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Marshall v. M-Tek, Inc.

United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi, Northern Division

December 15, 2016

JACQUELINE MARSHALL PLAINTIFF
v.
M-TEK, INC. DEFENDANT

          ORDER

          CARLTON W. REEVES UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Before the Court is the defendant's motion for summary judgment. Docket No. 15. The motion has been fully briefed and is ready for adjudication.

         I. Factual and Procedural History

         Jacqueline Marshall was an employee of M-Tek, Inc. for approximately 10 years before she was fired on February 21, 2013. She was discharged after discovering that a male coworker was being paid substantially more for the same work. In this suit, Marshall alleges that M-Tek discriminated and retaliated against her on the basis of sex, in violation of Title VII and the Equal Pay Act.

         Before bringing this action, she filed two charges with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. In the first charge, Marshall complained that she had been discriminated against because of her sex and suspended in retaliation for complaining about her unequal pay. Docket No. 15-2 at Exhibit 2. Her second charge of discrimination also was based on retaliation-this time when she was discharged from her employment. Id. at Exhibit 3. In letters dated April 30, 2014, the EEOC dismissed the charges and issued notices of her right to sue. Docket No. 15-3. The disputed facts regarding when Marshall received those letters will be discussed below. Marshall did not file this suit until December 29, 2015.

         II. Legal Standard

         Summary judgment is appropriate when “the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). A party seeking to avoid summary judgment must identify admissible evidence in the record showing a fact dispute. Id. at 56(c)(1). “Once a summary judgment motion is made and properly supported, the nonmovant must go beyond the pleadings and designate specific facts in the record showing that there is a genuine issue for trial. Neither conclusory allegations nor unsubstantiated assertions will satisfy the nonmovant's burden.” Wallace v. Tex. Tech Univ., 80 F.3d 1042, 1047 (5th Cir. 1996) (quotation marks and citations omitted).

         The Court views the evidence and draws reasonable inferences in the light most favorable to the nonmovant. Maddox v. Townsend & Sons, Inc., 639 F.3d 214, 216 (5th Cir. 2011). But the Court will not, “in the absence of any proof, assume that the nonmoving party could or would prove the necessary facts.” McCallum Highlands, Ltd. v. Wash. Capital Dus, Inc., 66 F.3d 89, 92 (5th Cir.), as revised on denial of reh'g, 70 F.3d 26 (5th Cir. 1995).

         III. Discussion

         M-Tek asserts that it is entitled to summary judgment because Marshall's Title VII and EPA claims are time-barred. Docket No. 16.

         A. Title VII Claims

Under Title VII, . . . a plaintiff must exhaust administrative remedies before pursuing employment discrimination claims in federal court. For Title VII . . . claims, exhaustion occurs when the plaintiff files a timely charge with the EEOC and receives a statutory notice of right to sue. A plaintiff must file her civil suit within ninety days of receipt of a right-to-sue-letter.
The requirement that a party file a lawsuit within this ninety-day limitations period under Title VII . . . is strictly construed. Commencement of the ninety-day period begins to run on the day that notice is received at the address supplied to the EEOC by the claimant . . . . This court routinely dismisses untimely claims involving delays after receipt of the right-to-sue letter in the absence of a recognized equitable consideration.

Garcia v. Penske Logistics, L.L.C., 631 F. App'x 204, 207-08 (5th Cir. 2015) (quotation marks, citations, and brackets omitted) (emphasis in original); see Stokes v. Dolgencorp, Inc., 367 F. ...


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