Stovall v. The Compass Group et al
ORDER GRANTING Dft Compass Group USA, Inc.'s 40 Motion for Summary Judgment as set out. Signed by Judge Callie V. S. Granade on 6/20/2014. (copy mailed to Plf on 6/20/14) (tot) Modified on 6/20/2014 (tot).
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF ALABAMA
MALISSA H. STOVALL,
THE COMPASS GROUP/MORRISON
Civil Action No. 12-00604-CG-N
This matter is before the court on the defendant Compass Group USA, Inc.’s
(“Compass Group”) motion for summary judgment (Doc. 41), the plaintiff Malissa H.
Stovall’s (“Stovall”) response in opposition to the motion for summary judgment
(Doc. 43), and Compass Group’s reply thereto (Doc. 45). For the reasons stated
below, Compass Group’s motion for summary judgment is GRANTED.
This is a lawsuit in which the plaintiff alleges that she was discriminated
against by her employer on account of her race and her religion, and that she also
was subject to retaliation for statutorily protected activity.
On November 3, 2008, Stovall began working as a Credit Specialist in the
Cash and Credit Management Department at Compass Group’s Mobile Support
Center (“MSC”) in Mobile, Alabama. (Doc. 41-1 ¶ 4; Doc. 41-2 at 55-56). Compass
Group is a food service management and support services company with multiple
sectors and lines of business, including the Morrison Management Specialists
(“Morrison”) division. Morrison provides food, nutrition and dining services
exclusively to healthcare organizations and senior living communities
throughout the United States. (Doc. 41-1, at 2,3). Stovall’s job duties included
managing the accounts receivable process for field accounts assigned to her. (Doc.
41-2 Exhibit 7). Stovall’s written job description required her to: (1) work with
operations to collect opening costs and client deposits; (2) verify accounts receivable
from contracts and load it into Compass Group’s IT system; (3) monitor the field
accounts on a repayment plan; (4) assist in posting account receivable payments; (5)
initiate refund requests for credit balances; (6) work with operations regarding
uncollectible amounts; (7) assist with billing reconciliations; and (8) assist with
write-off reports. (Doc. 41-2 at 60-61, Exhibit 7). Credit Specialists are particularly
busy on the first two days of every month when they review outstanding invoices
and distribute interest invoices. (Doc. 41-1 ¶ 5). Stovall reported to Jerry Carpenter
(“Carpenter”) who was the Director of the Cash and Credit Management
Department. (Doc. 41-2 at 57-58). Several senior members of the Cash and Credit
Management Department trained Stovall on her job duties during her first year of
employment.1 Carpenter also provided feedback to Stovall. (Doc. 41-2 at 90).
Stovall alleges that Compass Group discriminated and retaliated against her
Senior Credit Specialist Kelly Jordan (“Jordan”), Senior Credit Specialist John Knight
(“Knight”), Senior Credit Analyst Margie Kohn (“Kohn”), and Credit Specialist Linda
Roberts (“Roberts”) trained Stovall on the day-to-day functions of a Credit Specialist
including how to run reports, how to contact field accounts about outstanding invoices and
how to allocate checks. (Doc. 41-2 at 63-64, 89).
based on her race and religion.2 Stovall is African American and a Jehovah’s
Witness. (Doc. 8 ¶ 3; Doc. 41-2 at 193). In December 2008, Compass Group
announced that the office would close during MSC’s holiday party to allow
employees to attend. (Doc. 41-2 at 207-209). At some point, Stovall informed
Carpenter that she would not be attending the party because she did not celebrate
Christmas and asked what she should do during the time that the office was closed.
(Id. at 209). After Carpenter spoke with his supervisor Kenny Eiland about the
request, he advised Stovall that she could use 0.5 days of vacation time for the
period in which the office was closed for the party. (Doc. 41-2 at 219-20).
In early 2009, Carpenter granted Stovall’s request to change her work
schedule from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (Doc. 41-2 at 58-59).
Shortly thereafter, however, Stovall repeatedly failed to arrive at work by her newly
scheduled start time of 7:30 a.m.3 Based on these tardy arrivals, Carpenter placed
Stovall back on her original schedule. (Doc. 41-2 at 59-60).
