The opinion of the court was delivered by: JOSE LINARES, District Judge
[EDITOR'S NOTE: This case is unpublished as indicated by the issuing court.] OPINION AND ORDER
This matter is before the court on the motion of Defendant
Owens Corning Fiberglass (hereinafter "Defendant" or "Owens
Corning") for summary judgment pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c).
Plaintiff Donnie E. Boyd (hereinafter "Plaintiff" or "Boyd"), who
is pro se, commenced suit against Owens Corning on various
claims of discrimination and wrongful termination. This Court has
jurisdiction over this case pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331. This
motion is resolved without oral argument pursuant to Rule 78 of
the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. For the reasons stated
herein, Defendant's motion for summary judgment is GRANTED.
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
For purposes of the instant motion, the relevant facts are as
follows. Owens Corning is a international company, involved in,
among other things, the production of roofing shingles.
(Defendant's Local Civil Rule 56.1 Statement of Uncontested Facts
(hereinafter "Def.'s Statement"), ¶ 1). Owens Corning operates a roofing shingle
production facility in Kearny, New Jersey. (Def.'s Statement ¶
2). On May 5, 1998, Boyd, an African-American male, began
employment as a Mat Tender at the Kearny facility. (Id. ¶ 3).
His duties included placing mats of raw shingles onto the
production line and ensuring that the mats did not contain holes
or other noticeable defects. (Id. ¶ 15).
The terms and conditions of Boyd's employment at Owens Corning
were governed by a collective bargaining agreement (hereinafter
the "CBA") that existed between Owens Corning and the Building
Materials, Heavy Highway & Construction Industries, Drivers,
Helpers & Warehousemen Teamsters Union Local 408 (hereinafter the
"Union"). (Def.'s Statement ¶ 4; Certification of Thomas Masselli
(hereinafter "Masselli Cert."), Ex.A at Article II, Section
1(E)). Under the terms of the CBA, Owens Corning retained "the
right to promote, demote, discipline, suspend, discharge for just
cause, layoff, and transfer" any employee governed by the CBA.
(Id. ¶ 6). Owens Corning had a progressive discipline policy in
place that covered job performance as well as employee attendance
and lateness issues. (Masselli Cert. ¶ 4). Under this policy,
verbal warnings were followed by written warnings, and if the
problems continued to persist, suspensions were imposed. (Id. ¶
5). A suspension could range from one to three days in duration,
depending upon the infraction, and successive suspensions could
range from three to five days. (Id. ¶ 6).
On December 2, 1998, Boyd received an attendance warning for
being late to work. (Def.'s Statement ¶ 21). Boyd acknowledged
the attendance warning by signing an Owens Corning Personnel
Action Form ("Personnel Action Form") in accordance with Owens
Corning policy. (Id.; Masselli Cert. Ex.B). On February 5,
1999, Boyd received a verbal job performance warning and again,
acknowledged the warning by signing another Personnel Action Form. (Def.'s Statement ¶ 22; Masselli Cert. Ex.C). On June 29,
1999, Boyd received another verbal warning for arriving to work
late and/or leaving work early, and again signed a Personnel
Action Form. (Def.'s Statement ¶ 23; Masselli Cert. Ex.D).
On January 18, 2000, Boyd received a written attendance warning
that covered five separate attendance-related incidents within a
nine-month period. (Def.'s Statement ¶ 24; Masselli Cert. Ex.E).
Thereafter, in April 2000, Boyd was suspended from work for three
days following a series of eight unexcused absences that covered
an eleven-month time period. (Def.'s Statement ¶ 25; Masselli
Cert. Ex.F). Although Boyd does not recall the details of the
three-day suspension, he acknowledges signing the Personnel
Action Form advising of the suspension. (Certification of David
E. Strand (hereinafter "Strand Cert."), Ex.A at 52; Masselli
In February 2002, Owens Corning terminated the employment of
James Redding, an African-American male, who worked as a Back End
Relief operator. (Def.'s Statement ¶¶ 27-28). The Union advised
Owens Corning of its intent to arbitrate Redding's termination
with the understanding that Redding would return to the position
in the event of a favorable decision. (Id. ¶¶ 29, 43-44).
Consequently, Owens Corning announced Redding's available Back
End Relief position on a temporary basis. (Id. ¶¶ 28-29). Both
Boyd and Octavio Guzman, a Hispanic employee, bid for the open
Back End Relief position in March 2002. (Def.'s Statement ¶ 30;
Masselli Cert. ¶ 15). Thereafter, pursuant to the CBA, the
temporary position was awarded to Boyd based on seniority.
