Williams v. Grimes Aerospace Co., No. 8:96-3221-20AK.

CourtUnited States District Courts. 4th Circuit. United States District Court of South Carolina
Writing for the CourtHerlong
Citation988 F.Supp. 925
PartiesMargaret L. WILLIAMS, Plaintiff, v. GRIMES AEROSPACE COMPANY, f/k/a Midland Ross, Grimes Division, and Kilgore Group, Inc., d/b/a Columbia Staffing, Defendants.
Docket NumberNo. 8:96-3221-20AK.
Decision Date19 December 1997
988 F.Supp. 925
Margaret L. WILLIAMS, Plaintiff,
v.
GRIMES AEROSPACE COMPANY, f/k/a Midland Ross, Grimes Division, and Kilgore Group, Inc., d/b/a Columbia Staffing, Defendants.
No. 8:96-3221-20AK.
United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Greenwood Division.
December 19, 1997.

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Nancy A. Lipski, Lexington, SC, for Plaintiff.

Steven M. Wynkoop, Elizabeth M. McMillan, Greenville, SC, Kevin W. Sturm, Spartanburg, SC, for Defendants.

ORDER

HERLONG, District Judge.


This matter is before the court on the motion of the defendants, Grimes Aerospace Company ("Grimes") and Kilgore Group, Inc., d/b/a Columbia Staffing ("Columbia Staffing"), for summary judgment. The plaintiff, Margaret L. Williams ("Williams"), a former employee of each defendant, alleges that the defendants terminated her and failed to promote her in violation of state and federal law. Williams contends the defendants' conduct: (1) violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 ("Title VII"); (2) breached her employment contract; (3) breached an implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing within that contract; (4) violated South Carolina's wage payment statute; (5) unjustly enriched the defendants; and (6) was outrageous to the point of causing her personal injury.

I. PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

Williams filed this action on October 22, 1996. The parties ran into several difficulties during the course of discovery. Williams' counsel initially failed to respond to discovery because Grimes had misspelled her name on its requests. (Pl.'s Mem. in Opp. to Def. Grimes' Mot. to Compel at 2-3.) Grimes filed a motion to compel discovery on March 21, 1997. Magistrate Judge William M. Catoe, Jr. denied this motion and the

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issue was ultimately resolved without the court's assistance.

Discovery continued slowly for several weeks, and then came to a screeching halt. The original scheduling order instructed the parties to complete discovery by June 2, 1997, and be ready for trial by the September 1997 term of court. Due to the earlier discovery difficulties, the parties did not schedule Williams' deposition until July 17, 1997. (Pl.'s Not. of Mot. & Mot. for Protect. Order at 1-2.) Williams moved on July 16, 1997, for a protective order preventing her own deposition. In her motion, Williams represented that the parties could not agree to extend the discovery deadline and that it was now too late to take her deposition. (Id. at 2-3.) In fact, the parties had agreed to extend the discovery deadline, but Williams refused to consent because of a matter unrelated to discovery. (Def.'s Resp. to Mot. for Protect. Order at 1.) Magistrate Judge Catoe refused to grant the protective order. Williams disregarded the magistrate judge and did not appear for her deposition.

Counsel for the parties attended the August 26, 1997, roster meeting ("August roster meeting") of this court. At that time, counsel for both parties informed the court of their discovery difficulties. Understandably, counsel for the defendants stated that they would be unable to file any substantive motions before Williams gave her deposition. Upon hearing from all counsel involved, the court ordered Williams to make herself available for her deposition as soon as a date could be set. The parties agreed to depose Williams on September 30, 1997. The parties also scheduled the depositions of various representatives of the defendants at that same time. Due to the failure of the parties to resolve these discovery matters, the court first continued the case until the November 1997 term of court and ultimately set the case for trial during the January 1998 term.

Grimes filed its motion for summary judgment on October 16, 1997. Columbia Staffing so moved on October 20, 1997. Williams responded to both of these motions through a memorandum filed on October 31, 1997. Grimes and Columbia Staffing replied to Williams' response on November 7 and 10, 1997, respectively. This case is currently slated for the January 1998 term of court.