Stovall alleges that she was treated differently than her co-worker Stephanie
Stovall attached various documents including time cards, notes and computer screen shots
that were not accompanied by any sworn testimony as to who created the documents, when
they were created, or whether they have been altered in any way. The authenticity of the
documents is further undermined by Stovall’s admission that she edited the contents of her
supposedly contemporaneous notes. See Doc. 43 at 31-32. Stovall relied almost exclusively
on these unauthenticated documents as support for her factual allegations and provided
virtually no citations to affidavits, deposition transcripts or other discovery materials. The
court advises that it cannot consider any of these unauthenticated documents in resolving
the motion for summary judgment. See Fed.R.Evid. 801 and 901; Saunders v. Emory
Healthcare, Inc., 360 F.App'x. 110, 113 (11th Cir. 2010) (“To be admissible in support of or
in opposition to a motion for summary judgment, a document must be authenticated by and
attached to an affidavit that meets the requirements of Rule 56(e) and the affiant must be a
person through whom the exhibits could be admitted into evidence.”).
For example, during one week, Stovall arrived late at least three times. (Doc. 41-2 at 5960, 170-171).
Meil (“Meil”) who also worked from 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (Doc. 43 at 6-16).
Although Meil was employed as a Credit Specialist, she worked exclusively in the
treasury group opening and closing bank accounts. (41-1 ¶ 9, Exhibit A). During the
first month of her employment, Roberts, who performed bank reconciliation duties,
and Amanda Bellum trained Meil. Thereafter, Meil worked on her own and asked
questions when needed. (Doc. 41-1 ¶ 10; Doc. 401-2 at 88-89).
At the end of Stovall’s first year working with Compass Group, she met with
Carpenter to discuss her performance appraisal. (Doc. 41-2 at 96-98). In the
evaluation, Carpenter rated Stovall as not competent in the areas of productivity,
quality of work, knowledge of work, sense of responsibility, relations with others,
creativity, reasoning and judgment, self-confidence, adaptability, drive and
expression. (Doc. 41-2 at 96-97, Exhibit 17). Stovall agreed with Carpenter’s
assessment of her performance because “it was clear that [it] was correct.” (Doc. 412 at 96-98). Neither Stovall’s salary nor benefits decreased as a result of the
evaluation. (Doc. 41-1 ¶ 6; Doc. 41-2 at 87). Rather, Stovall received a 1.5% merit
increase raise on January 1, 2010. Id.
In light of the appraisal, Plaintiff agreed to receive additional job training.
(Doc. 41-2 at 96 -98, Exhibit 17). Kohn trained Stovall for several months in various
areas with which she demonstrated a lack of understanding, such as behind-thescenes-billing and proper check allocation. (Doc. 41-2 at 98-101, 112). Stovall met
with Carpenter in March 2010 to discuss her specific performance problems –
namely, the improper posting of payments and incorrect handling of other
transactions. (Doc. 41-2 at 106-108, Exhibit 18). During the meeting, Stovall agreed
that she received adequate training and acknowledged the next steps in the
counseling process she would face if she continued to make mistakes. Id.
On July 10, 2010, Stovall sent Carpenter an email stating, “I need to request
July 2 off to attend a convention.” (Doc. 41-2 at 193, Exhibit 28). Shortly after
sending the email, Stovall met with Carpenter in person to discuss the request.
(Doc. 41-2 at 194-94). Because it would be difficult to coordinate PTO on that date
as it fell during the busy period when Credit Specialist review and distribute
interest invoices, Carpenter suggested that Stovall come into work in the morning
and attend the convention in the afternoon if everything went well. (Doc. 41-1 ¶¶ 5,
7; Doc. 41-2 at 193-197). Stovall agreed to Carpenter’s proposal and did not inform
anyone of any issues with the arrangement. (Doc. 41-1 at 197-98). On June 29,
2010, Stovall emailed Carpenter stating he could disregard her request to take off
work July 2 because she arranged to attend a different conference instead. (Doc. 412 at 199-200, Exhibit 29).
After overhearing Roberts discussing vacation plans for the first week of
August, Stovall emailed Carpenter on June 30, 2010, asking,”[i]s there a particular
reason why you discriminated against my (sic) and my request for time off last
month during Finance Charges and you have approved Linda’s request the very
next month?” (Doc. 41-2 at 201-202, Exhibit 30). Carpenter explained that he
granted Roberts’ request because she sent it four months in advance of her proposed
vacation days. (Doc. 41-1 ¶ 8; Doc. 41-2 at 202-204).
