United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi, Northern Division
CARLTON W. REEVES, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
main dispute before the Court is the motion for summary
judgment brought by the three individual defendants in this
action: Gerald Jones, Jerry Luckett, and Saundra Lyons. Also
pending, though, are plaintiff Carol Hester's motion to
strike, her alternative motion for leave to file a
sur-rebuttal, and the individual defendants' motion for
leave to file excess pages. All of these will be addressed
Factual and Procedural History
Hester is a security guard for the Jackson Public School
District. She says that for 16 years she was paid less than a
similarly-situated, but less-experienced male security guard
named John Banks. When Hester discovered the disparity, she
filed this suit against JPS and the supervisory officials
allegedly responsible for the gender discrimination. Her
claims arise under the Equal Pay Act (EPA), Title VII, and
the United States Constitution.
disparity is not seriously contested. JPS initially paid
Banks $0.42 an hour more than it paid Hester. Years later,
JPS paid him $4.07 an hour more than her. That was
approximately 150% of her hourly wage, for the same work.
proceedings before the Equal Employment Opportunity
Commission and this Court, JPS has produced a variety of
explanations for the pay disparity.
first told the EEOC that it paid Hester less because she was
a part-time employee for a time. But Banks was also a
part-time employee for a time—and he kept his regular
hourly rate and benefits. (JPS now says that is not evidence
of discrimination against Hester, but rather “that Mr.
Banks arguably benefitted from a short-term coding
then told the EEOC that it paid Hester less because she was
not certified. During a deposition, however, JPS's
corporate representative admitted that Hester would have made
the same amount even if she was certified.
also told the EEOC that it paid Hester less because Banks
worked an overnight shift for a time. Again, though, evidence
from deposition testimony indicates that there was no pay
differential for different shifts.
evidence is not entirely one-sided. JPS contends that several
years of the disparity can be justified by an old policy on
how prior creditable service was calculated. Banks came to
JPS with four years of prior creditable service, while Hester
came to JPS with two years of prior creditable service. When
these years of prior service are added to their years with
JPS, Banks has been working in this field since 1996, and
Hester has been working in this field since 1994. In other
words, she has more years of relevant experience than he, and
(one would think) should be treated with more seniority.
Under JPS's old policy, however, each year of prior
outside work was treated much more favorably than
each year of work with JPS. JPS accordingly says
that Banks' additional two years of non-JPS work
experience entitled him to more pay than Hester, despite her
greater overall years of work experience.
the above, JPS contends that there is no evidence that these
individual defendants did anything to violate the Equal Pay
Act, Title VII, or the United States Constitution.
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).
Court views the evidence and draws reasonable inferences in
the light most favorable to the nonmovant. Maddox v.
Townsend and 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, ...