United States District Court, N.D. Georgia, Atlanta Division
July 22, 2015
SANDRA A. BARRETT, Plaintiff,
SHUTTLE AMERICA, a Republic Airways Co., Defendant.
OPINION AND ORDER
WILLIAM S. DUFFEY, Jr., District Judge.
This matter is before the Court on Magistrate Judge Russell G. Vineyard's Final Report and Recommendation ("R&R") , following his review of Plaintiff Sandra A. Barrett's ("Plaintiff") " Pro Se Employment Discrimination Complaint Form" ("Complaint") [1.1] pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2).
On November 26, 2014, Plaintiff, proceeding pro se, filed an application to proceed in forma pauperis ("IFP Application")  along with her Complaint. On December 19, 2014, Magistrate Judge Vineyard granted Plaintiff's IFP Application and issued his R&R, recommending that Plaintiff's Complaint be dismissed as frivolous pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2). Plaintiff asserts claims for retaliation and employment discrimination, all in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 ("Title VII").
Plaintiff, in her Complaint, asserts that Plaintiff, an African-American female of Jamaican national origin, was employed by Shuttle America ("Defendant") as a flight attendant from September 2006, until her termination on February 6, 2013. (Compl. at 5). Plaintiff asserts that, on January 21, 2013, while working on a flight operated by Defendant, Plaintiff's white co-worker, Jacqueline Roodnat ("Roodnat") made discriminatory comments about Plaintiff's Jamaican national origin (the "Incident"). Plaintiff asserts further that Defendant "sided with Ms. Roodnat... [and] twisted what took place and turned around and accused [her] of threatening Ms. Roodnant." (Id. at 10). Plaintiff was suspended that day, and on February 6, 2013, she was "discharged for violating the Company's Code of Conduct Policy." (Id. at 5). On April 4, 2013, Plaintiff filed a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") alleging discrimination on the basis of race and national origin, and a claim of retaliation. (Id.). On September 3, 2014, the EEOC dismissed Plaintiff's case and sent her a right-to-sue letter. (Id. at 6).
Plaintiff did not file objections to the R&R.
A. Legal Standard
After conducting a careful and complete review of the findings and recommendations, a district judge may accept, reject, or modify a magistrate judge's report and recommendation. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1) (Supp. V 2011); Williams v. Wainwright, 681 F.2d 732, 732 (11th Cir. 1982) (per curiam). A district judge "shall make a de novo determination of those portions of the report or specified proposed findings or recommendations to which objection is made." 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). If no party has objected to the report and recommendation, a court conducts only a plain error review of the record. United States v. Slay, 714 F.2d 1093, 1095 (11th Cir. 1983) (per curiam). Absent objections, the Court reviews the R&R for plain error.
The Court agrees with the Magistrate Judge's finding that Plaintiff's race, national origin, and retaliation claims are required to be dismissed because the Complaint does not allege any facts that would give rise to an inference that Defendant violated Title VII. The R&R focuses on whether there is a basis for holding Defendant liable for the single, isolated statement made by Plaintiff's co-worker during the Incident. Plaintiff did not object to the Magistrate Judge's finding that the Complaint does not allege any facts to suggest that Defendant "knew or should have known" about the alleged racial conduct prior to the Incident and failed to take prompt action. The Court finds no plain error in the Magistrate Judge's conclusion that Plaintiff's allegations that Defendant violated her rights resulting from a single, offensive remark from Plaintiff's co-worker do not sufficiently allege a hostile work environment that is necessary to state a plausible claim against Defendant for employment discrimination or harassment under Title VII. See Freeman v. City of Riverdale, 330 F.Appx. 863, 865-66 (11th Cir. 2009) (explaining that a hostile work environment claim requires "severe or pervasive" harassment and that "sporadic and isolated" incidents of racial epithets are not sufficient to support claim); McCann v. Tillman, 526 F.3d 1370, 1379 (11th Cir. 2008). The Court agrees further that Plaintiff's retaliation claim should be dismissed without prejudice.
Accordingly, for the foregoing reasons,
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Magistrate Judge Russell G. Vineyard's Final Report and Recommendation  is ADOPTED. This action is DISMISSED WITHOUT PREJUDICE.