On November 18, 2010, Stovall and Carpenter met to discuss her
performance appraisal for 2010. Carpenter rated Stovall less than competent in ten
areas including quality of work and knowledge of work. (Doc. 41-2 Exhibit 19).
Stovall’s overall score for 2010 was 2.08, which was below the threshold rating for
competent. (Doc. 41-2 at 117, Exhibit 19). In line with the action plan section of the
performance appraisal, Stovall resumed training in the early part of 2011 with
Kohn and met with Carpenter at least once a month to discuss her progress. (Doc.
42-2 at 119, 123-24, Exhibit 19).
On March 4, 2011, Carpenter issued Stovall her first formal progressive
counseling report regarding errors she continued to make as a Credit Specialist.
(Doc. 41-2 at 124-26, Exhibit 20). The report noted that Stovall lacked progress and
knowledge in certain areas, such as instances where she admittedly handled
payments incorrectly. (Doc. 41-2 at 124-26, Exhibit 20). Stovall agreed with the
assessment of her performance and received additional training sessions. (Doc. 41-2
On May 20, 2011, Carpenter issued Stovall a second progressive counseling
for the same reasons as the first. (Doc. 41-2 at 127-129, Exhibit 21). Stovall’s
performance in the ensuing months did not meet Carpenter’s legitimate
expectations. (Doc. 41-2 at 138-39). Similarly, Stovall agreed with a final
progressive counseling she received in connection with her 2011 performance
appraisal,4 which noted that she continued to make mistakes and had not fully
The final progressive counseling detailed several errors Stovall committed over the prior
few weeks. See Doc. 41-2 Exhibit 23. Stovall incorrectly posted a payment from Novant
grasped the concept of her role. (Doc. 41-2 at 130-32, Exhibit 20). Pursuant to an
action plan contained in the 2011 performance appraisal, Stovall resumed training
with Kohn and met with Carpenter on December 28, 2011 to discuss ideas to
address her development needs. (Doc. 41-2 at 133-34, 145-46, Exhibit 23). Stovall’s
responsibilities, pay and benefits remained unchanged after receiving each
progressive counseling. (Doc. 41-2 at 141, 191).
Stovall alleges that she made the same errors as her co-worker Morgan
Sifford (“Sifford”), but was treated differently. (Doc. 43 ¶ 4). Compass Group hired
Sifford in September 2010 as a Cash Application Specialist. (Doc. 41-1 ¶ 11). After
receiving training from Meil during the first two weeks of her employment, Sifford
worked on her own while asking questions when needed. (Doc. 41-1 ¶¶ 11, 12).
Stovall continued to misapply payments and failed to handle accounts
receivable appropriately for several locations. (Doc. 41-2 at 154-55, Exhibit 25).
Based on her poor performance, Carpenter terminated Stovall’s employment in a
meeting on April 12, 2012. (Doc. 41-2 at 153-54). The termination report listed a
number of recent mistakes made by Stovall. (Doc. 41-2 Exhibit 25). Because Stovall
“couldn’t argue…that [she] didn’t make those mistakes,” she signed the termination
and counseling paperwork. (Doc. 41-2 at 154-56).
At some point during her employment Stovall confided in her co-worker
Health Care and mishandled a refund check resulting in an account being out of balance.
Id. Stovall also improperly handled an account at Golden Living Center Northside by
posting checks incorrectly. Id. Further, Stovall failed to notify the Regional Director of
Operations of an income adjustment at a particular account. Id. These mistakes
encompassed topics addressed in Stovall’s extensive training, in the informal memo
provided to her in 2010 and in the first and second progressive counseling reports issued in
2010 and 2011. (Doc. 41-2 at 132-34, 139-141, Exhibit 23).
Felicia Patterson that she didn’t think she was being treated fairly. (Doc. 41-2 at
220). However, Stovall never told anyone at the company that she felt she was being
discriminated against based on her race or religion. (Doc. 41-2 at 219).
On April 27, 2012, Stovall filed Charge of Discrimination No. 425-2012-00621
with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”). (Doc. 41-2 at 16061, Exhibit 26). Stovall checked the race, religion and retaliation boxes on the
charge and indicated December 1, 2011 as the earliest date that the alleged
discrimination took place. (Doc. 41-2 Exhibit 26).
