This opinion will be unpublished and
may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (2004).
IN COURT OF APPEALS
Penske Logistics, LLC,
Filed September 6, 2005
Hennepin County District Court
File No. EM 03-15154
Considered and decided by
shall be granted if, based on the pleadings, discovery, and court records,
there are no genuine issues of material fact and either party is entitled to
judgment as a matter of law.
alleged that respondent wrongfully terminated his employment in June 1999 because
of his race, in violation of Minn. Stat. § 363.03, subd. 1(2)(b) (1998). In order to sustain this cause of action,
appellant must show proof of intentional discrimination. Smith
v. DataCard Corp., 9 F.Supp.2d 1067, 1078 (D. Minn. 1998) (stating that
both Title VII and MHRA require proof of intentional discrimination). Because there is no direct evidence of
discrimination here, appellant’s claim is analyzed in accordance with the
analysis, the plaintiff has the burden of establishing a prima facie case of
discrimination; the burden shifts to the employer to rebut the claim by
presenting evidence of a legitimate, nondiscriminatory reason for its actions;
the plaintiff then has the burden of persuading the court that the employer’s
proffered reason is pretextual.
to establish a prima facie case of employment discrimination because of race,
appellant must show that (1) he is a member of a protected class; (2) he was
qualified for the job he was performing; (3) he suffered an adverse employment
action (termination); and (4) a nonmember of the protected class replaced him
or was not subject to the adverse employment action. Smith,
The district court concluded that appellant did not establish a prima facie case of discrimination because he produced no proof of disparate treatment, other than conclusory allegations. A plaintiff must set forth “specific facts sufficient to raise a genuine issue for trial” and may not rely simply on allegations. Rose-Maston v. NME Hosps., Inc., 133 F.3d 1104, 1107 (8thCirc. 1998). Appellant here did no more than allege that his supervisor was racist. While the MDHR investigation yielded a couple of interviews in which unnamed parties stated that the supervisor made racially derogatory statements, these statements were also conclusory. Appellant has neither raised a genuine issue of material fact nor demonstrated that the district court erred as a matter of law by granting summary judgment.
Even assuming that appellant offered a prima facie case of discrimination, respondent presented legitimate, nondiscriminatory reasons for discharge: falsification of appellant’s DOT log, which could affect respondent’s commercial license, and failure to report additional employment, also a violation of DOT regulations. In addition, respondent presented proof that another driver, who was white, was terminated for the same offense of altering his DOT log.
to show that respondent’s reasons for discharge were pretextual, appellant must
show that the employer’s proffered reason for termination was based on unlawful
The district court also rejected appellant’s claim that the supervisor intimidated him by producing a knife during one conversation. Again, this claim is supported only by appellant’s conclusory offering; it apparently did not occur during the termination conversation, and appellant does not claim that it was a specifically threatening gesture.
Appellant has failed to sustain his burden of establishing a prima facie case of disparate treatment or of rebutting respondent’s claim of a legitimate, non-discriminatory reason for terminating appellant’s employment. The district court therefore did not err by granting summary judgment.