Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Watson v. United Parcel Service, Inc.

United States District Court, M.D. North Carolina

July 5, 2018

DEBORAH WATSON, Plaintiff,
v.
UNITED PARCEL SERVICE, INC., Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          THOMAS D. SCHROEDER, CHIEF DISTRICT JUDGE.

         This is an employment discrimination action by Plaintiff Deborah Watson alleging unlawful discrimination by Defendant United Parcel Service, Inc. (“UPS”) in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq. (“Title VII”), on the basis of sex, hostile work environment, and retaliation. Before the court is a motion to dismiss by UPS. (Doc. 7.) Watson has not responded to this motion. For the reasons discussed below, the motion will be granted.

         I. BACKGROUND

         The complaint, viewed in the light most favorable to Watson as the non-moving party, alleges the following:

         Watson has been a package delivery driver for UPS at the 199 Park Plaza Drive, Winston-Salem, North Carolina branch for approximately twenty-eight years. (Doc. 1 ¶ 7.) In 2010, she was warned that she took too many restroom breaks and was fired on July 29, 2010, for “dishonesty and theft of time.” (Id. ¶ 9.) Watson apparently returned to work thereafter, although the circumstances of her return are unclear.

         During a performance review in January of 2011, Watson was treated like a “dog or a rug under [her supervisor's] feet.” (Id. ¶ 10.) A co-worker who witnessed the event contacted management over concern about Watson's treatment. (Id.)

         On February 10, 2011, Watson filed a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) alleging that she was being harassed for taking restroom breaks outside of her allotted time to use the restroom or eat lunch. (Id. ¶ 11.) Watson alleges that UPS retaliated against her for filing this EEOC charge by issuing her “safety letters” in 2011 and 2012. (Id. ¶ 12.)

         On February 26, 2016, Watson was terminated for “dishonesty and falsifying records” following her delivery of “an NDA[1] to a business during a hail storm.” (Id. ¶ 14.) She “had already been warned of termination in February because of the complaints she'd filed against a female employee who had acted violently towards [her].” (Id.) Watson was reinstated in April 2016. (Id. ¶ 15.)

         In May of 2016, Watson was asked to work in place of a male coworker who was suffering from a kidney stone. (Id. ¶ 16.) This violated UPS “contract procedure, ”[2] which dictated that the least senior employee relieve injured coworkers. (Id.) In June 2016, Watson requested to work an eight-hour day, which UPS drivers are allowed to do twice a month. (Id. ¶ 17.) Though this request appears to have been granted, Watson still had to work a nine-hour day because her truck was given to another driver, forcing her to wait an hour before beginning her route. (Id.)

         Watson alleges that she was treated less favorably than male employees when she was called as a relief driver and when she requested to work an eight-hour day, but was required to work a nine-hour day. (Id. ¶ 18.) On October 7, 2016, Watson filed her second EEOC charge alleging ongoing discrimination, starting in 2010, on the basis of her gender and retaliation. (Doc. 8-1 at 1.)

         On February 20, 2018, Watson filed this lawsuit against UPS. (Doc. 1.) UPS responded with the pending motion to dismiss. (Doc. 7.) Watson has not filed a response - despite the court having sent her counsel a letter warning that failure to timely respond to the motion would result in the motion being referred to the court for consideration as unopposed and without a hearing (Doc. 9) - and her deadline to do so has passed.

         II. ANALYSIS

         A. Legal Standard

         Even though the motion to dismiss is unopposed and the court's local rules provide it can ordinarily be granted on that basis, see Local Rule 7.3(k), the court nevertheless must satisfy itself that the motion is merited. Gardendance, Inc. v.Woodstock Copperworks, Ltd., 230 F.R.D. 438, 449 (M.D. N.C. 2005). Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2) provides that a complaint must contain “a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.” To survive a motion to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), “a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter . . . to ‘state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v.Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). A claim is plausible “when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.