United States District Court, D. Minnesota
Clifford Thompson, pro se plaintiff.
Bradley J. Lindeman and Melissa Dosick Riethof, MEAGHER &
GEER, PLLP, for defendant.
ORDER ADOPTING REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
R. TUNHEIM CHIEF JUDGE
Clifford Thompson brought this action against Westmor
Industries LLC (“Westmor”), his former employer,
alleging that Westmor discriminated against him in violation
of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. (2d Am. Compl.
at 3-4, Dec. 5, 2017, Docket No. 64.) Thompson alleges that
Westmor discriminated against him “on the basis of
[his] race (black) and national origin (West Africa).”
(Id. at 6.) He alleges that he suffered adverse
employment actions when Westmor scrutinized his work, did not
send him to welding school, and terminated him. (See
Id. at 4.)
before the Court is the report and recommendation
(“R&R”) of U.S. Magistrate Judge Leo I.
Brisbois recommending that the Court grant Westmor's
Motion for Summary Judgment and deny Thompson's Motion
for Summary Judgment. (R&R, Oct. 17, 2018, Docket No.
147.) Thompson objects. (Objs., Nov. 5, 2018, Docket No.
the Magistrate Judge did not clearly err in determining that
Westmor is entitled to summary judgment in this case, the
Court will overrule Thompson's Objections and adopt the
STANDARD OF REVIEW
the filing of an R&R by a magistrate judge, “a
party may serve and file specific written objections to the
proposed findings and recommendations.” Fed.R.Civ.P.
72(b)(2); accord D. Minn. LR 72.2(b)(1). “The
district judge must determine de novo any part of the
magistrate judge's disposition that has been properly
objected to.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b)(3); accord D.
Minn. LR 72.2(b)(3). Proper objections should “specify
the portions of the magistrate judge's report and
recommendation to which objections are made and provide a
basis for those objections.” Montgomery v. Compass
Airlines, LLC, 98 F.Supp.3d 1012, 1017 (D. Minn. 2015)
(internal quotations omitted). Objections that “merely
repeat arguments presented to and considered by a magistrate
judge are not entitled to de novo review, but rather are
reviewed for clear error.” Id.
thorough review of Thompson's objections, the Court finds
that they repeat arguments presented to and considered by the
Magistrate Judge when he issued the R&R. As such, the
Court will review Thompson's objections for clear error.
Nevertheless, even reviewing the objections de novo, the
Court would overrule them and adopt the R&R.
notes that: (1) all the employees of Westmor that move metal
sheets do so in the same way that he did; (2) Westmor does
not dispute that it has no written policy on how to conduct
this task; (3) Thompson was never trained to conduct this
task; and (4) the only way for him to learn how to do this
task was to watch other employees. (Objs. at 1, 5, 10;
see also Pl.'s Reply at 2-3, Dec. 4, 2018,
Docket No. 155.) The Magistrate Judge considered these facts
but found that, “[e]ven if Defendant failed to train
Plaintiff on proper safety procedures for equipment he was
using, and then proceed[ed] to terminate Plaintiff's
employment for violation of a safety procedure, that alone
does not constitute discriminatory animus.” (R&R at
16.) The Magistrate Judge found that Thompson failed to even
allege that other employees were provided with training of
which he was deprived. (Id.) These findings are not
clearly erroneous, and Thompson's objections will be
alleges that employees who were not members of his protected
class conducted tasks the same way he did, yet his method was
labeled unsafe while theirs was not. (Objs. at 1, 3, 5.) The
Magistrate Judge considered this argument and did not clearly
err in finding no evidence of discriminatory animus. The
Magistrate Judge noted that Thompson did not provide any
admissible evidence that Westmor employees involved in the
decision to terminate him had ever observed another employee
commit a safety violation without reprimand under similar
circumstances. (R&R at 17.) Thompson's objections on
this issue will be overruled.
makes numerous arguments regarding Westmor's proffered
reasons for not sending him to welding school. (Objs. at 3-5,
7; Pl.'s Reply at 1-2.) However, none of these arguments
disturb the Magistrate Judge's reasons for finding that
Westmor is entitled to summary judgment. The Magistrate Judge
found that Thompson had not provided evidence to rebut the
sworn affidavits of Westmor employees stating that not all
employees are sent to welding school and that at least three
white employees at Westmor who had similar qualifications to