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Washington v. American Airlines, Inc.

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

March 26, 2015

Rodney E. Washington, Plaintiff - Appellant,
v.
American Airlines, Inc., Defendant - Appellee

Submitted: September 11, 2014.

Appeal from United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri - St. Joseph.

For Rodney E. Washington, Plaintiff - Appellant: Christopher Bruce McKinney, Law Office of Christopher B. Mckinney, LLC, Kansas City, MO.

For American Airlines, Inc., Defendant - Appellee: Sara Elizabeth Welch, Stinson & Leonard, Kansas City, MO.

Before BYE, COLLOTON, and GRUENDER, Circuit Judges.

OPINION

Page 980

COLLOTON, Circuit Judge.

Rodney Washington appeals from the district court's[1] grant of summary judgment in favor of American Airlines on his claims of employment discrimination based on race under 42 U.S.C. § 1981, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq., and the Missouri Human Rights Act, Mo. Rev. Stat. § 213.010 et seq. Because there is no genuine issue of material fact for trial on these claims, we affirm.

I.

Washington, an African-American, has been employed by American Airlines since 2002, when American Airlines acquired the company for which Washington had worked since 1974. Washington applied for the position of Machinist in August 2007, but was not promoted after the company's examiner concluded that Washington failed to complete satisfactorily an examination known as " MPG-1." Washington's lawsuit focuses on the examination.

The MPG-1 examination is a qualifying test that ensures employees " possess[] adequate job knowledge and skill." American Airlines requires applicants to complete successfully items selected by the examiner from among fifty-two possible tasks. The company's Qualifications Administration Manual provides that " [t]he Test Examiner is responsible for promptly scheduling . . . all parts of the test." A human resources manager for the company

Page 981

averred that " [a]pplicants for the Machinist position are required to schedule their own qualifying test at a time that is mutually convenient for the applicant and the tester." The company also maintained in an interrogatory answer that the examinations for the Machinist position in August 2007 were scheduled " in accordance with the availability of the employee, the tester and the subject matter expert."

Washington and five others submitted bids for the Machinist position in August 2007. In September, Justin Howard administered the MPG-1 examination to Washington, and concluded that Washington failed to complete it satisfactorily. Four other applicants, all Caucasian, were tested by a different examiner before Washington's examination, and all were successful. The sixth ...


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