Grigsby v. Reynolds Metals Co., No. 86-7387

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (11th Circuit)
Writing for the CourtBefore HILL and JOHNSON; HILL
Citation821 F.2d 590
Parties44 Fair Empl.Prac.Cas. 449, 44 Empl. Prac. Dec. P 37,383 Mary B. GRIGSBY, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. REYNOLDS METALS COMPANY, Defendant-Appellee.
Decision Date15 July 1987
Docket NumberNo. 86-7387

Page 590

821 F.2d 590
44 Fair Empl.Prac.Cas. 449,
44 Empl. Prac. Dec. P 37,383
Mary B. GRIGSBY, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
REYNOLDS METALS COMPANY, Defendant-Appellee.
No. 86-7387.
United States Court of Appeals,
Eleventh Circuit.
July 15, 1987.

Page 592

Andrew P. Campbell, Leitman, Siegal & Payne, P.C., S. Lynne Stephens, Birmingham, for plaintiff-appellant.

C.V. Stelzenmuller, Thomas, Taliaferro, Forman, Burr & Murray, F.A. Flowers, III, Birmingham, Ala., for defendant-appellee.

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama.

Before HILL and JOHNSON, Circuit Judges, and Eschbach *, Senior Circuit Judge.

HILL, Circuit Judge:

Appellant Mary B. Grigsby brings this appeal from the district court's entry of summary judgment in favor of her employer, Reynolds Metals Company, on her disparate treatment claims under Title VII and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). Grigsby objects to the method by which the district court received evidence from the parties on summary judgment, and further claims that the evidence she submitted was sufficient to raise a genuine issue of fact as to Reynolds' discriminatory intent. After reviewing the entire record, we conclude that the particular facts of this case support the entry of summary judgment in favor of Reynolds.

I. FACTS

At the time she commenced this lawsuit in 1985, Grigsby was 50 years old and had been continuously employed by Reynolds since 1956. From 1979 until March of 1984, Grigsby held the position of Sales Service Supervisor in Reynolds' Wire, Rod & Bar (WRB) plant in Listerhill, Alabama. In late 1983, Reynolds decided to close its WRB facility for economic reasons. In an effort to retain as many WRB employees as possible, Reynolds formulated an overall reduction in force (RIF) at its nearby Alloys Sheet & Plate (Alloys) plant of 46 salaried employees. Upon the closing of the WRB plant, Grigsby was transferred to the Alloys facility to replace J.T. Brewer, a 29 year-old male who was terminated in the RIF. Although she had different job responsibilities in the Alloys plant, Grigsby

Page 593

retained her old title as Sales Service Supervisor until November 1, 1984, when it was changed to Claims Specialist to correspond with her changed duties. Grigsby took no reduction in pay as a result of her transfer, although her "Hay" grade was lowered from a level 5 to a level 3. 1 In addition to Grigsby, at least fourteen male, former WRB salaried employees also were reduced in Hay grade upon transfer to the Alloys plant during the RIF.

In June of 1984, the District Traffic Manager at the Alloys plant resigned. At that time Reynolds decided to expand the job duties of that position to include shipping functions as well as traffic responsibilities. This newly expanded position required a person with detailed knowledge of and experience with Reynolds' cost accounting system, capitalization projects, investigative auditing procedures, and computer systems. Reynolds also sought a person who was familiar with the entire Alloys plant operation and who had experience in supervising professional employees. Grigsby applied and was considered for this vacancy, but she was deemed not qualified for the position. 2 After considering several industrial engineers, Reynolds ultimately selected L. Regan Ragland, a male in his early thirties, to fill the position. Reynolds considered him the best qualified applicant because of his nine years experience with its cost system, capitalization projects, auditing procedures, and computer technology. In addition, Ragland had eight years experience in various departments of the Alloys plant as well as four years experience supervising professional industrial engineers. 3

Grigsby filed an amended charge of age and sex discrimination with the EEOC on September 12, 1984. After receiving a right to sue letter, Grigsby filed this action in federal district court alleging that she had been demoted and denied promotions because of her age and sex, in violation of the ADEA, 29 U.S.C. Sec. 621 et seq., and Title VII, 42 U.S.C. Sec. 2000e et seq. On February 26, 1986, Reynolds filed a motion for summary judgment. The district court then ordered both parties to file all evidentiary matters to be considered in support of or in opposition to this motion by March 11, six days prior to the date set for trial. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of Reynolds on March 14, holding that Reynolds had met its burden of articulating legitimate, nondiscriminatory reasons for its employment decisions and that Grigsby had failed to put forth sufficient evidence showing the existence of a genuine issue of fact as to whether the employer's reasons were merely a pretext for discrimination. This appeal followed.

II. METHOD OF PRESENTING EVIDENCE ON SUMMARY JUDGMENT

Grigsby initially objects to the method by which the district court received evidence on Reynolds' summary judgment motion, claiming that the court erred in requiring both parties to submit all evidence in support of or in opposition to the motion at the same time. Grigsby argues that this approach

Page 594

ignored the shifting burdens of production for plaintiffs and defendants which apply in Title VII and ADEA cases, and claims that the court's requirement of simultaneous production deprived her of a full and fair opportunity to show pretext. She contends that an employment discrimination plaintiff should not have to present evidence of pretext until after the employer has shown a legitimate, nondiscriminatory reason for its actions.

