Federal Judge Sides with Masonite in Discrimination Lawsuit

June 16th, 2020 by Emmariah Holcomb

The age and sex discrimination lawsuit between plaintiff Jeannye Palmer and her former employer, Masonite Corporation (Masonite) has come to a close in Federal Court. The presiding judge sided with Masonite and granted the company’s motion for a summary judgment.

Palmer alleged she experienced age and sex discrimination while she worked for the company and claimed it was in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). According to the memorandum of opinion, Palmer worked as a customer service manager for Masonite. Her primary responsibility was to supervise customer service representatives’ work at Masonite’s Haleyville, Ala., residential door plant and at its Denmark, S.C., residential door plant. She was fired in March 2018 and was 48 years old. Masonite stated the following reasons for her termination: the company concluded Palmer edited the Kronos timekeeping records to not pay employees for time that they worked, and that she knew employees were working off of the clock and didn’t ensure they got paid for it.

“Defendant (Masonite) asserts that it terminated Palmer’s employment based on a good-faith belief that she had made improper edits to employees’ time-records and had required or knowingly allowed employees under her supervision to work off the clock and without pay,” a portion of the memorandum of opinion reads. “Defendant further elected to pay Detweda Ann Whitten, Carolyn Weems, and Betty Jo Broadfoot for all hours that they alleged to have been shorted.”

After Palmer was terminated the company hired Stephanie Bailor, a 41-year-old woman, to fill her position. Throughout Palmer’s complaint, she stated derogatory comments were made about her regarding her age and sex. Palmer claimed Amanda Blankenship, Masonite regional human resource manager, and Mike Leggett, a Masonite supervisor, made the comments. However, Masonite “never heard Blankenship or Leggett make any derogatory comments regarding plaintiff’s age or sex,” according to the memorandum of opinion.

“Plaintiff has presented absolutely no evidence that links her termination with her age or sex. She admits that she never heard Blankenship or Leggett, the ultimate decision maker make a derogatory comment regarding her age or sex,” a portion of the memorandum of opinion reads.

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