Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Lavotte Saunders v. Apothaker Associates

April 17, 2012

LAVOTTE SAUNDERS
PLAINTIFF,
v.
APOTHAKER ASSOCIATES, INC. AND
DAVID APOTHAKER DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Honorable Joseph E. Irenas

OPINION

IRENAS , Senior District Judge:

In this matter, Plaintiff alleges discrimination based on race and religion, which resulted in Plaintiff's wrongful termination. Presently before the Court are Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment and Plaintiff's Motion to Strike Defendants' Expert Report. (Dkt. Nos. 36, 43)

I.

In the spring of 2010, Lavotte Saunders, a Muslim African American male, applied for a position with Apothaker & Associates, Inc. ("Apothaker"). (Pl.'s Facts at ¶¶ 1, 3) *fn1

Saunders was selected to interview twice for an open debt collector position. ( Id. at ¶ 1) *fn2 At the interview, Saunders wore tradition Muslim attire, which consisted of a one-piece garment called a "thobe" and a headpiece called a "Keffiyeh". ( Id. at ¶ 19)

About a week later, Saunders received an offer of employment. ( Id. at ¶ 7) Both Saunders' application and offer of employment notified Saunders that Apothaker would perform a criminal background check. ( Id. Exs. L, S) Saunders' continued employment would be contingent on the check. ( Id.

On May 19, 2010, Saunders employment commenced, however, Apothaker had not yet completed the criminal background check. ( Id. at ¶ 10) On May 20, 2010, Saunders met David Apothaker while on lunch break. ( Id. at ¶ 16) During this conversation, Saunders observed David Apothaker to appear visibly taken aback by Saunders' appearance because Saunders was the only employee at Apothaker to ever wear traditional Muslim attire. ( Id. at ¶ 18)

Shortly after this exchange, Lynn-Anderson Downs, a human resources director, alerted Saunders that "Mr. Apothaker just ran a criminal background search on you. Unfortunately, we have to terminate you." ( Id. at ¶ 23) The criminal background search revealed that Saunders had been convicted of felony retail theft approximately five years previously. (Def.'s Facts at ¶ 41) Moreover, Saunders had not paid any of the $12,000 outstanding court ordered restitution. ( Id. at ¶ 44) Saunders lost his job after less than two days of working at Apothaker.

Several weeks later, Saunders learned that several Apothaker employees had criminal records - including a felony conviction -but had not been fired. (Pl.'s Facts at ¶¶ 31-33) Apothaker maintains that there was no formal hiring policy, but instituted a policy of performing background checks for all new hires within the past few years. ( Id. at ¶¶ 61-63)

On June 22, 2010, Plaintiff Filed the Complaint. On January 30, 2012, Defendants filed the Motion for Summary Judgment and on March 8, 2012, Plaintiff moved to strike defendant's expert report. *fn3

II.

"[S]ummary judgment is proper 'if the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law.'" Celotex Corp. v. Catrett , 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986) (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)). In deciding a motion for summary judgment, the Court must construe the facts and inferences in a light most favorable to the non-moving party. Pollock v. American Tel. & Tel. Long Lines , 794 F.2d 860, 864 (3d Cir. 1986).

"'With respect to an issue on which the non-moving party bears the burden of proof, the burden on the moving party 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.'" Conoshenti v. Public Serv. Elec. & Gas , 364 F.3d 135, 145-46 (3d Cir. 2004) (quoting Celotex , 477 U.S. at 323). The role of the Court is not "to weigh the evidence and determine the truth of the matter, but to determine whether there is a genuine issue for trial." Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc. , 477 U.S. 242, 249 (1986). "Only ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.