United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi, Southern Division
ALLEN R. BLAIR PLAINTIFF
YUM BRANDS and TACO BELL DEFENDANTS
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS'
 MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
SULEYMAN OZERDEN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
THE COURT is the Motion  for Summary Judgment filed by
Defendants Yum Brands and Taco Bell. This Motion is fully
briefed. Having considered the Motion, related pleadings, the
record, and relevant legal authority, the Court is of the
opinion that Defendants' Motion  for Summary Judgment
should be granted, and Plaintiff's claims should be
dismissed with prejudice.
case arises out of Plaintiff Allen R. Blair's
(“Plaintiff” or “Mr. Blair”)
employment at a Taco Bell restaurant in Gulfport,
Mississippi. Mr. Blair worked as an at-will employee at Taco
Bell from May 12, 2015, until he was terminated on December
4, 2015. Decl. of Nicholas “Nick” Moret [62-1] at
2-3; Pl.'s Dep. [62-2] at 67. Mr. Blair worked at the
restaurant in several different capacities. Pl.'s Dep.
[62-2] at 61-62. Sometimes Mr. Blair would take orders; at
other times, he would prepare food or clean. Id. at
he was working on the clock and taking orders at Taco Bell,
Mr. Blair was asked by management to solicit customers to
complete customer service satisfaction surveys. Id.
at 62, 63. According to Mr. Blair, his general manager and
area coach would receive bonuses for having customers
complete the surveys. Id. at 62-63. Mr. Blair
complains that he did not receive any part of these bonuses.
Id. at 63.
Mr. Blair realized management was receiving bonuses, he
refused to solicit surveys from customers, id. at
102, on grounds that it was not part of his job description
to solicit surveys from customers, id. at 102-03.
Mr. Blair alleges that if he did not obtain completed
customer surveys, he feared that he would not be scheduled
for as many hours on the work schedule. Id. at
Blair also charges that there were two weeks where Taco Bell
was shut down due to water contamination. Id. at 64,
104. Despite being scheduled to work for the first week, Mr.
Blair was not able to work either week due to the
restaurant's closure. Id. Mr. Blair voiced a
request for a “hardship payment” for these two
weeks on an employees' group chat software application
(“app”), for which he says he was disciplined by
management. Id. Mr. Blair maintains that he was
therefore denied his freedom of speech. Id. at
to Nick Moret (“Mr. Moret”), the “area
coach” who managed this Taco Bell location in Gulfport,
Taco Bell counseled and disciplined Mr. Blair several times
during his short employment with the company, and terminated
Mr. Blair “after an investigation determined that Mr.
Blair attempted to steal a customer's cell phone.”
Decl. of Nicholas “Nick” Moret [62-1] at 3, 4;
see also Corrective Action Reports [62-1] at 19-21.
his employment at Taco Bell, Mr. Blair was paid an hourly
wage and was required to clock-in at the beginning and end of
a shift, using a unique employee identification number. Decl.
of Nicholas “Nick” Moret [62-1] at 4; Timelog
Reporting [62-1] at 22-28; Pl.'s Dep. [62-2] at 68.
According to records submitted by Taco Bell, Mr. Blair was
paid $7.50 an hour when he was hired and was being paid $7.60
per hour at the time of his termination. Decl. of Nicholas
“Nick” Moret [62-1] at 4; Pay Records [62-1] at
29-43. It is undisputed that Mr. Blair never worked more than
40 hours during a workweek and was paid by Taco Bell every
two weeks. Decl. of Nicholas “Nick” Moret [62-1]
at 4; Timelog Reporting [62-1] at 22-28; Pay Records [62-1]
at 29-43; Pl.'s Dep. [62-2] at 69, 72.
two weeks, Mr. Blair signed a payroll report supplied by Taco
Bell confirming that the hours listed on the payroll report
were the actual hours he had worked. Decl. of Nicholas
“Nick” Moret [62-1] at 4; Pl.'s Dep. [62-2]
at 69-70. Taco Bell has presented competent summary judgment
evidence that Mr. Blair was paid for all hours that he worked
during his time at Taco Bell. Decl. of Nicholas
“Nick” Moret [62-1] at 4; Timelog Reporting
[62-1] at 22-28; Pay Records [62-1] at 29-43.
Bell provided multiple avenues for its employees to report if
they felt that they were not being paid for all hours worked.
Id. According to Mr. Moret's sworn Declaration,
“Mr. Blair did not report any concerns about his pay or
incorrect hours logged during his employment.”
filed a pro se Complaint  in this Court on
December 7, 2015, alleging that he was terminated from Taco
Bell on December 6, 2015, “because [he] gave voice to
[his] civil rights being violated.” Compl.  at 3-4.
Plaintiff alleged that the “extent of [his] employment
was ‘slavery'” because hours he worked were
not processed in payroll if he “wouldn't adheed
[sic] to the area coach and general manager [sic] wishes for
profitable benefits.” Id. at 3. Plaintiff
asserted that he was entitled to relief because slavery was
abolished in 1865; presumably, Plaintiff was referring to the
Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
Id. Plaintiff sought $250, 000, 000.00 in damages.
Id. at 5.
February 17, 2016, Defendants moved  to dismiss pursuant
to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), or in the
alternative for the Court to order Plaintiff to provide a
more definite statement pursuant to Rule 12(e). On March 21,
2016, the Court granted Defendants' Motion  to ...