Jones v. Sternheimer Brothers, Inc. ( 2010 )

  •                               UNPUBLISHED
                      UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS
                          FOR THE FOURTH CIRCUIT
                                  No. 09-2375
                    Plaintiff - Appellant,
                    Defendant – Appellee,
    ROSS STERNHEIMER, CEO, Everything Casual, incorporated f/n/a
    Sternheimer Bro., Inc., t/a A & N Stores; PAT MONEY,
    Assistant CEO, Everything Casual, Inc., f/n/a Sternheimer
    Bro., Inc., t/a A & N Stores; ADDRIANE LATHAN, Head of Human
    Resources, Everything Casual, Inc., f/n/a Sternheimer Bro.,
    Inc., t/a A & N Stores; JAMES BAILEY, Warehouse Manager,
    Everything Casual, Inc., f/n/a Sternheimer Bro., Inc., t/a A
    & N Stores; ANGELA CRAWLEY, Dock Supervisor, Everything
    Casual, Inc., f/n/a Sternheimer Bro., Inc., t/a A & N
    Clothes Supervisor; MARK STERNHEIMER,
    Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern
    District of Virginia, at Richmond.   Robert E. Payne, Senior
    District Judge. (3:08-cv-00187-REP)
    Submitted:   March 30, 2010                 Decided:   April 22, 2010
    Before WILKINSON, KING, and AGEE, Circuit Judges.
    Affirmed by unpublished per curiam opinion.
    Spencer E. Jones, III, Appellant Pro Se.     Christopher E.
    Gatewood, HIRSCHLER FLEISCHER, PC, Richmond, Virginia, for
    Unpublished opinions are not binding precedent in this circuit.
                Spencer    E.     Jones,    III       appeals    the    district     court’s
    order granting summary judgment as to Jones’s action under 42
    U.S.C. § 1983 (2006) in favor of Everything Casual, Inc., and
    several employees of the corporation.                     Everything Casual, Inc.,
    a corporation formerly known as Sternheimer Bros, Inc., operated
    the now-defunct A & N stores in Virginia.                          In his complaint,
    Jones    contended     that    during        his    employment,      he    was   denied
    training due to his age, in violation of the Age Discrimination
    in Employment Act (“ADEA”).                  29 U.S.C. § 623(a) (2006).              The
    district court granted summary judgment for the Defendants.                           On
    appeal,    Jones      reasserts        the       merits     of     his    claims,    and
    additionally contends that Defendants Angela Crawley and James
    Bailey    perjured    themselves       in     their    affidavits        regarding   the
    dates Jones was offered training.                 We affirm.
                We review a district court’s order granting summary
    judgment de novo, drawing reasonable inferences in the light
    most favorable to the non-moving party.                    See Nader v. Blair, 
    549 F.3d 953
    , 958 (4th Cir. 2008).                   Summary judgment may be granted
    only when “there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and
    . . . the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.”
    Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c).            However, “[c]onclusory or speculative
    allegations    do     not   suffice,         nor    does    a    mere    scintilla   of
    evidence in support of his case.”                     Thompson v. Potomac Elec.
    Power Co., 
    312 F.3d 645
    , 649 (4th Cir. 2002) (internal quotation
    marks and citation omitted).                   Summary judgment will be granted
    unless     a    reasonable        jury     could          return       a     verdict    for    the
    nonmoving      party       on   the    evidence          presented.          See    Anderson     v.
    Liberty Lobby, Inc., 
    477 U.S. 242
    , 247-48 (1986).                                  We may affirm
    a    district       court’s     judgment       on    any     ground         supported    by    the
    record.        Suter v. United States, 
    441 F.3d 306
    , 310 (4th Cir.
                   Under    the     ADEA,    it    is        illegal       for    an    employer    to
    discriminate against an employee due to the employee’s age.                                     29
    U.S.C. § 623(a) (2006).                  The ADEA provides a civil cause of
    action    for       employees     who    are     discriminated              against    by     their
    employers because of their age.                     See 29 U.S.C. § 626 (2006).                 An
    employee may establish an ADEA discrimination claim “through two
    alternative methods of proof:                       (1) a mixed-motive framework,
    requiring       evidence        that     the        employee’s         age        motivated    the
    employer’s          adverse     decision,           or     (2)     a       pretext     framework
    identical to the McDonnell Douglas burden-shifting analysis used
    in   Title     VII     cases.”        E.E.O.C.       v.     Warfield-Rohr           Casket     Co.,
    364 F.3d 160
    , 163 (4th Cir. 2004); see also McDonnell
    Douglas Corp. v. Green, 
    411 U.S. 792
    , 802 (1973).
                   In    his    pleadings         below,        Jones          asserted    that    the
    Defendants refused to offer adequate training due to his age.
    However,       Jones    entirely        failed       to     provide         any    “evidence    of
    conduct     or    statements        that     reflect     directly        the   alleged
    discriminatory attitude and that bear directly on the contested
    employment decision.”             Id.      Therefore, he failed to establish
    age discrimination under the mixed-motive framework.
                In     order     to     establish       an   ADEA    claim     under    the
    McDonnell      Douglas     framework,       Jones    must    first     demonstrate    a
    prima facie case of discrimination by a preponderance of the
    evidence.       Mereish v. Walker, 
    359 F.3d 330
    , 334 (4th Cir. 2004).
    In order to demonstrate a prima facie case of discriminatory
    denial of training, Jones must show:                 “(1) [he] is a member of a
    protected       class;    (2)     the    defendant[s]       provided     training    to
    [their] employees; (3) [Jones] was eligible for the training;
    and (4) [Jones] was not provided training under circumstances
    giving rise to an inference of discrimination.”                        Thompson, 312
    F.3d   at   649-50       (setting    out    McDonnell       Douglas    framework    for
    discriminatory denial of training based on race).                        If Jones is
    successful in establishing a prima facie case of discrimination,
    the    burden    then     shifts    to     the   defendants      “to    articulate    a
    legitimate,       non-discriminatory         reason”     for    their     failure    to
    adequately train Jones.             Mereish, 359 F.3d at 334.              Jones must
    then   prove     that     the   defendants’      proffered       justification      was
    pretextual.        Id.      “This final burden . . . merges with the
    ultimate burden of persuading the court that [Jones] ha[s] been
    the victim[] of intentional discrimination.”                    Id.
               After reviewing the record, we find that Jones failed
    to meet his burden in establishing a prima facie case of age
    discrimination     under      the     McDonnell         Douglas    doctrine.
    Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the district court.                We
    dispense   with   oral     argument   because     the     facts   and   legal
    contentions are adequately expressed in the materials before the
    court and argument would not aid the decisional process.