United States District Court, W.D. North Carolina, Asheville Division
MEMORANDUM AND RECOMMENDATION
CARLETON METCALF UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
matter is before the Court on Defendant's Motion to
Dismiss (Doc. 4), which has been referred to the undersigned
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B). Having carefully
considered the arguments, the record, and applicable
authority, the undersigned respectfully recommends that the
Motion be granted.
7, 2018, Plaintiff Gregory Hannah (“Hannah”)
filed his Complaint (Doc. 1).
2, 2018, Defendant WestRock Services, Inc.
(“WestRock”) filed the instant Motion to Dismiss
(Doc. 4) and a Brief in Support (Doc. 5). On July 23, 2018,
following an extension of time (Docs. 10, 11), Hannah
responded (Doc. 12). WestRock replied on July 30, 2018 (Doc.
of supplemental authority were submitted by Hannah on October
2, 2018 (Doc. 14) and by WestRock on October 3, 2018 (Doc.
allegations in Hannah's Complaint, taking all disputed
facts and reasonable inferences in favor of Hannah, are as
approximately October of 2013, Hannah, a gay male, began
working for WestRock. See Compl. (Doc. 1)
¶¶ 1, 9. Hannah was originally employed through a
temporary employment agency and “worked in
production” but was hired by WestRock as a regular
employee in approximately January of 2015. Id.
of 2015, WestRock promoted Hannah to a new position on
“second shift in Receiving” with increased pay.
Id. ¶ 10, 11.
thereafter, Hannah's romantic partner, who is male, also
began working for WestRock through a temporary employment
agency. (Doc. 1) ¶ 11.
concerning the relationship between Hannah and his partner
circulated among some WestRock employees, “drawing lots
of ridicule.” Id. ¶ 12.
department manager, Danny Lynch (“Lynch”), was
“particularly homophobic and began to harass Hannah
over his sexual orientation”. Id. ¶ 13.
Lynch's conduct included making disparaging comments
about Hannah's sexual orientation and appearance and
making a vulgar comment to “a truck driver”
regarding Hannah. Id. ¶ 14.
avoided interacting with Lynch when their shifts overlapped
each workday. Id. ¶ 15.
were “no issues about Hannah's performance”
until April of 2016 when employees at WestRock learned that
Hannah planned to marry his partner. (Doc. 1) ¶ 16.
Lynch began to “write [Hannah] up” sometimes on a
daily basis. Id. ¶ 17. On one occasion, Lynch
showed Hannah how his employee file had increased due to the
number of complaints, an ...