SUMMARY JUDGMENT STANDARD
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(a) provides that summary judgment shall
be granted “if the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material
fact and that the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” The trial
court’s function is not “to weigh the evidence and determine the truth of the matter
but to determine whether there is a genuine issue for trial.” Anderson v. Liberty
Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 249 (1986). “The mere existence of some evidence to
support the non-moving party is not sufficient for denial of summary judgment;
there must be ‘sufficient evidence favoring the nonmoving party for a jury to return
a verdict for that party.’” Bailey v. Allgas, Inc., 284 F.3d 1237, 1243 (11th Cir. 2002)
(quoting Anderson, 477 U.S. at 249). “If the evidence is merely colorable, or is not
significantly probative, summary judgment may be granted.” Anderson, 477 U.S. at
249-250 (internal citations omitted).
The basic issue before the court on a motion for summary judgment is
“whether the evidence presents a sufficient disagreement to require submission to a
jury or whether it is so one-sided that one party must prevail as a matter of law.”
See Anderson, 477 U.S. at 251-252. The moving party bears the burden of proving
that no genuine issue of material fact exists. O'Ferrell v. United States, 253 F.3d
1257, 1265 (11th Cir. 2001). In evaluating the argument of the moving party, the
court must view all evidence in the light most favorable to the non-moving party,
and resolve all reasonable doubts about the facts in its favor. Burton v. City of
Belle Glade, 178 F.3d 1175, 1187 (11th Cir. 1999). “If reasonable minds might
differ on the inferences arising from undisputed facts, then a court should deny
summary judgment.” Hinesville Bank v. Pony Exp. Courier Corp., 868 F.2d 1532,
1535 (11th Cir. 1989) (citing Mercantile Bank & Trust v. Fidelity & Deposit Co., 750
F.2d 838, 841 (11th Cir. 1985)).
Once the movant satisfies his initial burden under Rule 56(a), the nonmoving party “must make a sufficient showing to establish the existence of each
essential element to that party's case, and on which that party will bear the burden
of proof at trial.” Howard v. BP Oil Co., 32 F.3d 520, 524 (11th Cir. 1994)(citing
Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 324 (1986)). Otherwise stated, the nonmovant must “demonstrate that there is indeed a material issue of fact that
precludes summary judgment.” Clark v. Coats & Clark, Inc., 929 F.2d 604, 608
(11th Cir. 1991). The non-moving party “may not rely merely on allegations or
denials in its own pleading; rather, its response ...must be by affidavits or as
otherwise provided in this rule be set out specific facts showing a genuine issue for
trial.” Vega v. Invsco Group, Ltd., 2011 WL 2533755, *2 (11th Cir. 2011). “A mere
‘scintilla’ of evidence supporting the [non-moving] party’s position will not suffice;
there must be enough of a showing that the jury could reasonably find for that
party.” Walker v. Darby, 911 F.2d 1573, 1577 (11th Cir. 1990) (citation omitted).
“[T]he nonmoving party may avail itself of all facts and justifiable inferences in the
record taken as a whole.” Tipton v. Bergrohr GMBH-Siegen, 965 F.2d 994, 998
(11th Cir. 1992). “Where the record taken as a whole could not lead a rational trier
of fact to find for the non-moving party, there is no genuine issue for trial.”
Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co., Ltd. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587 (1986)
(internal quotation and citation omitted).
A. Religious discrimination
Compass Group argues that Stovall’s religious discrimination claim is timebarred because she failed to exhaust her administrative remedies. Plaintiffs seeking
relief under Title VII must first “exhaust [their] administrative remedies, beginning
with the filing of a charge of discrimination with the EEOC” within 180 days of the
alleged unlawful employment practice. Jordan v. City of Montgomery, 283 F.App’x.
766, 767 (11th Cir. 2008); See also 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-5(e)(1). “A plaintiff’s judicial
complaint is limited by the scope of the EEOC investigation which can reasonably
be expected to grow out of the charge of discrimination.” Mulhall v. Advance Sec.
Inc., 19 F.3d 586, 589 n.8 (11th Cir. 1994). “In other words, judicial claims are
allowed if they amplify, clarify or more clearly focus the allegations in the EEOC
complaint, while allegations of new acts of discrimination are inappropriate.”
