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United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
June 5, 2015, Filed
File Name: 15a0411n.06
KAREN NELSON MOORE, Circuit Judge. Plaintiff-Appellant David Williams worked for Defendant-Appellee Union Underwear Company, Inc., d/b/a Fruit of the Loom ("FOL"), for over ten years before FOL terminated his employment. Williams contends that FOL fired him because of his association with his ill wife and his age in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA"), 42 U.S.C. § 12112(b)(4) (2012), and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act ("ADEA"), 29 U.S.C. § 623(a) (2012). FOL asserts that Williams had been performing below expectations long before his termination, and that Williams's poor performance—not his wife's disability or his age—was the reason for his termination. Williams has not made [**2] a prima facie showing that his wife's disability was a determining factor in FOL's decision to terminate him. Nor has he made a prima facie showing of age discrimination because he has not produced evidence that FOL replaced him with a substantially younger person. And, even if Williams had made a prima facie showing for either claim, we agree with the district court that Williams has not produced evidence from which a reasonable jury could conclude that FOL's proffered reason for the termination was a pretext for discrimination. Thus, we AFFIRM the district court's grant of summary judgment.
Williams worked in FOL's Internal Audit Department from April 1983 through June 1998, and then again from March 2007 until FOL terminated Williams's employment on December 31, 2011. R. 13-1 at 5, 10 (Williams Dep. at 17-19, 38) (Page ID #430, 435). As the senior manager of internal audit, Williams's primary responsibilities were assisting with the Office of Foreign Asset Control ("OFAC") compliance program to ensure that FOL did not trade with any prohibited foreign entities and developing and conducting licensee audits. See id. at 11-13 (Williams Dep. at 41-49) (Page ID #436-38). Throughout the majority [**3] of Williams's tenure at FOL, the Internal Audit Department performed two or three OFAC audits each year, which required Williams to work anywhere from five to 600 hours to complete the task and involved travel to an offsite location. Id. at 14 (Williams Dep. at 53-56) (Page ID #439). Licensee audits also involved out-of-state travel to the licensee's location. Id. at 14-15 (Williams Dep. at 55-57) (Page ID #439-40). Until 2009, Williams did not receive any negative feedback about his performance. R. 20-1 at 18-19 (Williams Dep. at 72, 76) (Page ID #715-16).
In January 2008, Berkshire Hathaway, Inc., FOL's parent company, hired the accounting [*251] firm Ernst & Young to assess FOL's Internal Audit Department. R. 13-11 at 3 (Crossland Dep. at 11) (Page ID #353). In January 2009, Ernst & Young submitted a report to FOL, identifying four areas where the Internal Audit Department only partially conformed to the assessment standards. See R. 16-3 at 8-9 (E&Y Report) (Page ID #494-95). Based on Ernst & Young's assessment, Berkshire Hathaway directed FOL to change its internal auditing process. R. 13-11 at 3 (Crossland Dep. at 11) (Page ID #353). Anthony Crossland, who oversaw FOL's Internal Audit Department, decided [**4] to transition to process-oriented audits instead of manufacturing audits. Id.
Full case includes Shepard's, Headnotes, Legal Analytics from Lex Machina, and more.
614 Fed. Appx. 249 *; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 9447 **; 2004 FED App. 0411n (6th. Cir.); 2015 WL 3514384
DAVID WILLIAMS, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. UNION UNDERWEAR COMPANY, INC., d/b/a FRUIT OF THE LOOM, Defendant-Appellee.
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Prior History: [**1] ON APPEAL FROM THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF KENTUCKY.
Williams v. Union Underwear Co., 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 144344 (W.D. Ky., Oct. 10, 2014)
disability, terminated, audit, produce evidence, internal audit, age discrimination, hire, reasonable jury, compliance, replaced, prima facie case, pretext, summary judgment, employment action, employees, Disease, younger
Labor & Employment Law, Evidence, Burdens of Proof, Burden Shifting, Age Discrimination, Burdens of Proof, Civil Procedure, Appeals, Summary Judgment Review, Standards of Review, Discrimination, General Overview, Disability Discrimination, Scope & Definitions, Employee Burdens of Proof, Discriminatory Employment Practices, Discharges & Failures to Hire, Evidence, Hearsay, Rule Components, Judgments, Summary Judgment, Evidentiary Considerations