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Furcron v. Mail Centers Plus, LLC

United States District Court, N.D. Georgia, Atlanta Division

July 12, 2017

MYRA FURCRON, Plaintiff,
v.
MAIL CENTERS PLUS, LLC, Defendant.

          ORDER

          RICHARD W. STORY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This case comes before the Court on remand from the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals for consideration of Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment [53] and Defendant's Motion to Exclude Declarations Filed in Support of Plaintiff's Opposition to Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment [74]. After considering the record, the Court enters the following Order.

         Background

         This case arises out of Plaintiff Myra Furcron's employment with and termination from Defendant Mail Centers Plus, LLC. Plaintiff claims that Defendant subjected her to unlawful sexual harassment and unlawfully retaliated against her in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”), 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000e, et seq.

         I. Factual Background

         The Court adopts the Facts as set forth in the Report and Recommendation [80].

         II. Procedural Background

         Plaintiff filed her Complaint [1-1] in the Superior Court of DeKalb County on March 7, 2014. On April 22, 2014, Defendant removed the action to federal court. (Notice of Removal, Dkt. [1].) Defendant subsequently filed a Motion for Summary Judgment [53] and a Motion to Exclude Declarations Filed in Support of Plaintiff's Opposition to Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment (“Motion to Exclude”) [74]. The Magistrate Judge issued an Order and Final Report and Recommendation [80] granting in part and denying in part Defendant's Motion to Exclude [74] and recommending the Court grant Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment [53]. As to the Motion to Exclude [74], the Magistrate Judge's Order [80] excluded Plaintiff's affidavit insofar as it contradicted her prior sworn deposition testimony under the sham affidavit rule and excluded Tameka Johnson's Declaration in its entirety as largely immaterial. In recommending the Court grant Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment [53], the Magistrate Judge concluded that as to her claim for sexual harassment, Plaintiff could not show that the alleged harassment was based on sex or that it was sufficiently severe or pervasive so as to alter the terms and conditions of her employment. As to her claim for retaliation, the Magistrate Judge concluded that assuming Plaintiff presented a prima facie case of retaliation, Defendant presented evidence of its legitimate reasons to suspend and terminate her employment which Plaintiff failed to show was merely a pretext to disguise unlawful retaliation.

         On September 30, 2015, the Court entered an Order [87] adopting the Final Report and Recommendation's ultimate conclusion as to both claims. As to the sexual harassment claim, the Court found that the Magistrate Judge failed to view the evidence in the light most favorable to the Plaintiff as the non-moving party as to whether the alleged harassment was sufficiently severe or pervasive so as to alter the terms and conditions of her employment. The Court agreed, however, that Plaintiff failed to establish that the alleged harassment was based on sex. The Court also agreed with the Magistrate Judge's reasoning and conclusion as to the retaliation claim. The Court granted summary judgment in favor of Defendant on both claims and dismissed this action.

         Plaintiff appealed the Court's Order [87]. On December 16, 2016, the Eleventh Circuit issued an opinion affirming in part and vacating and remanding in part. Furcron v. Mail Ctrs. Plus, LLC, 843 F.3d 1295 (11th Cir. 2016). The case is now before the Court on remand from the Eleventh Circuit.

         Discussion

         I. Legal Standard

         Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56 requires that summary judgment be granted “if 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.” “The moving party bears ‘the initial responsibility of informing the . . . court of the basis for its motion, and identifying those portions of the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, which it believes demonstrate the absence of a genuine issue of material fact.'” Hickson Corp. v. N. Crossarm Co., 357 F.3d 1256, 1259 (11th Cir. 2004) (quoting Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986) (internal quotation omitted)). Where the moving party makes such a showing, the burden shifts to the non-movant, who must go beyond the pleadings and present affirmative evidence to show that a genuine issue of material fact does exist. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 257 (1986).

         The applicable substantive law identifies which facts are material. Id. at 248. A fact is not material if a dispute over that fact will not affect the outcome of the suit under the governing law. Id. An issue is genuine when the evidence is such that a ...


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