Submitted, February 12, 2014
Appeal from United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri - St. Joseph.
For Michael Young, Plaintiff - Appellant: Alan V. Johnson, SLOAN & EISENBARTH, Topeka, KS.
For Builders Steel Company, Defendant - Appellee: Jacy J.H. Moneymaker, Clifford Brooks Wood, STINSON & LEONARD, Kansas City, MO.
Before RILEY, Chief Judge, LOKEN and BYE, Circuit Judges.
BYE, Circuit Judge
Michael Young brought this employment discrimination case claiming race discrimination and retaliation against his former employer Builders Steel Company (" Builders Steel" ). The district court granted summary judgment to Builders Steel on both claims. Young now appeals. We affirm.
Young, an African-American male, was employed with Builders Steel for twenty-six years. Builders Steel is a structural steel fabricator and constructor operating in Kansas City, Missouri. Until major lay-offs in 2011, Builders Steel employed about twenty-three people in its Kansas City shop. From 2009 until his employment ended in May of 2011, Young was the only African-American employee of Builders Steel.
Young was a member of Local Union No. 520 of the International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers (" the Union" ). Some other, but not all, employees at Builders Steel were members of the Union. The Union and Builders Steel executed contracts every three years; those contracts governed the working conditions of the union-members and the relationship between the Union and Builders Steel. Two such agreements are relevant to this appeal, the 2005 Union Agreement and the 2008 Union Agreement (" the Union Agreements" ). The 2005 and 2008 Union Agreements are similar in all relevant aspects. The Union Agreements divided the shop employees into separate job classifications and assigned each job classification a " Wage Group." The Union Agreements state:
Each of the Company's employees shall be classified in accordance within the hereinafter mentioned classification which covers the class of work in which he is employed by the Company . . . [E]ach employee shall be paid within the wage range, if applicable to the classification, but not less than the minimum hourly wage rate set forth . . . for the classification in which such employee is included or classified.
Aplt. Add. at 23, 41. Before being laid-off, Young was in Wage Group 3. Pursuant to the Union Agreements, Wage Group 3 contains three different job classifications: Welder A, ...