United States District Court, S.D. Texas
Ricky A. Johnson, Plaintiff,
OPINION ON SUMMARY JUDGMENT
N. Hughes United States District Judge
A. Johnson is black. He began working as a grill cook for
Aramark Corporation on December 4, 2013, at the University of
Houston - Clear Lake in Houston. Johnson's
responsibilities included preparing the grill station,
cooking the food, and cleaning everything after the shift.
March 1, 2016, Johnson submitted a written complaint to human
resources about how Aramark gave his Hispanic co-worker a
raise of ten-cents per hour; Aramark did not raise
Leyendecker was the food service director and manager.
Leyendecker and Johnson got into an argument on March 16th.
Leyendecker told Johnson to do something and he became
confrontational. In his tantrum, Johnson told Leyendecker
that he was unfairly treated because Agapita Ortiz got a
raise and he did not.
the altercation, Leyendecker asked Johnson if he wanted to go
home. Johnson said yes and left before his shift ended.
Johnson returned the next day and resumed his
sent Johnson a coaching notice on April 12th about the
exchange between Leyendecker and him. Johnson then filed his
first charge of employment discrimination with the Equal
Employment Opportunity Commission on April 28th. Johnson
claimed racial discrimination and retaliation. The Commission
dismissed his complaint.
Aramark employees in the education division are on leave
between mid-May through mid'August. The University is
open on a limited schedule. In the summer, the dining room
closes at 2:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday and on Fridays at
noon. The University is closed on Saturday and Sunday.
Employees may ask to work the reduced schedule.
early May 2016, Leyendecker scheduled a meeting with the
workers to discuss their availability during the summer
because summer hours would begin on May 16. At the meeting,
Leyendecker asked the workers to write their availability for
May through September on the notepad being passed around.
Johnson was there, but he did not write anything on the
notepad nor did he otherwise give Leyendecker a new written
last wrote his availability in fall 2015. In that update,
Johnson's availability was from Monday through Friday
after noon. Aramark relied on his fall 2015 availability to
schedule the summer. Because Johnson's availability on
file conflicted with the summer schedule, Aramark did not
mother died at the beginning of May 2016. Johnson asked for
bereavement leave from May 4 through May 17, and Aramark
approved it. Johnson returned to work on May 18th, two days
after the summer schedule began. Although Aramark had not
scheduled Johnson to work, he helped Aramark with catering
for three hours.
after he finished that day, Johnson asked Leyendecker why he
was not on the summer schedule. Leyendecker explained that
(a) he never receivedjohnson's availability at the
meeting, and (b) his last availability from fall 2015
conflicted with ...