II. FACTUAL BACKGROUND

Williams' employment saga with Grimes began nearly a decade ago. Grimes manufactures lighting systems for aircraft. Williams, a black female, initially worked at Grimes' place of business as a temporary employee through the Manpower Temporary Agency in 1988. On January 3, 1989, Grimes hired Williams for a full-time position in its assembly department. As a full-time Grimes employee, Williams received an employee handbook detailing the company's benefit plans. Williams worked faithfully for Grimes until 1992. In December of 1992, Grimes laid off numerous workers, including Williams, in an effort to combat declining business revenues. Grimes offered the fired workers an option of either an early severance package or placement on the active recall list, but not both. Advised of these options, Williams took the early severance payment and removed her name from the active recall list.

Without work, Williams sought employment with Columbia Staffing, a temporary employment agency. In June of 1993, Grimes solicited temporary help for newly acquired business through Columbia Staffing. Grimes told Columbia Staffing the names of several former workers, including Williams, that it wanted to employ through Columbia Staffing. Williams began working at the Grimes facility as an employee of Columbia Staffing on June 9, 1993. Though Williams reported to work at Columbia Staffing and completed all employment-related paperwork there, she apparently believed she was an employee of both Grimes and Columbia Staffing. (Pl.'s Mem. in Opp. to Defs.' Mots. for Summ. J. at 6.) Columbia Staffing did not give Williams any written policies or procedures for employment.

During her 1993 work assignment at Grimes, Williams registered her work hours on Grimes' time clock. However, Columbia Staffing received the time and payment information from Grimes and paid Williams accordingly. This continued until November 5, 1993, when Grimes informed Columbia Staffing it no longer needed Williams.

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Williams filed for unemployment compensation, listing Columbia Staffing as her employer.

On July 25, 1994, Williams returned to work at the Grimes facility through a new employment arrangement with Columbia Staffing. During her 1994 assignment, Williams applied for a position as "group leader" with Grimes. Grimes posted a notice requesting applicants for the position, noting that full-time Grimes employees were preferred. Several temporary employees applied for the position. However, Grimes named Vanessa Goodwin, a black female who worked full-time for Grimes, as the new group leader. Williams' 1994 work assignment lasted until December 30, 1994. Again, Williams filed for unemployment benefits following her termination, listing Columbia Staffing as her employer.

Williams began a third temporary tour of duty at Grimes as an employee of Columbia Staffing on February 13, 1995. During her 1995 tour, Williams responded to several postings for full-time positions, but was selected for none. Of the four positions she sought in 1995, two were filled by full-time employees and two were never filled. Also, during her 1995 assignment, Williams made several complaints regarding the calculation of her pay. Williams claimed she was not given sufficient overtime pay during one week and that she did not receive several days of holiday pay. Initially, Williams voiced her concerns to Grimes. Grimes informed Williams that it did not pay her wages and she would need to notify Columbia Staffing of any problem. Upon investigating Williams' complaint, Columbia Staffing promptly paid Williams the amount she claimed was due.

It was also during this third temporary assignment at Grimes that Williams first charged Grimes with racial discrimination in a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") on April 27, 1996. Williams accused Grimes of discrimination by denying her a full-time position due to her race. In July of 1996, Williams requested and received a right to sue notice from the EEOC. On August 19, 1996, Grimes offered Williams a full-time position with the company. Williams accepted the offer.

III. TIMELINESS OF THE MOTIONS FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

The defendants' motions for summary judgment are suitable for discussion and disposition at this time. Williams initially objects to the motions as untimely. (Pl.'s Mem. in Opp. to Mots. for Summ J. at 3.) As outlined above, the original scheduling order in this case directed all discovery to be completed by June 2, 1997, and all motions to be filed by July 16, 1997. Though this and other matters were thoroughly discussed at the August roster meeting, Williams still objects to the motions. At the August 1997 meeting, the court was shocked to learn that the plaintiff had not given her deposition in a case that was scheduled for trial in September of 1997. All counsel detailed the discovery problems to the court, and the counsel for the defendants specifically said that these discovery matters were preventing them from filing their respective motions for summary judgment. After hearing these concerns, the court ordered Williams to appear for her deposition and continued the case. In doing so, the court clearly extended the time for discovery, and, therefore, the time for filing dispositive motions.

Furthermore, this same argument arose again at the roster meeting held on October 21, 1997 ("October roster meeting"). After filing motions for summary judgment on October 16 and 20, 1997, counsel for the defendants at the October roster meeting requested the court continue the case for one further term so that summary judgment motions would receive proper consideration. The court agreed and continued the case for a second time specifically to review the defendants' motions....

