Walter Whitaker v. Nash-Rocky Mount Board of Education, No. 13-1824 (4th Cir. 2013)

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UNPUBLISHED UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FOURTH CIRCUIT No. 13-1824 WALTER LEE WHITAKER, Plaintiff - Appellant, v. NASH-ROCKY MOUNT BOARD OF EDUCATION, d/b/a Nash-Rocky Mount Public Schools; RICHARD A. MCMAHON, Superintendent; CARINA BRYANT, Southern Nash Middle School Principal, Defendants - Appellees. Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina, at Raleigh. Terrence W. Boyle, District Judge. (5:11-cv-00246-BO) Submitted: October 28, 2013 Decided: November 13, 2013 Before DAVIS, WYNN, and DIAZ, Circuit Judges. Affirmed by unpublished per curiam opinion. Walter Lee Whitaker, Appellant Pro Se. Dan M. Hartzog, Jr., Donna Rhea Rascoe, CRANFILL, SUMNER & HARTZOG, LLP, Raleigh, North Carolina, for Appellees. Unpublished opinions are not binding precedent in this circuit. PER CURIAM: Walter Lee Whitaker appeals the district court s order granting summary judgment to Defendants on his claims of racial discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C.A. § 2000e to 2000e-17 (West 2003 & Supp. 2013) ( Title VII ). * We affirm. Summary genuine dispute judgment as to any is appropriate material where fact entitled to judgment as a matter of law. 56(a). and there the is no movant is Fed. R. Civ. P. At the summary judgment stage, facts must be viewed in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party only if there is a genuine dispute as to those facts. Scott v. Harris, 550 U.S. 372, 380 (2007) (internal quotation marks omitted). A district court should grant summary judgment unless a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party on the evidence presented. (1986). Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 249 Conclusory or speculative allegations do not suffice, * To the extent Whitaker summarily contends that the district court erred in concluding that Title VII does not apply to claims of disability discrimination, we reject Whitaker s contention. Moreover, it is clear that Whitaker never alleged or produced evidence that he suffers from a qualifying disability. See Rohan v. Networks Presentations LLC, 375 F.3d 266, 272-73 & n.9 (4th Cir. 2004) (holding that claim of discriminatory discharge under Americans with Disabilities Act requires showing of disability that substantially limits major life activity or of being regarded as having such disability). 2 nor does a mere scintilla nonmoving party s] case. 312 F.3d 645, omitted). 649 (4th of evidence in support of [the Thompson v. Potomac Elec. Power Co., Cir. 2002) (internal quotation marks We review de novo a district court s order granting summary judgment. Bonds v. Leavitt, 629 F.3d 369, 380 (4th Cir. 2011). Title VII makes it an unlawful employment practice for an employer . . . to discriminate against any individual with respect to his compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of such individual s race. 42 U.S.C.A. § 2000e-2(a)(1). Because Whitaker produced no direct evidence that discrimination motivated the nonrenewal of his contract to serve as a probationary teacher, his claim must be considered under the burden-shifting framework established in McDonnell Douglas Corp. v. Green, 411 U.S. 792, 802-05 (1973). Hill v. Lockheed Martin Logistics Mgmt., Inc., 354 F.3d 277, 284-85 (4th Cir. 2004) (en banc). Under required to the McDonnell establish elements: (1) employment action; a membership (3) Douglas prima in a framework, facie case protected performance at a Whitaker comprising class; (2) level meeting was four adverse his employer s legitimate expectations at the time of the adverse employment action; and (4) circumstances that give rise to an inference of discrimination. Gerner v. Cnty. of Chesterfield, 3 674 F.3d 264, 266 (4th Cir. 2012); King v. Rumsfeld, 328 F.3d 145, 149 (4th Cir. 2003). Once these elements are established, the burden shifts to the employer to articulate a legitimate, nondiscriminatory reason Hill, 354 F.3d at 285. nondiscriminatory discrimination reason is for the adverse employment action. If the employer provides evidence of a for rebutted, its and action, the the presumption employee, who bears of the ultimate burden of persuasion, must show by a preponderance of evidence that discrimination. the proffered reason was a pretext for Reeves v. Sanderson Plumbing Prods., Inc., 530 U.S. 133, 143, 146-49 (2000). Having carefully reviewed the record, we agree with the district court that the evidence failed to indicate that Whitaker was meeting his employer s performance expectations or that the motivated. decision not to renew his contract was racially Whitaker s conclusory and unsupported assertions to the contrary were not sufficient to survive summary judgment. King, 328 F.3d at 149-50. Thus, Whitaker is not entitled to relief on his claim that the nonrenewal of his contract was based on race. To the extent Whitaker also claims that he was subject to a racially hostile work environment, he failed to produce evidence sufficient to carry such a claim past summary judgment. See EEOC v. Cent. Wholesalers, Inc., 573 F.3d 167, 175 (4th Cir. 4 2009) (discussing Whitaker s prima suggestion facie that case). Title VII Finally, permits him we to reject proceed against Defendants Richard McMahon and Carina Bryant in their individual capacities. Lissau v. S. Food Serv., Inc., 159 F.3d 177, 180-81 (4th Cir. 1998). If Whitaker intended to raise claims under 42 U.S.C. §§ 1981, 1983 (2006), such claims fail for the same reasons as Whitaker s Title VII claims. Love-Lane v. Martin, 355 F.3d 766, 786 (4th Cir. 2004). Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the district court. legal before We dispense with oral argument because the facts and contentions this court are adequately and argument presented would not in aid the the materials decisional process. AFFIRMED 5