United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Greenville Division
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION OF PARTIAL SUMMARY
F. MCDONALD, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
plaintiff, proceeding pro se, brings this civil
action alleging employment discrimination. Pursuant to the
provisions of 28 U.S.C. §636(b)(1)(B), and Local Civil
Rule 73.02(B)(2)(e), D.S.C., the undersigned is authorized to
review such complaints for relief and submit findings and
recommendations to the district judge. The undersigned
recommends that Defendants Robert Dowling, Louis Beason,
Deborah Gravely, Athena Miller, Steven Chasten, Mark
Richards, Rick Bridwell, and Scoot McIver be dismissed from
plaintiff alleges that the defendants discriminated against
him because of his race, color, and sex/gender in violation
of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, 42
U.S.C. § 2000e et seq. (“Title VII”) (doc.
1-1 at 5-6). He asserts that he was subject to unequal terms
and conditions of employment, retaliation, and termination
(doc. 1-1 at 6). He contends that the treatment is ongoing
plaintiff states that on or about September 9, 2016, Beason
and Dowling conspired to set him up for a safety violation
(id. at 8). He contends that Dowling told him he
should take off his shirt and tie before he hung himself and
made a gesture like he was hanging the plaintiff from a tree;
Beason and Dowling laughed about hanging the plaintiff from a
tree (id.). The plaintiff asserts that on or about
August 16, 2016, Dowling said that the “Temps”
would listen to Dowling because he is white (id.).
plaintiff alleges that he spoke with Miller in July and
September of 2015 regarding the safety violations,
harassment, hostile work environment, retaliation, and
disrespectful behavior (doc. 1-2 at 3). He states that
Richards and Dowling were present for at least one of these
meetings and that Miller told him that Chasten was his
supervisor (id.). The plaintiff provided the copy of
an email where he complains that Gravely screamed at him in
front of others and called him a liar with no backbone
(id. at 4).
plaintiff states that he received a Right to Sue letter from
the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on May 24, 2016
(doc. 1-1 at 8); he seeks $1, 500, 000 in compensatory,
punitive, and exemplary damages (id. at 9).
plaintiff filed this action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
1915, the in forma pauperis statute. This statute
authorizes the district court to dismiss a case if it is
satisfied that the action “fails to state a claim on
which relief may be granted, ” is “frivolous or
malicious, ” or “seeks monetary relief against a
defendant who is immune from such relief.” 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(e)(2)(B). As a pro se litigant, the
plaintiff's pleadings are accorded liberal construction
and held to a less stringent standard than formal pleadings
drafted by attorneys. See Erickson v. Pardus, 551
U.S. 89, 94 (2007) (per curiam). However, even under
this less stringent standard, a portion of the pro
se pleading remains subject to summary dismissal. The
requirement of liberal construction does not mean that the
court can ignore a clear failure in the pleading to allege
facts which set forth a claim cognizable in a federal
district court. See Weller v. Dep't of Soc.
Servs., 901 F.2d 387, 391 (4th Cir. 1990).
court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over Dowling, Beason,
Gravely, Miller, Chasten, Richards, Bridwell, and McIver
because there is no individual liability under Title VII.
Title VII prohibits discrimination by employers. See
42 U.S.C § 2000e-2. Title VII defines
“employer” as “a person engaged in an
industry affecting commerce who has fifteen or more employees
. . . and any agent of such person.” 42 U.S.C. §
2000e(b). It is well-established that Title VII does not
impose individual liability on supervisory employees. See
Lissau v. Southern Food Serv., Inc., 159 F.3d 177,
180-81 (4th Cir. 1998) (holding that supervisors cannot be
found liable in their individual capacity under Title VII
because they do not fit within the definition of an
it is clear that the plaintiff does not allege that these
defendants were his employer, and, thus, he cannot sue them
for employment discrimination. See Baird v. Rose,
192 F.3d 462, 472 (4th Cir. 1999) (finding that Title VII
does not provide a remedy against an entity who does not come
within the definition of employer); Singleton v.
Greenville Hous. Auth., C/A No. 6:09-2104-JMC-KFM, 2010
WL 6065085, at *4-5 (D.S.C. Sept. 21, 2010) (explaining only
an “employer” of an “employee” can be
liable for discrimination under Title VII), adopted
by, 2011 WL 883669, at *2 (D.S.C. March 11, 2011).
Accordingly, the undersigned recommends that Dowling, Beason,
Gravely, Miller, Chasten, Richards, Bridwell, and McIver be
dismissed as defendants.
foregoing reasons, it is recommended that Defendants Robert
Dowling, Louis Beason, Deborah Gravely, Athena Miller, Steven
Chasten, Mark Richards, Rick Bridwell, and Scoot McIver be
dismissed from this action without prejudice and without
issuance and service of process. See Neitzke v.
Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 324-25 (1989); Haines v.
Kerner, 404 U.S. 519 (1972); and 28 U.S.C. § 1915A
(as soon as possible after docketing, district courts should
review prisoner cases to determine whether they are ...