which was completed on June 26, 2015. (Doc. No. 22-2 at 4). The background check revealed Plaintiff had been convicted of the following crimes: three counts for Assault on a Female, Disorderly Conduct, two counts of Use/Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Domestic Criminal Trespass, Carrying a Concealed Weapon, two counts of Trafficking Schedule I and II drugs, and several traffic violations. (Doc. No. 22-7). Defendant's hiring policies prohibit hiring persons with certain drug violations and violent felonies. (Doc. No. 22-2 at 11-14). Plaintiff was escorted off of his jobsite on June 29, 2015. (Doc. No. 1-2: Supporting Facts ¶ 3). Defendant sent Plaintiff an Adverse Action Letter on June 30, 2015, informing him Defendant was “unable to further consider [him] for employment.” (Doc. No. 22 at 17).

         Plaintiff filed a charge of racial discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) against Miller Pipeline on July 1, 2015. In the charge, under the section labeled “Discrimination Based On, ” Plaintiff checked the box “Race.” The charge asserts the following “particulars:”

I. I[, Plaintiff, ] applied for the position of Laborer in May 2015, with the above named employer. I disclosed my arrest/conviction record to the company. On June 29, 205, I was notified that I would not be hired.
II. On June 29, 2015, I was notified that I would not be hired due to my arrest/conviction record.
III. I believe I have been discriminated against due to my race, Black, in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended.

(Doc. No. 1-1 at 1). In his Response to Defendant's Motion to Dismiss, Plaintiff alleges that he had several communications with the EEOC while filing his charge. (Doc. No. 17). Here, Plaintiff argues the EEOC intake counselor, Ms. Hattie Murphy, directed him to file a charge for disparate impact race discrimination. (Doc. No. 17 at 1-2). Plaintiff also contends he told the EEOC investigator, Mr. Phillppe G. Feisenhardt, that only African Americans were subject to Defendant's computer testing policy. Id. at 5. Plaintiff then contended that Mr. Feisenhardt inquired into Plaintiff's criminal record and determined his termination was due to his criminal record and the nature of his crimes and Defendant's inability to supervise him while working. Id.

         The EEOC closed Plaintiff's file on February 29, 2016, after determining it was unable to conclude the information obtained in its investigation established a violation of 42 U.S.C. §2000e. (Doc. No. 1-1 at 2). On February 29, 2016, Plaintiff was mailed notice of his right to sue based on the claim he filed with the EEOC. Id. On May 26, 2016, Plaintiff filed this action with the Court, alleging Defendant Miller Pipeline and Defendant Candace S. Walker[1] terminated his employment because of his race. (Doc. No. 1: Complaint). Plaintiff's complaint asserts one charge of disparate impact race discrimination, id., and ...

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