United States District Court, S.D. Alabama, Southern Division
ANGELA T. BOSBY, Plaintiff,
HYDRATECH INDUSTRIES FLUID POWER, INC., Defendant.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
V. S. GRANADE SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the court on Defendant's motion for
summary judgment (Doc. 25), Plaintiff's response in
opposition (Doc. 35), Defendant's reply (Doc. 37), and
Defendant's motion to strike Plaintiff's evidentiary
submission (Doc. 38). For the reasons explained below, the
Court finds that Defendant's motions to strike and for
summary judgment should be granted.
Angela T. Bosby filed this case pro se asserting
that she was racially discriminated and retaliated against by
her employer, Defendant Hydratech Industries Fluid Power,
Inc. (“Hydratech”), in violation of Title VII of
the 1964 Civil Rights Act, as amended. (Doc. 1). The
complaint alleges that she was discriminated against when
employees in Hydratech's accounting department treated
her negatively by making her job more difficult because she
is African-American. (Doc. 1, ¶¶ 19, 20). The
Complaint also alleges that Plaintiff was terminated on May
5, 2015 in retaliation for having “reported her
treatment by other employees to Selph, Human Resources
Director, Vosen, General Manager, and Israel, Finance Manager
who were all aware that Plaintiff was complaining that the
treatment was based on her race, African-American.”
(Doc. 1, ¶¶ 23-24). Plaintiff's complaint also
alleges that Hydratech's stated reasons for firing her
were pretextual, as she had received no counseling or
discipline for any of the stated reasons prior to her
termination. (Doc. 1, ¶¶ 8, 23). According to the
complaint, other Caucasian employees committed the same
actions she was accused of committing but were not
terminated. (Doc. 1, ¶ 10).
was hired as an Accounting Specialist at Hydratech in
November 2012. (Doc. 27-1, ¶ 9). Plaintiff and other
Hydratech employees received and signed a copy of
Hydratech's Policy and Procedures Manual, which contains
an Equal Employment Opportunity Policy that strictly
prohibits racial discrimination and retaliation and also
contains a Non-Harassment Policy that prohibits racial
discrimination and harassment. (Doc. 27-1, ¶¶ 5, 9;
Doc. 30-1, pp. 6-7). Hydratech hired Mitchell Israel in
January 2015 to serve as its Finance Manager and a month
later Israel hired Robyne Clower as the Accounting Department
Team Leader. (Doc. 27-1, ¶ 13; Doc. 30-1, pp. 10-11).
Upon her hire, Ms. Clower became Plaintiff's direct
supervisor. (Doc. 28-1, ¶ 13).
Clower and Plaintiff complained to Israel and the Human
Resources Manager, Ms. Selph about each other concerning
routine interoffice personality conflicts. (Doc. 28-1, ¶
14, Doc. 29-1, ¶¶ 14-15). Clower complained that
Plaintiff was resistant to change, and Plaintiff complained
that she did not think changes in the accounting department
were necessary. (Doc. 28-1, ¶¶ 14, 15). Clower also
reported that Plaintiff did not meet performance standards,
failed to properly communicate with her and did not display a
positive cooperative attitude. (Doc. 29-1, ¶ 14). None
of the complaints were based on race and Plaintiff never
complained to Israel or Selph that she felt discriminated
against or harassed on the basis of her race. (Doc. 28-1,
¶¶ 14, 15; Doc. 29-1, ¶ 15).
January 2015 to May 2015, Plaintiff clocked in late 28 times
and clocked out early 22 times. (Doc. 29-1, ¶ 18). Ms.
Selph had multiple verbal counseling conversations with
Plaintiff during that time period to improve her attendance.
(Doc. 29-1, ¶ 18). In March 2015, Plaintiff falsely
recorded on her time card that she arrived at 8:00 a.m. on
March 17 when she had been observed arriving after 8:00 a.m.
and she was counseled on that issue as well. (Doc. 29-1,
¶ 18). Hydratech also had issues with Plaintiff working
off the clock and refusing to follow policy that she take a
full lunch hour rather than work through lunch. Hydratech had
implemented a policy to cut down on overtime unless
absolutely necessary but needed to abide by all Department of
Labor rules and regulations and fully compensate its
employees for overtime. When discovered, Plaintiff's time
entry was adjusted so that she would be fully compensated,
and she was counseled against working off the clock again.