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28 practice notes
  • U.S. Equal Emp't Opportunity Comm'n v. Global Horizons, Inc., Cv. No. 11–00257 DAE–RLP.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Court (Hawaii)
    • March 16, 2012
    ...conduct of the onsite employer and failed to take corrective measures within its control); Williams v. Grimes Aerospace Co., 988 F.Supp. 925, 937 (D.S.C.1997) (same). The Court concludes that the EEOC has alleged facts sufficient to plausibly suggest that Defendants Captain Cook, Mac Farms,......
  • Russell v. Bronson Heating and Cooling, No. 03-73871.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 6th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Michigan)
    • November 16, 2004
    ...BHC's reasons for her termination. BCN also argues that even if it were deemed a joint employer, under Williams v. Grimes Aerospace, 988 F.Supp. 925 (D.S.C.1997) it still cannot be liable for discrimination. Grimes Page 783 that "[i]t would be grossly inequitable to hold such an agency liab......
  • FULTON v. PEOPLE LEASE Corp., No. 106
    • United States
    • United States State Court of Criminal Appeals of Oklahoma. Court of Civil Appeals of Oklahoma
    • May 17, 2010
    ...period of assignment. 17 See Mullis v. Mechanics & Farmers Bank, 994 F.Supp. 680 (M.D.N.C.1997); Williams v. Grimes Aerospace Co., 988 F.Supp. 925 (D.S.C.1997); Magnuson v. Peak Technical Services, Inc., 808 F.Supp. 500 (E.D.Va.1992); Amarnare v. Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith, 611 F......
  • Swindell v. Cacinss, Inc., No. 5:17-CV-617-D
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. Eastern District of North Carolina
    • September 30, 2020
    ...v. U.S. Dep't of Navy, No. 2:13-cv-707, 2016 WL 901262, at *1-2 (E.D. Va. Mar. 3, 2016) (unpublished); Williams v. Grimes Aerospace Co., 988 F. Supp. 925, 937-38 (D.S.C. 1997). Additionally, the Burton standard comports with EEOC guidance. See Velasquez, 2018 WL 1773128, at *3-4. Moreover, ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
28 cases
  • U.S. Equal Emp't Opportunity Comm'n v. Global Horizons, Inc., Cv. No. 11–00257 DAE–RLP.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Court (Hawaii)
    • March 16, 2012
    ...conduct of the onsite employer and failed to take corrective measures within its control); Williams v. Grimes Aerospace Co., 988 F.Supp. 925, 937 (D.S.C.1997) (same). The Court concludes that the EEOC has alleged facts sufficient to plausibly suggest that Defendants Captain Cook, Mac Farms,......
  • Russell v. Bronson Heating and Cooling, No. 03-73871.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 6th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Michigan)
    • November 16, 2004
    ...BHC's reasons for her termination. BCN also argues that even if it were deemed a joint employer, under Williams v. Grimes Aerospace, 988 F.Supp. 925 (D.S.C.1997) it still cannot be liable for discrimination. Grimes Page 783 that "[i]t would be grossly inequitable to hold such an agency liab......
  • FULTON v. PEOPLE LEASE Corp., No. 106
    • United States
    • United States State Court of Criminal Appeals of Oklahoma. Court of Civil Appeals of Oklahoma
    • May 17, 2010
    ...period of assignment. 17 See Mullis v. Mechanics & Farmers Bank, 994 F.Supp. 680 (M.D.N.C.1997); Williams v. Grimes Aerospace Co., 988 F.Supp. 925 (D.S.C.1997); Magnuson v. Peak Technical Services, Inc., 808 F.Supp. 500 (E.D.Va.1992); Amarnare v. Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith, 611 F......
  • Swindell v. Cacinss, Inc., No. 5:17-CV-617-D
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. Eastern District of North Carolina
    • September 30, 2020
    ...v. U.S. Dep't of Navy, No. 2:13-cv-707, 2016 WL 901262, at *1-2 (E.D. Va. Mar. 3, 2016) (unpublished); Williams v. Grimes Aerospace Co., 988 F. Supp. 925, 937-38 (D.S.C. 1997). Additionally, the Burton standard comports with EEOC guidance. See Velasquez, 2018 WL 1773128, at *3-4. Moreover, ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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