Case No. 17-14706
April 18, 2019
The Circuit Court affirmed the dismissal of Arrington’s
claims of discrimination, hostile work environment, and retaliation in violation of Title VII, the ADA, and the FMLA, as well as her personal injury claim for “workplace hazard.”
The Court concluded Arrington, an African-American female, abandoned most of her claims by failing to present arguments as to how the district court erred. She also alleged facts without explaining how they made a plausible claim, instead stating the employer’s actions violated her civil rights. The Court opined that citation to legal authority alone does not constitute legal argument. Additionally, the Court agreed with the district court that the complaint failed to allege that Arrington was retaliated against for engaging in protected activity or that any claimed discriminatory or harassing actions were connected to her race or disability. As to retaliation, while she asserted her area manager rescinded a job offer after she called the employee concerns line, her complaint indicated that her managers did not become aware of her call until after the offer was rescinded. Moreover, although the Court assumed that at least one of the actions qualified as an adverse job action, Arrington did not establish a prima face case because she did not allege that similarly situated employees outside of her protected class were treated more favorably. Finally, she did not establish that her work environment was either severe or pervasive enough to alter the terms or conditions of employment and, consequently, she did not meet the higher standard necessary to establish a constructive discharge.
As to her disability claims, her allegations showed the employer sought to accommodate her and her sole remedy for her alleged personal injury was under Alabama’s Workmen’s Compensation Act, a claim she did not present. Additionally, her conclusory allegations regarding FMLA were insufficiently pled; Arrington was granted FMLA leave and she did not show any facts supporting an inference that the employer discriminated against her for taking that leave.