United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Louisville Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
J. Hale, Judge.
Zackarie Carter worked for Defendant IMI South, LLC as a
concrete-truck driver for approximately three weeks in 2016.
IMI terminated Carter's employment after he failed to
report back to work after running a personal errand. Carter
asserts claims of race discrimination under Title VII of the
Civil Rights Act and the Kentucky Civil Rights Act (KCRA),
violations of the Kentucky Wage and Hour Act, and retaliation
under Title VII, the KCRA, and the Wage and Hour Act. (Docket
No. 11-1) Carter's counsel withdrew from this matter,
citing an inability to communicate with her client (D.N. 17;
see D.N. 15), and Carter failed to obtain new counsel. (D.N.
18) Carter is therefore proceeding pro se in this matter. IMI
seeks summary judgment on all claims asserted by Carter.
(D.N. 24) For the reasons set forth below, IMI's motion
will be granted.
March 28, 2016, IMI hired Carter as a concrete-truck driver
trainee at its Louisville, Kentucky facility. (D.N. 24-3,
PageID # 139) In his verified complaint,  Carter alleges
that he experienced “taunts, pranks, and bullying by
his white supervisors and co-workers” during his
employment with IMI. (D.N. 11-1, PageID # 78) Carter further
alleges that “[u]nlike his white peers, [he] also
experienced delays in the transmission of his pay, ”
and that after he complained of these delays, “the
racially charged comments and taunts increased.”
Janes, IMI's human resources manager, explains in an
affidavit that Carter's first paycheck was delayed due to
his use of two different addresses on his employment forms.
(D.N. 24-3, PageID # 140) When Carter later complained that
his paycheck had been mailed to his home rather than
delivered by hand, Janes promptly provided Carter with a new,
hand-delivered paycheck. (Id.) The next day, Carter
reported that he was having trouble finding a bank that would
cash his paycheck. (Id., PageID # 141) IMI permitted
Carter to leave work and cash his paycheck at the
company's bank, instructing him to return to work
immediately thereafter. (Id.) When Carter failed to
return to work after two hours, his supervisor called him to
ask why he had not returned to work as instructed.
(Id.) Carter responded that he was paying some bills
and would be back later, then hung up the phone.
April 2016, IMI terminated Carter's employment.
(Id., PageID # 139, 141) Janes states in his
affidavit that IMI terminated Carter's employment due to
his uncooperativeness, unprofessional behavior, and failure
to return to work. (Id., PageID # 141) Carter
alleges that Janes simply told him, “we've had so
many problems with you, we are just going to cut ties right
now.” (D.N. 11-1, PageID # 80)
filed this action against IMI in Jefferson Circuit Court.
(Id., PageID # 76) In his verified complaint, Carter
asserts claims of race discrimination, wage-and-hour
violations, and retaliation. (Id., PageID # 80-82)
IMI removed the action to this Court, invoking the
Court's federal-question jurisdiction. (D.N. 11) IMI now
seeks summary judgment on all of Carter's claims. (D.N.
24) Carter failed to respond to IMI's summary-judgment
motion, and he has not sought an extension of time to do so.
judgment is required when the moving party shows, using
evidence in the record, “that there is no genuine
dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to
judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a); see
56(c)(1). “A ‘genuine issue of material fact
exists when there is sufficient evidence for a trier of fact
to find for the non-moving party.'” Bush v.
Compass Grp. USA, Inc., 683 Fed.Appx. 440, 444 (6th Cir.
2017) (quoting Brown v. Battle Creek Police
Dep't, 844 F.3d 556, 565 (6th Cir. 2016)).
“[T]he mere existence of some alleged factual dispute
between the parties will not defeat an otherwise properly
supported motion for summary judgment; the requirement is
that there be no genuine issue of material fact.”
Id. (quoting Anderson v. Liberty Lobby,
Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 247-48 (1986)).
purposes of summary judgment, the Court must view the
evidence in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party.
Loyd v. Saint Joseph Mercy Oakland, 766 F.3d 580,
588 (6th Cir. 2014) (citing Anderson, 477 U.S. at 255).
However, the Court “need consider only the cited
materials.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(3); see Shreve v.
Franklin Cty., 743 F.3d 126, 136 (6th Cir. 2014). If the
nonmoving party “fails to properly support an assertion
of fact or fails to properly address another party's
assertion of fact as required by Rule 56(c), ” the fact
may be treated as undisputed. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e). To survive
a motion for summary judgment, the nonmoving party must
establish a genuine issue of material fact with respect to
each element of each of his claims. Celotex Corp. v.
Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322-23 (1986) (noting that
“a complete failure of proof concerning an essential
element of the nonmoving party's case necessarily renders
all other facts immaterial”).
plaintiff's “failure to respond potentially could
constitute waiver of any opposition to [a defendant's]
motion.” Collins v. Waste Mgmt. of Ky. Holdings,
Inc., No. 06-175-ART, 2008 WL 2794661, at *5 (E.D. Ky.
July 18, 2008). “This holds true in the summary
judgment context . . . if the moving party has met its
initial burden under Rule 56(c).” Id.
“[U]nder Rule 56(c), a party moving for summary
judgment always bears the burden of demonstrating the absence
of a genuine issue as to a material fact.” Carver
v. Bunch, 946 F.2d 451, 454 (6th Cir. 1991).
“[T]he movant must always bear this initial burden
regardless if an adverse party fails to respond.”
Id. at 455. The Supreme Court has clarified,
however, that this burden “may be discharged by
‘showing'- that is, pointing out to the district
court-that there is an absence of evidence to support the
nonmoving party's case.” Catrett, 477 U.S. at 325.
first alleges that he was discriminated against on the basis
of race in violation of Title VII and the KCRA. (D.N. 11-1,
PageID # 80-81) Courts interpret Title VII and the KCRA using
the same standards. Perry v. AutoZoners, LLC, 948
F.Supp.2d 778, 787 (W.D. Ky. 2013) (citing Smith v.
Leggett Wire Co.,220 F.3d 752, 758 (6th Cir. 2000)).
Carter's complaint appears to ...