In McDonnell Douglas Corp. v. Green, 411 U.S. 792, 93 S.Ct. 1817, 36 L.Ed.2d 668 (1973) and Texas Dept. of Community Affairs v. Burdine, 450 U.S. 248, 101 S.Ct. 1089, 67 L.Ed.2d 207 (1981), the Supreme Court set forth the basic allocation of burdens and order of presentation of proof in a Title VII case alleging discriminatory treatment. First, the plaintiff has the burden of proving by a preponderance of the evidence a prima facie case of discrimination. Second, once the plaintiff proves a prima facie case, the burden of production shifts to the defendant to articulate a legitimate, nondiscriminatory reason for its employment decision. Finally, if the defendant carries its burden, the plaintiff must then prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the legitimate reasons offered by defendant were merely a pretext for discrimination. Burdine, 450 U.S. at 252-53, 101 S.Ct. at 1093-94; McDonnell Douglas, 411 U.S. at 802-04, 93 S.Ct. at 1824-25. The Eleventh Circuit has adopted this three-step approach for ADEA cases as well. See Archambault v. United Computing Systems, Inc., 786 F.2d 1507, 1512 (11th Cir.1986); Price v. Maryland Casualty Co., 561 F.2d 609, 612 (5th Cir.1977).

We note initially that Grigsby seeks to raise an issue that was never raised before the district court. While we might be inclined to review this issue favorably had it first been presented to and rejected by the district judge, there is nothing in the record to indicate that the plaintiff either sought or was denied any relief from the procedure of which she now complains. As a general rule, we agree that when the defendant has offered evidence of a legitimate, nondiscriminatory reason for its employment decision, the plaintiff should not be denied the opportunity to submit additional evidence of pretext after seeing the defendant's evidence of justification. In the present case, however, Grigsby neither objected to the...

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193 practice notes
  • Johnston v. Henderson, No. 00-6445CIV.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 11th Circuit. United States District Courts. 11th Circuit. Southern District of Florida
    • May 1, 2001
    ...not suffice.") (citations omitted); Brown v. American Honda Motor Co., 939 F.2d 946, 953 (11th Cir. 1991); Grigsby v. Reynolds Metals Co., 821 F.2d 590, 595-96 (11th IV. LEGAL ANALYSIS A. PLAINTIFF CANNOT MAKE OUT A PRIMA FACIE CASE OF DISABILITY DISCRIMINATION UNDER THE REHABILITATION ACT ......
  • Wright v. Southland Corp., No. 97-3458
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (11th Circuit)
    • September 3, 1999
    ...(1973), developed a presumption that supplemented--but did not replace--the traditional framework.2 See Grigsby v. Reynolds Metals Co., 821 F.2d 590, 595 (11th Cir.1987). This presumption operates as follows: If a plaintiff chooses to make use of the McDonnell Douglas presumption, he initia......
  • Smith v. Alabama Dept. of Public Safety, No. CIV.A.98-D-340-N.
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Middle District of Alabama
    • September 20, 1999
    ...reasons for its actions." Ferron v. West, 10 F.Supp.2d 1363, 1371 (M.D.Ga.1998) (citing Grigsby v. Page 1230 Reynolds Metals Co., 821 F.2d 590, 597 (11th Cir.1987)); see also Meiri v. Dacon, 759 F.2d 989, 998 (2d Cir.1985) (conclusory allegations of discrimination are insufficient to raise ......
  • Enplanar, Inc. v. Marsh, No. 91-3837
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (5th Circuit)
    • January 19, 1994
    ...have failed to carry their burden of proof to refute the reasons offered by the Defendants. See Grigsby v. Reynolds Metals Co., 821 F.2d 590, 596 (11th Cir.1987) (holding that a defendant can present such strong evidence of a nondiscriminatory rationale that summary judgment is warranted). ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
193 cases
  • Johnston v. Henderson, No. 00-6445CIV.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 11th Circuit. United States District Courts. 11th Circuit. Southern District of Florida
    • May 1, 2001
    ...(citations omitted); Brown v. American Honda Motor Co., 939 F.2d 946, 953 (11th Cir. 1991); Grigsby v. Reynolds Metals Co., 821 F.2d 590, 595-96 (11th IV. LEGAL ANALYSIS A. PLAINTIFF CANNOT MAKE OUT A PRIMA FACIE CASE OF DISABILITY DISCRIMINATION UNDER THE REHABILITATION ACT The Rehabilitat......
  • Wright v. Southland Corp., No. 97-3458
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (11th Circuit)
    • September 3, 1999
    ...(1973), developed a presumption that supplemented--but did not replace--the traditional framework.2 See Grigsby v. Reynolds Metals Co., 821 F.2d 590, 595 (11th Cir.1987). This presumption operates as follows: If a plaintiff chooses to make use of the McDonnell Douglas presumption, he initia......
  • Smith v. Alabama Dept. of Public Safety, No. CIV.A.98-D-340-N.
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Middle District of Alabama
    • September 20, 1999
    ...reasons for its actions." Ferron v. West, 10 F.Supp.2d 1363, 1371 (M.D.Ga.1998) (citing Grigsby v. Page 1230 Reynolds Metals Co., 821 F.2d 590, 597 (11th Cir.1987)); see also Meiri v. Dacon, 759 F.2d 989, 998 (2d Cir.1985) (conclusory allegations of discrimination are insufficient to r......
  • Enplanar, Inc. v. Marsh, No. 91-3837
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (5th Circuit)
    • January 19, 1994
    ...have failed to carry their burden of proof to refute the reasons offered by the Defendants. See Grigsby v. Reynolds Metals Co., 821 F.2d 590, 596 (11th Cir.1987) (holding that a defendant can present such strong evidence of a nondiscriminatory rationale that summary judgment is warranted). ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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