Defendant's Attorney: J. Mile McFadden and Ray Thompson Hillis
Description: Tulsa, Oklahoma employment law lawyer represented Plaintiff who sued Defendant on an employment discrimination theory.
Under McDonnell Douglas v. Green , 411 U.S. 792, 93 S.Ct. 1817, 36 L.Ed.2d 668 (1973), an employee must first make out a prima facie case of discrimination. Once a prima facie case is established, the burden shifts to the employer "to articulate some legitimate, nondiscriminatory reason for the employee's rejection." "[T]he plaintiff must then have an opportunity to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the legitimate reasons offered by the defendant were not its true reasons, but were a pretext for discrimination." Texas Dep't of Cmty. Affs. v. Burdine , 450 U.S. 248, 248, 101 S.Ct. 1089, 67 L.Ed.2d 207 (1981).
At the first step, "a prima facie case is established when a member of a protected group is discharged under circumstances which, if unexplained, would support an inference that the decision to discharge was ‘based upon a consideration of impermissible factors.’ " Levitz Furniture Corp. v. Prince George's Cnty. , 72 Md. App. 103, 112, 527 A.2d 813 (1987) (quoting Furnco Constr. Co. v. Waters , 438 U.S. 567, 577, 98 S.Ct. 2943, 57 L.Ed.2d 957 (1978) ).
At the second step, the burden of production shifts to the employer to articulate a legitimate, nondiscriminatory reason for the adverse employment decision. Id. at 112–13, 527 A.2d 813 (citing Burdine , 450 U.S. at 254–55, 101 S.Ct. 1089 ).
Candolfi v. Allterra Grp., LLC, 254 Md.App. 221, 272 A.3d 829 (Md. App. 2022).
If the defendant carries the burden of production, the presumption raised by the prima facie case is rebutted. Burdine , 450 U.S. at 255, 101 S.Ct. 1089.
At step three, the burden shifted back to Plaintiff to present evidence that Defendant's reasons were pretextual. At this stage, "the plaintiff must prove that the proffered reasons were pretextual or unworthy of credence ‘and that discrimination was the real reason.’ " Belfiore v. Merch. Link, LLC , 236 Md. App. 32, 46, 180 A.3d 230 (2018) (quoting
St. Mary's Honor Center v. Hicks , 509 U.S. 502, 515, 113 S.Ct. 2742, 125 L.Ed.2d 407 (1993) ).
To survive summary judgment, Plaintiff " ‘must present substantial evidence to support a reasonable probability, rather than a mere possibility, that Plaintiff's employer discriminated against Plaintiff ....’ " Nerenberg v. RICA of S. Md. , 131 Md. App. 646, 674, 750 A.2d 655 (2000) (quoting DeJarnette v. Corning, Inc. , 133 F.3d 293, 298 (4th Cir. 1998) ).
Plaintiff " ‘cannot seek to expose’ " Defendant's rationale " ‘as pretextual by focusing on minor discrepancies that do not cast doubt on the explanation's validity, or by raising points that are wholly irrelevant to it. The former would not create a "genuine" dispute, the latter would fail to be material.’ " Muse-Ariyoh , 235 Md. App. at 247, 175 A.3d 886 (quoting Hux v. City of Newport News , 451 F.3d 311, 315 (4th Cir. 2006) ; Holland v. Wash. Homes, Inc. , 487 F.3d 208 (4th Cir. 2007) ).
Outcome: 10/28/2022 21 OPINION AND ORDER by Judge Claire V Eagan - Defendants' motion to dismiss (Dkt. # 11) is granted. All six of plaintiff's claims for relief are dismissed with prejudice because plaintiff cannot state any of the claims under the facts alleged. A separate judgment of dismissal is entered herewith. ; granting 11 Motion to Dismiss (Re: 8 Amended Complaint, 11 MOTION to Dismiss and Brief in Support ) (RGG, Chambers) (Entered: 10/28/2022)
10/28/2022 22 JUDGMENT by Judge Claire V Eagan (JUDGMENT OF DISMISSAL), dismissing/terminating case (terminates case) (Re: 21 Opinion and Order,,,, Ruling on Motion to Dismiss, ) (RGG, Chambers) (Entered: 10/28/2022)
10/28/2022 ***Civil Case Terminated (see document number 21 ) (sc, Dpty Clk) (Entered: 10/31/2022)
11/23/2022 23 NOTICE OF APPEAL to Circuit Court (paid $505 appeal fee; receipt number AOKNDC-2717299) (Re: 22 Judgment, Dismissing/Terminating Case, ) by Charles Cline (Bingham, Donald) (Entered: 11/23/2022)