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Edison K. Spearman v. United States Steel Corporation and Rodney Lee

January 16, 2013

EDISON K. SPEARMAN, PLAINTIFF,
v.
UNITED STATES STEEL CORPORATION AND RODNEY LEE, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: J. Phil Gilbert District Judge

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

This matter comes before the Court on defendants' motion to dismiss Counts I and II of plaintiff's second amended complaint or, in the alternative, for summary judgment (Doc. 52). For the following reasons, the Court grants defendants' motion in its entirety.

I.Facts

Plaintiff Edison K. Spearman ("Spearman") was an employee of defendant United States Steel Corporation ("U.S. Steel") located in Granite City, Illinois from April 5, 2010, to July 9, 2010. On July 9, 2010, Rodney Lee ("Lee"), an employee of U.S. Steel, terminated Spearman. Few facts are included in the complaint from which the Court can gather the details of Spearman's termination.

On April 27, 2011, Spearman filed his first charge of discrimination with the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") alleging discrimination based on race and sex. Specifically, the April 27, 2011, charge read as follows:

I was employed as a Utility Person at [U.S. Steel] on April 5, 2010 until I was terminated on July 9, 2010. My supervisors were Danny Harkins, Scott Humphreys, Mark Cook and John Bardsley.

July 9, 2010 [Lee], Department Manager stated that I "lacked initiative" and accused me of not performing my job duties and job abandonment. He also stated that I didn't know hand signals when operating an overhead crane.

I believe that I was terminated because of my race African American and Sex, male in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended.

Doc. 36-1, p. 1. The EEOC issued a notice of right to sue on April 27, 2011, the same day Spearman filed his first charge of discrimination. On May 2, 2011, less than a week after the first charge, Spearman filed a second charge of discrimination with the EEOC, alleging only race discrimination. Specifically, the second charge of discrimination alleged as follows:

I was employed by the above named employer as a Utility Person on April 5, 2010. My immediate supervisor was Danny Hawkins, Scott Humphreys, Mark Cook and John Bardsley. Due to a reduction in force I was informed by [Lee], Department Manager that my employment would end on July 9, 2010.

I became aware later that Sylvester Loepker, white male who was hired at the same time that I was remained employed.

I believe that I was discriminated against based on my race, black in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as Amended.

Doc. 36-3, p. 1. The EEOC issued a notice of right to sue on the same day Spearman filed the second charge of discrimination.

On July 29, 2011, Spearman filed his pro se complaint alleging U.S. Steel discriminated against him on the basis of race in violation of Title VII and/or 42 U.S.C. ยง 1981. Thereafter, Spearman retained attorney Michael Brunton who filed a notice of appearance on January 16, 2012. Brunton, on behalf of Spearman, filed his first amended complaint alleging that (1) U.S. Steel discriminated against Spearman on the basis of his race in violation of Title VII; and (2) Lee intentionally interfered with Spearman's business relationship with U.S. Steel. The second ...


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