(Def.'s Statement ¶ 31). This position constituted a promotion
According to Boyd's supervisors, Joseph Barone and Thomas
Masselli, Boyd's performance during the first forty-five day
training period as a Back End Relief Operator was substandard. (Def.'s Statement ¶ 32; Certification of Joseph
Barone (hereinafter "Barone Cert."), ¶ 7; Masselli Cert. ¶ 16).
By letter of June 17, 2002, Barone advised the Union that Boyd's
performance as back End Relief operator was not acceptable, and
that Boyd would be returned to the previous position of Mat
Tender. (Barone Cert. ¶ 8 and Ex.A). In June 2002, Boyd was
demoted to Mat Tender, and Guzman was promoted into the Back End
Relief operator position. (Def.'s Statement ¶ 35). Thereafter,
Boyd filed a grievance over the demotion on or about June 15,
2002. (Id. ¶ 36; Barone Cert. Ex.B).
On August 1, 2002, while Boyd's grievance was still pending, he
received a verbal job performance warning, and acknowledged same
by signing another Personnel Action Form. (Def.'s Statement ¶
37). On August 16, 2002, Boyd was suspended for one day from his
Mat Tender position for abandoning his work station at the end of
a shift. (Id. ¶ 38). Boyd apparently refused to sign the
Personnel Action Form in connection with this incident; it was
therefore signed by Barone, the Union shop steward. (Id.;
Barone Cert. Ex.D). On August 30, 2002, Owens Corning reached an
agreement with the Union regarding Boyd's grievance and removal
from the temporary Back End Relief operator position, and he was
consequently given a second opportunity at the position. (Def.'s
Statement ¶¶ 39-40). Barone notes, however, that "Boyd's second
attempt at training and qualifying for the temporary Back End
Relief position was not better than his first and his performance
was again substandard and not acceptable." (Barone Cert. ¶ 15).
In October 2002, an Arbitrator issued an Opinion and Award in
connection with Redding's prior termination from the Back End
Relief operator position. (Masselli Cert. ¶ 23 and Ex.H). The
Arbitrator found that there was not proper cause for the
termination, and ordered that Redding be reinstated. (Masselli
Cert. Ex.H). Redding was restored to the position of the Back End Relief operator, and Boyd was returned to the Mat Tender
position. (Def.'s Statement ¶¶ 44-45).
On October 25, 2002, Boyd received yet another verbal warning
for excessive absenteeism. (Def.'s Statement ¶ 46). Thereafter,
on November 21, 2002, Boyd abandoned the Mat Tender work station
for a second time and was suspended for five days. (Id. ¶ 51).
This five-day suspension was reduced to three days as the result
of grievances filed by both Boyd and the Union. (Id. ¶ 52).
Boyd also received a separate three-day suspension for
falsification of work data. (Id. ¶ 54).
On November 30, 2002, upon return to work from the
aforementioned three-day suspension, Boyd ignored workplace
procedure and entered the company exercise room without disabling
the security alarm system, prompting local law enforcement to
respond. (Def.'s Statement ¶¶ 56-57). As a result, Boyd was
suspended pending further investigation. (Id. ¶ 58). There was
an internal investigation, and Owens Corning determined that Boyd
ignored instructions given by the Human Resources Leader as well
as the immediate supervisor. (Def.'s Statement ¶ 59). Owens
Corning consequently terminated Boyd's employment on December 2,
2002 due to insubordination and continued substandard job
performance. (Id. ¶¶ 60, 63). Boyd unsuccessfully grieved the
termination and the Union elected not to arbitrate. (Id. ¶¶
On April 23, 2004, Boyd filed a charge of racial discrimination
with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC")
alleging that Owens Corning discriminated against him by failing
to promote him "because [he was] Black," and further, that it
terminated him based upon his race. (Def.'s Statement ¶ 72-73;
Strand Cert. Ex.C). On August 7, 2003, Boyd commenced the instant action on various claims of
discrimination and/or retaliation, premised on Title VII of the
Civil Rights Act of 1964 ("Title VII"), as amended,
42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq.*fn2 Boyd's handwritten Complaint alleges,
inter alia, both racial and religious discrimination on the
part of Owens Corning.*fn3 (Compl. ¶ 10). Boyd's religious
discrimination claim is grounded in Owens Corning's failure to
include certain Islamic ...