United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, New Albany Division
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY
EVANS BARKER, JUDGE
cause is before the Court on Defendant's Motion for
Summary Judgment [Docket No. 94], filed on October 17,
2016. Plaintiff, Ronald Glass, proceeding
pro se, has brought this action against his former
employer, Revere Plastics System (“Revere”),
alleging that Revere discriminated against him in the
workplace and ultimately terminated his employment because of
his race (African-American) and age (forty-nine) and also
retaliated against him, in violation of Title VII of the
Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”) and the
Age Discrimination in Employment Act (“ADEA”).
Although not entirely clear, it appears Mr. Glass has also
brought a state law claim for workers' compensation
retaliation. For the reasons detailed below, we
GRANT Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment.
is a custom plastic injection and insert molder, supplying
plastic injection molded parts throughout the United States
to the major appliance industry as well as other markets,
including the automotive, business equipment, power
equipment, and electrical and electronic industries. In
January 2012, Mr. Glass was hired by Revere to work in its
Jeffersonville, Indiana facility as a Quality Control
Associate. Revere's Jeffersonville facility operates
approximately 30 molding machines on three shifts, producing
plastic components and assemblies for General Electric
(“GE”) appliances, among others. When he was
hired, Mr. Glass was paid at the rate of $11.00 per hour.
Glass Dep. at 65.
2012, Mr. Glass was promoted to the position of Shipping and
Receiving Lead and began making $17.00 per hour. Id.
at 71. In that role, Mr. Glass was responsible for overseeing
the shipping and receiving of raw materials and finished
goods, maintaining inventory, and processing associated
records and invoices. Exh. A to Fountain Decl. As Shipping
and Receiving Lead, Mr. Glass reported directly to Randy
McAllister, Revere's Materials Department Manager.
in Shipping and Receiving
months following Mr. Glass's promotion, Melinda Mesbahi,
Revere's Accounts Payable Analyst, began documenting a
number of irregularities relating to invoices in shipping and
receiving. Ms. Mesbahi emailed Mr. Glass and Mr. McAllister
several times between October and December 2012 regarding
problems she had detected with invoices. Exh. B to Fountain
Decl. Ms. Mesbahi outlined the parts problems and shipping
mistakes she had discovered in her emails which included at
least thirty-one (31) shipping and receiving errors resulting
in unpaid invoices in mid-October 2012; sixteen (16)
additional shipping and receiving errors resulting in unpaid
invoices by late November 2012; thirty-one (31) new shipping
and receiving errors, plus two continuing issues, resulting
in unpaid invoices by mid-December 2012; and forty-two (42)
more shipping and receiving errors, in addition to thirteen
(13) continuing issues) that resulted in unpaid invoices by
late December 2012. See id.
these problems had been brought to the attention of Mr. Glass
and Mr. McAllister on several occasions, they persisted.
According to Revere, the shipping and receiving errors
resulted in a sharp decline in customer service and
satisfaction, requiring the company in early January 2013 to
terminate Mr. McAllister and to later terminate Dave
Eagan (another manager in the shipping and
receiving department), and demote Mr. Glass to the position
of Shipping and Receiving Associate, which reduced his pay to
$11.00 per hour. See Exh. C to Fountain Decl. After
Mr. McAllister was terminated, Joy Bruner became the
Materials Department Manager.
Glass received a disciplinary notice on January 2, 2013
informing him of his demotion. That notice provided in part
Since you have been in the role [of Shipping and Receiving
Lead], several issues have been noticed:
• Product is not being received in a timely manner,
which affects purchasing and accounting at corporate
• You have not exhibited a teamwork type attitude
• The warehouse is in a continuous state of disarray.
to Fountain Decl. Although Mr. Glass acknowledges that there
were serious problems in Shipping and Receiving, he maintains
that other employees as well as the computer system were to
blame for the mistakes and that by December 2012 he had
actually fixed the paperwork problems. Glass Dep. at 72, 91.
his demotion, Mr. Glass applied for a number of supervisory
positions, but never received another promotion. Mr. Glass
testified that he is unable to recall all of the specific
positions for which he applied, who the other applicants
were, or who ultimately was hired into those positions.
Id. at 199-200.
in Shipping and Receiving
Glass has submitted a number of emails sent among members of
Revere's management from January 2013 to November 2013
that appear to show that the issues in Shipping and Receiving
continued for a number of months after Mr. McAllister and Mr.
Eagan were terminated and Mr. Glass was demoted. See
Pl.'s Exh. 2. However, by January 31, 2014, Ms. Bruner
received praise from a representative of GE, one of
Revere's main customers, in response to improvements in
Revere's shipping and receiving. Specifically, Vickie
Evans, GE Appliance and Light Consultant, stated:
I just need to say, that Joy since you took over working with
us and Revere things have been great. Before it was constant
problems. I'm sure [Melanie Deutsch] will agree with me.
Just wanted to say thanks - I know you work hard.
Exh. D to Fountain Decl. Melanie Deutsch, also from GE,
I totally agree. We have had issues, but not receiving the
shipments, or getting calls for them not showing up. Everyone
has been doing a wonderful job. I appreciate everyone working
as a team.
months following his demotion, Mr. Glass received a number of
disciplinary write-ups issued by Ms. Bruner. On January 11,
2011, Ms. Bruner issued a verbal warning to him for failing
to follow instructions based on his having spent too much
time on the shop floor and not enough in the Shipping and
Receiving Department. Exh. E to Fountain Decl. Mr. Glass
received a verbal warning for carelessness on February 5,
2013, after he collided his fork lift with another
employee's vehicle. Exh. F to Fountain Decl. On May 4,
2013, Mr. Glass was issued another verbal warning for failure
to follow instructions after the wrong product was delivered
to a press operator. Exh. G to Fountain Decl. On June 12,
2013, Mr. Glass was instructed to personally deliver parts to
GE that were urgently needed. Exh. H to Fountain Decl. After
he delivered the wrong parts, he again received a verbal
warning, this time with the admonition that “[a]ny
further disciplinary action may result in or up to and not
excluding termination.” Id. On that same day,
a white employee, Eric Amy, received the same discipline for
a similar error, to wit, delivering the wrong parts. Exh. I
to Fountain Decl.
Mr. Glass does not deny that he made the mistakes upon which
these disciplinary measures were based, he contends that the
write-ups he received were nonetheless
“frivolous” and motivated by discriminatory
animus. Glass Dep. At 114. However, Mr. Glass did not raise
the issue of discrimination at the time he was disciplined or
mention discrimination in the space on the disciplinary form
provided for “Employee Remarks.” See
Exhs. F, G, H to Fountain Decl.