United States District Court, W.D. North Carolina, Charlotte Division
E. RAY RAYNOR, Plaintiff,
G4S SECURE SOLUTIONS (USA) INC., et al., Defendants.
D. WHITNEY CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
MATTER is before the Court upon Defendant G4S Secure
Solutions (USA) Inc.'s (“G4S”) Motion for
Judgment on the Pleadings (Doc. No. 14) (“G4S's
Motion”) and Defendants Chuck Brock, Donald S.
Zeccardi, Malcolm Burchett, Jr., Tifani A. Grusky, and
Michael A. Nail's (the “Individual
Defendants”) Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings (Doc.
No. 15) (G4S and Individual Defendants collectively
“Defendants”) (collectively the
“Motions”). Having considered the Motions, the
Court GRANTS in part and DENIES in part G4S's Motion for
Judgment on the Pleadings and GRANTS the Individual
Defendant's Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings for the
reasons that follow.
Elmer Ray Raynor (“Plaintiff” or
“Raynor”) filed this action in Superior Court in
Gaston County, North Carolina on February 21, 2017, and
Defendants subsequently removed the action to this Court on
March 24, 2017. (Doc. No. 1). Defendants answered
Plaintiff's Complaint on March 31, 2017. (Doc. No. 7). On
June 9, 2017, as required by Court order, Plaintiff filed the
Charge of Discrimination (the “Charge”) that he
filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
(“EEOC”). (Doc. Nos. 12, 13). Defendants filed
their respective Motions on August 11, 2017. (Doc. Nos. 14,
15). Plaintiff filed his responses on September 4, 2017.
(Doc. Nos. 20, 21). Defendants declined to file replies.
Accordingly, the Motions are now ripe for resolution.
employed Plaintiff, an African-American male, from on or
about July 16, 2001 until G4S terminated Plaintiff on August
26, 2016. (Doc. No. 1-1 at 18, 20). Plaintiff
received favorable evaluations for his work and had no
write-ups of misconduct or infractions in his record. (Doc.
No. 1-1 at 20). G4S also employed the Individual Defendants,
who were officers, agents, and/or employees of G4S. (Doc. No.
1-1 at 19-20).
February 2008, G4S promoted Plaintiff from Manager of Field
Support to Regional Manager of Field Support. (Doc. No. 1-1
at 20). Plaintiff alleges that in his position as Regional
Manager, he received a lower salary than his predecessor, a
white employee with less experience, training, and education,
and was required to travel to conduct floor surveys, when
other regional field managers were excused. (Doc. No. 1-1 at
21). Further, despite his superior performance, Plaintiff did
not receive incentive pay throughout his employment when
other white employees did. (Doc. No. 1 at 21-23).
September 2014, G4S's Mid-Atlantic Vice-President Malcom
Burchett released Plaintiff from his position as Regional
Manager on the pretext of a budget cut and demoted Plaintiff
to Site Manager at Bank of America Corporate Center. (Doc.
No. 1-1 at 22-23). Plaintiff alleges that a less experienced
white employee filled his vacated position and assumed his
duties but was given a different title, Director of Field
Support. (Doc. No. 1-1 at 23).
in July 2016, G4S's Director of Administration Tifani
Grusky informed Plaintiff that he had no accrued vacation
leave when he in fact had three days of unused vacation leave
under G4S's policy, practice, and contract with
Plaintiff. (Doc. No. 1-1 at 23-24). Soon thereafter, on July
20, 2016, G4S's Secure Solutions General Manager Mike
Nail informed Plaintiff that they had no work for him and
gave him a Severance Agreement and General Release package
that stated his effective termination date as July 18, 2016.
(Doc. No. 1-1 at 24). The Severance Agreement and General
Release indicated that Plaintiff was terminated for cause.
(Doc. No. 1-1 at 24). After several individuals refused to
listen to his complaints, on July 21, 2016, Plaintiff sent a
written memorandum to G4S's Chief Human Resources Officer
and Burchett. (Doc. No. 1-1 at 25). The memorandum cited
specific examples of G4S's disparate treatment of
Plaintiff, asked questions about the Severance Agreement and
General Release, and summarized his favorable work
performance. (Doc. No. 1-1 at 25). In August 2016, Burchett
informed Plaintiff that the Severance Agreement and General
Release had been intended for another employee (Doc. No. 1-1
at 25) but maintained that G4S did not have a work assignment
for Plaintiff (Doc. No. 1-1 at 26). Burchett, G4S's
Mid-Atlantic Vice-President, however indicated that he would
have Plaintiff paid for his vacation leave. (Doc. No. 1 at
25-26). Nevertheless, Plaintiff did not receive payment for
his vacation leave and was not considered for a comparable
position in the company despite Plaintiff's interest.
(Doc. No. 1 at 26-28).
reported these discriminatory practices to the Human
Resources Department on September 17, 2015 (Doc. No. 1-1 at
27) and filed a charge of discrimination with the EEOC on
January 11, 2017 (Doc. No. 1-1 at 28; Doc. No. 13-1 at 1). On
January 18, 2017, Plaintiff received notice from the EEOC
that he could file suit (Doc. No. 1-1 at 28, 69) and
initiated this action on February 21, 2017.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
Rule of Civil Procedure 12(c) provides that “[a]fter
the pleadings are closed-but early enough not to delay
trial-a party may move for judgment on the pleadings.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(c). In resolving a motion for judgment on the
pleadings, a court must accept the nonmovant's
allegations as true and view the facts in the light most
favorable to the nonmoving party. Bradley v. Ramsey,
329 F.Supp.2d 617, 622 (W.D. N.C. 2004) (internal citations
omitted). The court, however, need not “accept the
legal conclusions drawn from the facts, ” nor
“accept as true unwarranted inferences, unreasonable
conclusions, or arguments.” Giarranto v.
Johnson, 521 F.3d 298, 302 (4th Cir. 2008) (internal
12(c) motion is reviewed under a standard similar to that
which is used in Rule 12(b)(6) motions to dismiss, with the
“key difference being that on a 12(c) motion, the court
is to consider the answer as well as the complaint.”
Bradley, 329 F.Supp.2d at 622 (internal citations
omitted). The court may also considering any materials
referenced in, incorporated by reference, or attached to the
pleadings. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 10(c).
plaintiff alleging claims under Title VII need not plead
facts that constitute a prima facie case in order to survive
a motion to dismiss or motion for judgment on the pleadings,
see Swierkiewicz v. Sorema N.A., 534 U.S. 506,
510-15 (2002), but “[f]actual allegations must be
enough to raise a right of relief above the speculative
level[, ]” Coleman v. Md. Court of Appeals,
626 F.3d 187, 190 (4th Cir. 2010) (quoting Bell Atl.
Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)).