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Workman v. Bill M.

United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Greenville Division

October 26, 2017

Olandio Ray Workman, Plaintiff,
v.
Bill M., Montre Jeter, Caleb Davis, Chris Mattern, Tee Brokiskie, Michael Compos, John NLN, and Engineered Product Corporation, Co. Defendants.

          ORDER

          R. Bryan Harwell United States District Judge

         This matter is before the Court for consideration of Plaintiff's objections to the two Reports and Recommendations (“R & R”) of United States Magistrate Judge Kevin F. McDonald.[1] See ECF Nos. 19, 23, 31, & 33.

         Standard of Review

         The Magistrate Judge makes only a recommendation to the Court. The Magistrate Judge's recommendation has no presumptive weight, and the responsibility to make a final determination remains with the Court. Mathews v. Weber, 423 U.S. 261, 270-71 (1976). The Court must conduct a de novo review of those portions of the R & R to which specific objections are made, and it may accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the recommendation of the Magistrate Judge or recommit the matter with instructions. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1).

         The Court must engage in a de novo review of every portion of the Magistrate Judge's report to which objections have been filed. Id. However, the Court need not conduct a de novo review when a party makes only “general and conclusory objections that do not direct the [C]ourt to a specific error in the [M]agistrate [Judge]'s proposed findings and recommendations.” Orpiano v. Johnson, 687 F.2d 44, 47 (4th Cir. 1982). In the absence of specific objections to the R & R, the Court reviews only for clear error, Diamond v. Colonial Life & Acc. Ins. Co., 416 F.3d 310, 315 (4th Cir. 2005), and the Court need not give any explanation for adopting the Magistrate Judge's recommendation. Camby v. Davis, 718 F.2d 198, 199-200 (4th Cir. 1983).

         Discussion[2]

          Plaintiff sues eight defendants[3] alleging unlawful employment discrimination. The Magistrate Judge has issued two separate R & Rs, and Plaintiff has filed objections to each. See ECF Nos. 19, 23, 31, & 33.

         I. First R & R (Defendants Bill M., Jeter, Davis, Mattern, Brokiskie, Compos, & John NLN)

         In the first R & R, the Magistrate Judge recommends summarily dismissing Defendants Bill M., Montre Jeter, Caleb Davis, Chris Mattern, Tee Brokiskie, Michael Compos, and John NLN because Plaintiff fails to state a claim against them. See ECF No. 19; see generally 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii) (authorizing a district court to summarily dismiss a case at any time if the court determines the action “fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted”). Specifically, the Magistrate Judge concludes Plaintiff cannot sue these individual defendants under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (“ADEA”), or 42 U.S.C. § 1983. ECF No. 19 at p. 4 & n.1.

         Although Plaintiff has filed objections to the first R & R, see ECF No. 23, he fails to specifically object to the Magistrate Judge's proposed finding that the above seven defendants cannot be sued under Title VII, the ADEA, or § 1983.[4] Accordingly, the Court has reviewed the first R & R for clear error and found none, and will therefore adopt it and summarily dismiss these defendants. See Diamond, 416 F.3d at 315; Camby, 718 F.2d at 199-200.

         II. Second R & R (Defendant Engineered Products, LLC)

         In the second R & R, the Magistrate Judge recommends granting the motion to dismiss filed by Defendant Engineered Products, LLC. See ECF Nos. 26 & 31. Specifically, the Magistrate Judge concludes: (1) Plaintiff's Title VII race discrimination and retaliation claims are time-barred, not subject to equitable tolling, and should be dismissed pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6); (2) Plaintiff's Title VII sexual harassment claim and his claims under the ADEA, Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), and Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (“GINA”) should be dismissed pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(1) because they were not alleged in the charge he filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”); and (3) Plaintiff's § 1983 claim should be dismissed because Plaintiff represents that this claim should not have been filed in this case. See ECF No. 31 at pp. 4-9.

         Plaintiff has filed objections to the second R & R, but his only specific objection[5] is to the Magistrate Judge's finding that Plaintiff is not entitled to equitable tolling.[6] See ECF No. 33 at pp. 1-2. The Magistrate Judge has determined that Plaintiff filed an EEOC charge on July 8, 2016; that the EEOC mailed Plaintiff a notice of right to sue on September 2, 2016; that receipt presumptively occurred by September 6, 2016; that the ninety-day limitation period expired on December 5, 2016; and that the earliest possible date Plaintiff could have filed his complaint was December 21, 2016, over two weeks after the limitation period ended[7]-notably, Plaintiff does not object to any of these findings. See ECF No. 31 at pp. 2-3, 6. Instead, he simply objects to the Magistrate Judge's conclusion that equitable tolling is not warranted. See ECF No. 33 at p. 1.

         A Title VII plaintiff has ninety days to file suit after the EEOC has given him notice of the right to sue. 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-5(f)(1); see Watts-Means v. Prince George's Family Crisis Ctr., 7 F.3d 40, 42 (4th Cir. 1993). “[T]he statutory time limits applicable to lawsuits against private employers under Title VII are subject to equitable tolling, ” but “[f]ederal courts have typically extended equitable relief only sparingly.” Irwin v. Dep't of Veterans Affairs, 498 U.S. 89, 95, 96 (1990). Equitable tolling is appropriate when “the claimant has actively pursued his judicial remedies by filing a defective pleading during the statutory period, or where the complainant has been induced or tricked by his adversary's misconduct into allowing the filing deadline to pass.” Id. at 96 (internal footnote omitted). It might also be justified where “a claimant has received inadequate notice, or where a motion for appointment of counsel is pending and equity would justify tolling the statutory period until ...


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