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Toney v. IC Corp.

December 18, 2006

MARY TONEY PLAINTIFF
v.
IC CORPORATION DEFENDANT



The opinion of the court was delivered by: James M. Moody United States District Court

ORDER

Pending before the Court are defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment and plaintiff's response. For the reasons stated below, the motion is granted (# 29).

Plaintiff, an African-American, brings her complaint alleging she was discriminated against when she was terminated in retaliation and based upon her race in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1981, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as amended by the Civil Rights Act of 1991, 42 U.S.C. § 1985(3), the Arkansas Civil Rights Act ("ACRA"), and the Labor Management Relations Act ("L.M.R.A.") § § 303 and 301. Defendant contends that plaintiff has failed to present a prima facie case of discrimination or to rebut its nondiscriminatory reason for plaintiff's termination.

I. Facts

Plaintiff began employment with defendant in February 1999. As an employee of defendant, plaintiff was represented by the United Auto Workers Union, Local 1762 ("the Union") and governed by a contract between defendant and the Union ("the Contract").

Article XVIII of the Contract provides that:

The use, possession, manufacture, sale, attempted sale, purchase, attempted purchase or distribution of alcohol or an illegal drug by a Team Member during a restricted period may constitute cause for discharge of the Team Member.

Def. Ex. 10 at 83.

Restricted period is defined under the Contract to include: anytime the Team Member is present on property owned or leased by the company, or to which the Company has access as a business invitee . . . (whether or not the Team Member is entitled to compensation from the company pursuant to a provision of this Agreement for such time).

Def. Ex. 10 at 82.

Possession or use of alcohol or drugs on company property is a major rule offense. Plaintiff was familiar with Article 18.04(a)'s prohibition against use or consumption of alcohol or illegal drugs on company property, and with the major rule offenses.

In 2004, defendant hired a private firm in Ohio to conduct an undercover operation at its plant in an effort to stop drugs from coming into the workplace. This private firm sent an investigator to Conway to conduct the undercover investigation which took place from June through October of 2004.

The private investigator prepared reports on a daily basis and emailed them to the private firm in Ohio which, in turn, forwarded the reports to John Mattox, defendant's Director of Health, Safety and Security, at his home. These reports consisted of both Daily Activity Reports ("DAR") and Incident Reports ("IR"). The DAR provided detailed accounts of contacts the investigator made during the day and the IR documented activities such as drug use, offers to sell drugs, and other company violations.

In a July 22, 2004 IR, the undercover agent reported that he agreed to purchase $20.00 worth of marijuana from plaintiff. In a September 16, 2004 IR, the undercover agent reported that while in plaintiff's car in defendant's parking lot, plaintiff smoked marijuana and the undercover agent simulated smoking marijuana. In a IR on that same date, the undercover agent said that later in that same day, plaintiff, the undercover agent, and another employee drank beer together in plaintiff's ...


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