United States District Court, N.D. Mississippi
SHEANETER J. BOGAN PLAINTIFF
MTD CONSUMER GROUP, INC. DEFENDANT
Waide, MS Rachel Pierce Waide, Ron L. Woodruff, Attorneys for
Banck Taylor, Timothy W. Lindsay, Blythe K. Lollar, MS
Attorneys for Defendant.
SHARION AYCOCK UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Choose [by a √ mark] one of the following paragraphs,
as is appropriate to the action: If a pretrial conference
pretrial conference was held as follows:
Dated: November 2, 2016 Time: 10:30 am
United States Courthouse at: Aberdeen, Mississippi
Before the following judicial officer: Magistrate Judge David
final pretrial conference having been dispensed with by the
judicial officer, the parties have conferred and agree upon
the following terms of this pretrial order:
The following counsel appeared:
Name Ron L. Woodruff
Postal and Email Addresses Waide & Associates,
P.A. 332N. Spring Street P. O. Box 1357 Tupelo, MS
Telephone No. (662)-842-7324
Name Robin B. Taylor Timothy W. Lindsay Blythe
Postal and Email Addresses 207 West Jackson Street
Suite 200 Ridgeland, MS 39157
Telephone No. 601-360-8444
pleadings are amended to conform to this pretrial order.
The following claims (including claims stated in the
complaint, counterclaims, crossclaims, third-party claims,
etc.) have been filed:
a. Plaintiff's claim under Title VII for race
discrimination; and b. Plaintiff's claim under Title VII
for gender discrimination.
c. Plaintiff's claim under Title VII for gender and race
The basis for this court's jurisdiction is:
This Court has federal question jurisdiction under 42 U.S.C.
2000e-2, 28 U.S.C. § 1331 and civil rights jurisdiction
under 28 U.S.C. § 1343, for a cause of action arising
under Title VII and the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
The following jurisdictional question(s) remain(s) [If none,
enter “None”]: None 7. The
following motions remain pending [If none, enter
“None”] [Note: Pending motions not noted here may
be deemed moot]:
The parties accept the following concise
summaries of the ultimate facts as claimed by:
January 6, 1992, Sheaneter Bogan, black female, was hired by
MTD to work as a general assembly employee at its Verona,
2010, after receiving her tool and die degree, Bogan applied
to work in the tool and die department as a machinist. In
January 2011, MTD hired Gary Johnson to work in the tool and
die department as a machinist. Bogan was upset because they
hired an outside candidate, a young male with whom she had
graduated tool and die school, instead of herself, who had
worked for MTD for around nineteen (19) years.
19, 2011, Bogan was promoted to the tool and die department
as a second shift CNC operator. There was only one other
female working in the tool and die department as machinist
out of around twenty-four (24) employees, Micky Bowers, who
was white. There were only around four black persons - Barry
Ledbetter, Gary Johnson, Bruce Enos and Orlando Marion.
However, there were no other black females working in the
tool and die department other than Bogan. Bogan's
supervisors testified that they did not have any problem with
her work performance, and she showed up to work on time.
tool and die department, each week employees work a series of
four shifts, totaling ten-and-a-half hours each, which
includes a thirty (30) minute unpaid lunch break. Bogan
clocked in at the beginning of the shift, and clocked out at
the end. Employees did not sign in or out when they took
their lunch breaks. Further, employees could leave the plant
during their lunch break and were not required to sign out,
or sign back in, when they left or returned to the plant.
During an employee's lunch break, the employee could use
that time any way he/she wanted to use it.
was told from the time she began work in the tool and die
department that they operate by different rules than the rest
of the plant. It was the custom and practice of the tool and
die department that lunch breaks were longer than thirty (30)
minutes. In fact, Bogan's lunch break could be anytime
between 11:00 am until 12:00 pm. The lead man on the shift
would take the long lunch breaks with everyone else, so Bogan
knew she was doing nothing wrong.
working for MTD, Bogan was also working on her degree in
social work. MTD worked around Bogan's class schedule for
the Fall 2012 semester.
January 15, 2013, Bogan was called to a meeting with her
supervisors, Doug Grant and Ron Bateman, to discuss her
schedule. At the meeting, Bogan was told that her schedule
would be from 5:00 a.m. until 3:30 p.m.
