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Jackson v. Chrysler Group, LLC

United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division

July 15, 2015

RAYMOND JACKSON, Plaintiff,
v.
CHRYSLER GROUP LLC, Defendant.

OPINION AND ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF’S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT AND GRANTING DEFENDANT’S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

John Corbett O’Meara United States District Judge

Before the court are the parties’ cross-motions for summary judgment. For the reasons explained below, Plaintiff’s motion is denied and Defendant’s motion is granted.

BACKGROUND FACTS

Plaintiff Raymond Jackson is an employee of Defendant FCA U.S. LLC (“FCA”), formerly known as Chrysler Group. Jackson holds the position of Team Member Support at the Jefferson North Assembly Plant, a union unskilled position on the assembly line. Jackson, who is of African-American descent and in his late fifties, contends that he was not hired for two jobs he applied for in 2013 because of his age and race.

On February 5, 2013, Jackson applied for a Millwright position through FCA’s external careers website. FCA contends that Jackson was not considered for the position because he did not follow the proper application procedure; he applied through a site for external candidates instead of through his local human resources department. Because he indicated that he was a current FCA employee on the external careers website, his application was automatically stopped and not processed further. Def.’s Ex. D. Jackson was not considered for the Millwright position.

On September 11, 2013, Jackson applied for a Die Maintenance Supervisor position, also through the external careers website. Jackson also was not considered for the Die Maintenance Supervisor position, because FCA contends that he again did not follow the proper application procedure.

FCA further contends that Jackson was not qualified for either position. The Millwright position requires a U.S. Department of Labor Completion of Apprenticeship Certificate as a Millwright or eight years of experience as a Millwright. The Die Maintenance Supervisor position requires the applicant to have a bachelor’s degree or be a journeyman die maker and to have three years of die experience. Jackson’s resume and deposition testimony confirm that he is not a journeyman millwright or die maker, does not have a bachelor’s degree, and does not have eight years of experience as a millwright or three years experience as a die maker. Def.’s Ex. A at 106-108, 110, 121-23; Def.’s Ex. G.

Jackson filed an EEOC charge contending that he was not hired for the Millwright and Die Maintenance Supervisor positions because of his race and age. The EEOC issued a right to sue letter on April 3, 2014. Jackson filed this action on May 28, 2014.

LAW AND ANALYSIS

I. Summary Judgment Standard

Summary judgment is appropriate if “there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and . . . the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c). When reviewing a motion for summary judgment, the facts and any reasonable inferences drawn from the facts must be viewed in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party. Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co., Ltd. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587 (1986). The party opposing summary judgment, however, must present more than a “mere scintilla” of evidence; the evidence must be such that a reasonable jury could find in favor of the plaintiff. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 252 (1986).

II. Analysis under Title VII and ADEA

Jackson contends that FCA discriminated against him in violation of Title VII and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. See 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-2; 29 U.S.C. § 623. A plaintiff may establish a prima facie case under Title VII and the ADEA by presenting direct evidence of discrimination or by presenting circumstantial evidence satisfying the McDonnell-Douglas burden-shifting paradigm. See, e.g., Kline v. Tenn. Valley Auth., 128 F.3d 337, 348 (6th Cir. 1997); Hendrick v. Western Reserve Care Sys., 355 F.3d 444, 459 (6th Cir. 2004). Jackson does not present direct evidence of discrimination here. See United States ex rel. Diop v. Wayne County Community College Dist., 242 F.Supp.2d 497, 510 (E.D. Mich. 2003) (“Direct proof of discriminatory animus . . . includes such things as racial slurs and comments about a person’s age or gender made by decision makers.”).

Accordingly, Jackson must satisfy the following elements: (1) he is a member of a protected group; (2) he was subject to an adverse employment action; (3) he was qualified for the position; and (4) he was treated differently than similarly situated employees outside the protected ...


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