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Holly v. UPS Supply Chain Solutions, Inc.

United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Louisville Division

January 30, 2014

BRUCE HOLLY, Plaintiff
v.
UPS SUPPLY CHAIN SOLUTIONS, INC. and JEREMY FLETCHER, Defendants

For Bruce Holly, Plaintiff: Brent T. Ackerson, LEAD ATTORNEY, Anderson Law Offices, Louisville, KY.

For UPS Supply Chain Solutions, Inc., Jeremy Fletcher, Defendants: LaQuita S. Wornor, Tony C. Coleman, LEAD ATTORNEYS, Frost Brown Todd LLC - Louisville, Louisville, KY.

OPINION

Page 538

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Thomas B. Russell, Senior United States District Judge.

This matter is before the Court upon Defendant Jeremy Fletcher's Motion for Dismiss Plaintiff's Complaint. (Docket No. 5.) Plaintiff, Bruce Holly, has responded (Docket No. 9.) Defendant Jeremy Fletcher has replied. (Docket No. 10.) This matter is now fully briefed and ripe for adjudication. For the following reasons and consistent with the below opinion, the Court will DENY Defendant Fletcher's Motion to Dismiss. (Docket No. 5.)

Plaintiff has filed a Motion for Leave to File an Amended Complaint. (Docket No. 8.) Defendant Jeremy Fletcher has responded. (Docket No. 11.) This matter is ripe for adjudication. Defendant Fletcher objects to Plaintiff's Motion to Amend to the extent the proposed Amended Complaint continues to pursue any individual claims against him because such amendment would be futile. (Docket No. 11.) Because the Court denies Defendant Fletcher's Motion to Dismiss, the Court will GRANT Plaintiff's Motion to File an Amended Complaint. (Docket No. 8.)

BACKGROUND

Plaintiff Bruce Holly filed this lawsuit after UPS Supply Chain Solutions, Inc. (UPS) terminated his employment.[1] Plaintiff alleges that on or about April 1, 2013, his vehicle experienced mechanical problems while driving to work for UPS and his boss, Ron Nolan, gave him permission to take his vehicle to a mechanical repair shop to be worked on while he worked at UPS. (Docket No. 1, ¶ 7, 8.) While going to his motor vehicle in the UPS parking lot and prior to leaving to take his motor vehicle to the repair shop, Plaintiff remembered that he had a firearm in his vehicle's glove box.[2] (Docket No. 1, ¶ 11.) Upon realizing that he had a firearm in his vehicle, Plaintiff called a subordinate employee, Kenneth Moore, and asked permission to store his firearm in a compartment within Moore's motor vehicle while his vehicle was at the repair shop. (Docket No. 1, ¶ 13.) Moore agreed and subsequently came to the parking lot and allowed Plaintiff to store his firearm in a compartment within Moore's vehicle. (Docket No. 1, ¶ 14.)

Plaintiff alleges that on or about April 1, 2013, UPS became aware that Plaintiff had driven onto UPS's property with a firearm in his vehicle and had stored said firearm in Moore's vehicle while his vehicle was being repaired. (Docket No. 1, ¶ 17.) Subsequently, on May 6, 2013, Plaintiff was questioned for approximately four hours by a UPS supervisor about the referenced events of April 1, 2013, and details pertaining to the firearm.[3] (Docket No. 1, ¶ 20, 21.) On May 10, 2013, upon arriving at work, Plaintiff was informed he was being placed on paid administrative leave and/or paid suspension. On May 20, 2013, Plaintiff was contacted on the telephone by Defendant Jeremy Fletcher and another

Page 539

UPS employee, Siria Reza, and informed that he was being terminated. (Docket No. 1, ¶ 30.)

Plaintiff asserts the reason given by Defendant Fletcher for the termination was that Plaintiff had asked an hourly employee to do a personal favor for him and his 2011 UPS Employment Evaluations. (Docket No. 1, ¶ 31.) On June 5, 2013, Plaintiff alleges Fletcher completed and signed a Commonwealth of Kentucky Division of Unemployment Insurance " Employer's Statement" form stating that the primary reason for Plaintiff's termination was " [c]laimant asked a subordinate employee for a personal favor while on company time." [4](Docket No. 1, ¶ 33.) Plaintiff alleges UPS has a commonplace practice of allowing hourly employees to perform personal favors for salaried UPS supervisors and that UPS and Fletcher's reasons given for terminating him are mere pretext to mask the illegal motivations for his termination. (Docket No. 1, ¶ 38, 39.) Defendants UPS and Fletcher both deny that Plaintiff having his firearm on the premises in his vehicle and/or moving it from one vehicle to another had any bearing upon the decision to take adverse action against him.

Plaintiff's Complaint asserts the following three claims: (1) alleged violations of Kentucky Revised Statute (KRS) § 527.020; (2) alleged violations of KRS § 237.106; and, (3) a common law claim under the so-called public policy exception to the at-will employment doctrine, which alleges that Plaintiff was wrongfully terminated in violation of the public policy set forth in KRS 237.106 and KRS 527.020. As to Defendant Jeremy Fletcher, Plaintiff has voluntarily dismissed Counts Two and Three of his Complaint--violations of KRS 237.106 and common law wrongful termination/discharge. ...


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