Spring semester Bogan had originally signed up for two
classes. However, after she was informed that MTD would no
longer accommodate her school schedule for the second class,
Bogan dropped that class. The class Bogan did not drop met
two days a week, Tuesday and Thursday, between 10:30 a.m. and
11:45 a.m. Bogan only attended the class sparingly.
did not clock out the few times she was able to attend the
10:30 a.m. class, because she would only attend the class
during her lunch break, and would not be gone for more than
the forty-five (45) minutes allowed for lunch. Bogan never
asked for permission to attend the 10:30 a.m. class, because
she knew she did not have to do so, it was her lunch hour.
became aware that Bogan was attending classes at the Tupelo
Campus of Ole Miss, so it conducted an investigation and
terminated Bogan. MTD claims it fired Bogan for leaving the
facility while on the clock attending a class. After being
terminated, Bogan was replaced by a white male, John Trammel.
case involves MTD's termination of Bogan's employment
after she admitted leaving the plant during working hours
without permission, despite having been given a final warning
to adhere to her work schedule just months before. Even
though Bogan admits she had been informed that she could not
leave work during her assigned shift to attend college
courses, Bogan admits she did so. Bogan appealed her
termination to the Employee Peer Review Board. After weighing
evidence and testimony, this committee of her peers upheld
the termination decision.
background, MTD employed Bogan as a Wire EDM Operator in the
Tool & Die department at its Verona, Mississippi on an
at-will basis. In May 2011, Bogan applied for and MTD
selected her to be a CNC Operator in the Tool & Die
Department on the second (night) shift. In March 2012, MTD
acquired a wire EDM machine and Bogan bid for this position
and was selected. Bogan moved to the first (day) shift from
March 2012 to her termination. The first shift schedule is
5:00 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. and Bogan's lunch was from
11:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
time that Bogan bid for the Wire EDM Operator position, she
was taking Social Work classes at the University of
Mississippi. In December 2012, Doug Grant met with Bogan and
informed her she could not attend classes during her work
day. Bogan was informed that she could finish the fall 2012
semester, but could not continue this arrangement in the
spring. At this same time, Grant counseled Bogan to adhere to
her schedule of 5:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Shortly thereafter,
Grant sent an e-mail advising all employees not to be at work
unscheduled and not to work alone due to safety concerns.
does not dispute these facts. Nevertheless, on January 5,
2013, Bogan chose to disregard the instructions and warnings
she was given and came to work on a Saturday and worked 15
hours. Therefore, on January 15, 2013, Grant and Bateman met
with Bogan to discuss her work schedule. During this meeting,
both Grant and Bateman reiterated that Bogan could not attend
classes during her work day. During this meeting Bogan again
received employee counselling, was coached, and signed a
document acknowledging that her shift time was from 5:00 a.m.
to 3:30 p.m. and that any deviation from these hours would
need prior approval.
conclusion of the meeting Bogan was told to go home because
it was past her shift end time. Bogan agrees there was no
question in her mind that she would be held to her regular
schedule at MTD after she received her final warning. Despite
having just acknowledged that she was not allowed to work
outside of her scheduled shift, Bogan did not leave but
instead returned to work and did not leave until 7:00 p.m. As
a result of her refusal to comply with Grant and
Bateman's immediate and clear instruction, Bogan was
given a “final warning notice” for work schedule
disagreed with the final warning and appealed to the Employee
Peer Review Board (“EPRB”). The EPRB operates
independently of MTD management and has complete discretion
to either affirm or overturn an MTD management employment
disciplinary decision. The EPRB is a board made up of four
hourly and one salaried employees randomly drawn from a
volunteer group of trained and qualified board members.
though Bogan had been informed that she could not attend
classes during the work day and had been disciplined for
deviating from her work schedule, Bogan continued to leave
the MTD facility, without authorization and during the work
day, to attend classes After a thorough investigation, MTD
terminated Bogan's employment on April 25, 2013. Again,
Bogan appealed to the EPRB. On April 30, 2013, the EPRB heard
Bogan's appeal. After hearing all of the testimony and
weighing all the evidence, the EPRB which on this occasion
included four African-American women and one male who had
been randomly selected, voted by secret ballot to uphold the
a. The following facts are established by the
pleadings, by stipulation, or by admission:
employed Bogan as a Wire EDM Operator in its Tool & Die
department at its Verona, Mississippi location prior to her
termination in April 2013.
The contested issues of fact are as follows:
1. Whether Plaintiff was treated any differently than
similarly situated white employees under nearly identical
2. Whether Plaintiff was treated any differently than
similarly situated male employees under nearly identical
3. Whether Plaintiff can identify similarly situated
employees who were treated differently under nearly identical
4. Whether Defendant possessed a legitimate,
non-discriminatory reason for its decision to terminate
5. Whether Defendant discriminated against Plaintiff because
of her race.
6. Whether Defendant discriminated against Plaintiff because
of her gender.
7. Whether Plaintiff can satisfy her prima facie case because
MTD did not hire someone outside of the protected class to
replace her, but instead her former job duties were added to
those of an existing employee in the Tool & Die
Department - John Tramel (Caucasian).
8. Whether Plaintiff has suffered or is entitled to any
9. Whether Plaintiff reasonable or diligently attempted to
mitigate her damages, if any.
10. What damages, if any, Plaintiff is entitled to receive.
11. Mixed questions of law and fact.
12. Whether Defendant discriminated against Plaintiff because
she is a black female in terminating her.
The contested issues of ...