United States District Court, N.D. Texas, Dallas Division
FINDINGS, CONCLUSIONS, AND RECOMMENDATION OF THE
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
L. HORAN UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Shakena Adams filed a pro se complaint against her
former employer, Defendant Southwest Airlines, alleging that
Southwest discriminated and retaliated against her in
violation of federal law. This resulting action has been
referred to the undersigned United States magistrate judge
for pretrial management under 28 U.S.C. § 636(b) and a
standing order of reference from Senior United States
District Judge A. Joe Fish.
Court granted Ms. Adams leave to proceed in forma
pauperis (“IFP”), see Dkt. No. 5,
and issued a screening questionnaire to allow her to fully
explain how the alleged actions by Southwest (or its
employees) were illegal, see Dkt. No. 6. She filed a
timely response to that questionnaire. See Dkt. No.
undersigned now enters these findings of fact, conclusions of
law, and recommendation that, for the reasons explained
below, the Court should allow to proceed Ms. Adams's
claims that she was retaliated against after she complained
of racial discrimination but dismiss with prejudice all other
claims she asserts in her complaint as amended by her
responses to the screening questionnaire.
In her complaint, Ms. Adams alleges that
Southwest Airlines violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act
of 1964 when they discriminated against [her] on numerous
occasions. Southwest Airlines also violated 42 U.S. Code 1981
when they retaliated against [her] for filing a complaint.
Southwest Airlines wrongfully terminated [her] in retaliation
and created a hostile environment causing Ms. Adams to suffer
physical, emotional and economical harm.
Dkt. No. 3 at 1.
• Ms. Adams began working at Southwest Airlines on
• Through the course Ms. Adams's time at Southwest
Airlines she accumulated around 300 compliments for her
service and work performance.
• In fact, during the last 6 months of Ms. Adams's
employment she received 81 compliments.
• The day of Ms. Adams's termination, she was
recognized as having received the Southwest Warrior Spirit
award. This award was in recognition for outstanding service,
displaying that of a “servant's heart” and
giving 100 percent daily. This recognition was awarded from
the office of Gary Kelly, the C.E.O. of Southwest Airlines.
• Despite having received this honor, Ms. Adams was
terminated that day for not getting along with her
• Though the company and department have a specific
process leading to a termination which includes a Letter of
Instruction (Verbal Warning), Letter (Written Warning) then
Termination, this process and performance plan was not
followed for Ms. Adams.
• Ms. Adams did not receive a written warning prior to
being terminated, which violates the company and
• It is clear that Ms. Adams was negatively labeled by
Southwest Airlines after making several complaints and the
company sought to get rid of her.
• Evidence of the fact that Ms. Adams was negatively
labeled, can be seen in the fact that Katherine Pappas, a
supervisor of Ms. Adams openly told employees in the
department that she did not like Ms. Adams because of the
complaints Ms. Adams had previously made. The actions of Ms.
Pappas humiliated Ms. Adams and inflicted additional
• In fact, Ms. Adams was told on one occasion that
“snitches get stitches.” • The gross
negligence of Ms. Pappas in informing employees of protected
complaints filed by Ms. Adams, increased the hostility felt
by Ms. Adams.
• During the time in which Ms. Adams was subjected to
retaliation after filing complaints regarding discriminatory
remarks made towards her, she suffered a heart attack and
several anxiety attacks.
• The ambulance was called in response to her having
suffered a heart attack on one occasion and in response to
her having ...