(Doc. 28-1, ¶ 26, Doc. 29-1, ¶ 24).
Israel was aware that Plaintiff had made accounting errors on
invoices during her employment with Hydratech, but on May 5,
2015, Israel discovered a large error: Plaintiff had posted
an invoice in the amount of $147, 600.00 to the wrong
Hydratech entity, causing a discrepancy in intercompany
balances and reconciliation. (Doc. 28-1, ¶ 16).
Plaintiff contends that it was Clower that made the mistake,
but Israel believed that Plaintiff made the mistake and
Israel and Selph still maintain that it was in fact
Plaintiff's mistake. (Doc. 30-1, pp. 53, 55; Doc. 28-1,
¶ 16; Doc. 29-1, ¶ 16). Mr. Israel decided to
terminate Bosby as a result of the culmination of the issues
with her attendance, her falsification of time record, her
accounting errors, and particularly due to her $147, 600.00
invoice error. (Doc. 28-1, ¶ 18). Plaintiff's
termination notice, dated May 5, 2015, listed several
accounting errors made by Plaintiff as well as
Plaintiff's time clock issues Hydratech had documented
and concluded that the incidents violated Hydratech's
policies and as a result that Plaintiff was terminated
effective that day. (Doc. 30-1, pp. 64-65).
admits that when she complained about the way she was treated
she never said she felt she was being racially discriminated
against. (Doc. 30-1, p. 42). Plaintiff believes the HR
director knew Plaintiff was the only black employee in the
accounting department and should have understood that the
reason she was being treated different was because she was
black. (Doc. 30-1, pp. 42-42). Plaintiff contends that
certain white employees were allowed to work off the clock
but admits that she has never seen their time records or
disciplinary history. (Doc. 30-1, pp. 30-35). Israel avers
that he is not aware of any employee being allowed to work
off the clock without being counseled the same as Plaintiff
and fully compensated for their time. (Doc. 28-1, ¶ 27).
Plaintiff also contends that certain white employees were
permitted to violate the attendance policy without
consequence but admits that she never saw their attendance
records or disciplinary history. (Doc. 30-1, pp. 35-39,
48-49). According to Israel, the attendance policy, including
the requirements to arrive on time, correctly report hours
worked, and not to work off the clock, applied equally to all
employees and infractions by any employee were not tolerated
if Israel or Ms. Selph was aware of the infractions. (Doc.
28-1, ¶¶ 27, 28, 29, 30). Israel states that the
employees Plaintiff suggests were treated better did not have
the level and severity of attendance issues that Plaintiff
had. (Doc. 28-1, ¶ 28).
also states that other employees were not treated
preferentially with regard to receiving mileage
reimbursements, overtime, or being allowed to work through
lunch. These policies were followed equally with regard to
all employees. (Doc. 28-1, ¶¶ 31, 32).
claims two of the white employees caused her issues in
completing her work by not giving her the information she
needed, but Plaintiff admits that she has no evidence that
the reason they treated her that way was because she was
black. The reason Plaintiff believes it was because of her
race is because they are white, and she is black. (Doc. 30-1,
also claims she was discriminated against when Hydratech
stopped participating in the Premium Reimbursement health
insurance plan because she was the only participant in the
plan at the time. However, due to changes in health insurance
from the Affordable Care Act, Hydratech was no longer
permitted to allow the Premium Reimbursement and could only
allow employees the option of joining its United healthcare
plan. (Doc. 28-1, ¶ 34).
claims she was discriminated against when her name was
removed from the Hydratech invoice email address, when
another white employee's name remained. However, Israel
and Selph report that the decision was made to help
streamline the Accounting Department because it created
confusion when both Plaintiff and the other employee printed
all the invoices and receivables. (Doc. 28-1, ¶ 34; Doc.
29-1, ¶ 35).
claims she was discriminated against when Israel decided to
split the responsibility for vendors so that Plaintiff was
responsible for vendors A-L and another employee was
responsible for vendors M-Z. Israel later gave some of the
vendors back to Plaintiff. Plaintiff felt all the changes
were directed towards her and not towards the white
employees. However, Plaintiff admits she has no evidence the
decision was based on race and that the purpose of the