Russell v. City of Mobile, 2013 WL 1567372, *2 (S.D. Ala. April 12, 2013) (internal
Stovall filed her EEOC Charge on April 27, 2012. (Doc. 41-2 Exhibit 26). The
Charge alleges that after Stovall complained about racial and religious
discrimination, she received below average evaluations and write-ups for making
accounting errors, which resulted in her termination on April 12, 2012. While a
reasonable EEOC investigator may have pursued these allegations of
discrimination, all instances of religious discrimination that Stovall went on to
allege in her deposition and opposition to summary judgment fall beyond the 180day threshold of the EEOC Charge. See e.g., Doc. 41-2 at 215-217 (Stovall testified
that Compass Group discriminated against her on the basis of her religion when
Carpenter required her to use vacation time because she did not attend a company
holiday party in December 2008 and when he partially granted her request for time
off to attend a religious convention in June 2010). Therefore, Stovall’s supposed
allegations of religious discrimination alluded to in the EEOC Charge are timebarred, and Compass Group is entitled to summary judgment on these claims as a
matter of law.
B. Racial discrimination
Title VII prohibits an employer from discriminating against a person based
on race or religion. 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-2(a)(1). The plaintiff bears the burden of
establishing a prima facie case of discrimination by demonstrating that: (1) she is a
member of a protected class (here, African-American); (2) she was qualified for the
position she held; (3) she suffered an adverse employment action;5 and (4) her
employer treated her less favorably than similarly situated individuals outside her
protected class. Alvarez v. Royal Atlantic Developers, Inc., 610 F.3d 1253, 1264
(11th Cir. 2010); See also Dixon v. Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Dep’t.,
343 F.App’x. 500, 502 (11th Cir. 2009). “With respect to this last showing, the
individuals must be similarly situated in all relevant respects besides race, since
different treatment of dissimilarly situated persons does not violate civil rights
laws.” Brown v. Berg Spiral Pipe Corp., 2011 WL 3610646, *11 (S.D. Ala. Aug. 17,
2011) (citing Jackson v. BellSouth Telecommunications, 372 F.3d 1250, 1274 (11th
Cir. 2004) (internal quotations and citations omitted).
Stovall argues that the following individuals were treated more favorably: (1)
Meil and Sifford were trained differently; and (2) Sifford, Jordan, Roberts, Knight,
and Denise Boggan were disciplined differently.6 Compass Group contends that
To support her race based claims, Stovall contends that Compass Group: (1) issued
discipline that was not issued to her white co-workers who made the same errors; (2)
trained her differently than her white co-workers; and (3) terminated her employment
because of her race. As Compass Group pointed out, with the exception of her termination,
these incidents do not constitute an adverse employment action because they did not result
in “a serious and material change in the terms, conditions, or privileges of [her]
employment.” Shepard v. United Parcel Serv., Inc., 470 F.App’x 726, 731 (11th Cir. 2012);
See Wallace v. Ga. Dep’t of Transp., 212 F.App’x. 799, 801 (11th Cir. 2006) (finding
“written reprimand [that] did not lead to any tangible harm in the form of lost pay or
benefits” was not an adverse employment action); Melton v. Nat’l Diary LLC, 705 F.Supp.
1303, 1337-38 (M.D. Ala. 2010) (holding no adverse employment action existed where a
plaintiff claimed that he “was not trained as other drivers were trained” causing him to
experience “a much longer learning curve to establish himself on the job than was usual”).
Stovall also argues that Meil was treated more favorably with respect to scheduling.
However, this incident cannot be used to support any allegations of discrimination because
Stovall failed to exhaust her administrative remedies by filing a charge with the EEOC
these individuals are not similarly situated to Stovall and that there is no proof that
they were treated more favorably. The court agrees. The positions held and roles
fulfilled by the individuals indicated by Stovall differed from Stovall’s position and
roles.7 It is also undisputed that none of the other members of the department made
the same type of errors as Stovall with the same frequency.8 Thus, the court finds
that summary judgment is due in favor of Compass Group on the racial
discrimination claim because Stovall has not demonstrated that similarly situated
individuals were treated more favorably.
To establish a prima facie case of retaliation, the plaintiff must show that: (1)
she engaged in statutorily protected activity; (2) she suffered a materially adverse
employment action; and (3) there was some causal connection between these two
events. Dixon, 343 F.App’x. at 503. The protected activity must be the but-for cause
of the employer’s alleged adverse action. Univ. of Tex. Southwestern Med. Ctr. v.
within 180 days of when the incident occurred in 2009. (Doc. 41-2 at 166-61, Exhibit 26).
For example, Sifford worked as a Cash Application Specialist, which entailed different
duties and responsibilities than those of Stovall’s. Meil and Roberts performed bank
reconciliation duties. Knight and Jordan were Senior Credit Specialists.
Stovall argues that she has “proof that [Sifford] made the same errors” that she made and
that Meil and Sifford were trained daily because she overheard them talking in Carpenter’s
office about work. See Doc. 42 ¶ 6; Doc. 41-2 at 188-190. Although Stovall points to
deposition evidence to support the contention that she was treated differently, the
depositions were not conducted in accordance with Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 30. See
Fed.R.Civ.P. 30. Moreover, even if the depositions are admissible, none of these witnesses
testified that Stovall was treated differently on the basis of her race. See Doc. 43 at 29-40.
Because Stovall failed to point to any evidence on the record to support this vague and
conclusory testimony, the court finds that these speculative assertions do not satisfy the
similarly situated element of her prima face case. See Smiley v. Colonial Care NH, LLC,
2011 WL 6012175, *5 (M.D. Fla. Nov. 30, 2011) (holding that “[u]nsupported allegations are
not evidence and cannot be used” to establish a prima facie case).
Nassar, 133 S.Ct. 2517, 2534 (2013). A plaintiff can demonstrate a causal
connection by showing a close temporal proximity between the protected activity
and the retaliatory conduct. Brown, 2011 WL 3610646, *16. If the defendant can
then articulate a legitimate, non-retaliatory reason for the challenged employment
action as an affirmative defense to liability, the burden shifts back to the plaintiff to
prove that the reason provided by the employer is pretextual. Smith v. LockheedMartin Corp., 644 F.3d 1321, 1326 (11th Cir. 2011).
Compass Group argues that Stovall cannot establish that she engaged in a
statutorily protected activity or that there was a casual connection between such
activity and any alleged adverse action. The only two potential instances of
protected activity are when Stovall complained about unfair treatment in a
conversation with her co-worker Felicia Patterson and in an email to Carpenter in
July 2010. However, neither complaint constitutes protected activity because they
were not made to Stovall’s superior. See Shannon v. BellSouth Telecomms., Inc.,
292 F.3d 712, 715 n.2 (11th Cir. 2002) (holding that Title VII covers informal
complaints made to superiors). Moreover, Stovall admits that in each of these
instances she did not claim that she was being discriminated against on the basis of
her race or religion.9
Stovall also fails to demonstrate a causal connection between these activities
and any alleged adverse employment action. Stovall received her first progressive
Stovall testified that during her conversation with Patterson she “didn’t say [that her
treatment was based on] race,” but merely told Patterson about “things that [she] was
dealing with on a day-to-day basis and that [she] didn’t think it was fair.” (Doc. 41-2 at
counseling on March 4, 2011, almost eight months after she emailed Carpenter
regarding her PTO request. Stovall was not terminated until April 2012, almost two
years after the email was sent. During this time, Stovall admittedly made
numerous errors in her work product. Such an extensive lapse in time between the
email and Stovall’s counseling and termination suggests an absence of causation.
Moreover, Stovall received a poor performance appraisal in December 2009 and
informal coaching based on her performance in March 2010, before she sent the
July 2010 email. This also supports the finding that Stovall’s counseling and
appraisals are not linked to that email.
Even assuming that Stovall could establish a prima facie case of retaliation,
her claim would still fail because Compass Group provided a legitimate, nonretaliatory reason for its actions. Specifically, Compass Group contends that Stovall
was terminated because, after four years of employment and extensive training, she
continued to make errors and failed to grasp the duties required for her position.
Stovall has not rebutted the legitimacy of this reason with any evidence of pretext.
See Worley v. City of Lilburn, 408 F.App’x. 248, 251 (11th Cir. 2011) (“Conclusory
allegations or unsupported assertions of discrimination, without more, are not
sufficient to raise an inference of pretext.”). Accordingly, the court finds that
summary judgment is due to be granted in favor of Compass Group on the claim of
For the reasons stated above, the Court finds that there is no genuine dispute
as to any material fact and that Compass Group is entitled to judgment as a matter
of law. Accordingly, the defendant Compass Group’s motion for summary judgment
(Doc. 41) is GRANTED.
DONE and ORDERED this 20th day of June, 2014.
/s/ Callie V. S. Granade
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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