United States District Court, N.D. New York
August 11, 2005.
CHARLES W. MASSIE, III, Plaintiff,
IKON OFFICE SOLUTIONS, INC., Defendant.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: HOWARD MUNSON, Senior District Judge
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER
Defendant IKON Office Solutions, Inc. ("IKON"), offers
customers total business solutions for production of outsourcing
needs, including copier and printer color solutions,
facilitiesmanagement, network design and consulting, and
e-business development. IKON's Technology Education Unit ("TEU")
marketed training services for computer software and hardware to
individuals, corporations, governments and organizations. The TEU
employed approximately 320 people in 15 facilities located throughout the
United States. Plaintiff worked for IKON as an Account Executive,
a sales job, in the TEU, in its Syracuse, NY office from November
1, 1999 through September 2000. In December 2001, IKON sold the
TEU to Computer Services Corp., an affiliate of Sun Capital
Partners of Boca Raton, Florida.
While at IKON, plaintiff's supervisor was now dismissed
co-defendant, John Watkins. Plaintiff alleges that Watkins,
subjected him to performance demands that were not required by
any other staff member; retaliated against him for not accepting
Watkins' religious related materials and was terminated based
upon a false charge of insubordination.
Plaintiff filed a charge with the New York State Division of
Human Rights ("NYSDHR") and the Equal Employment Opportunity
Commission ("EEOC"). The EEOC subsequently adopted the findings
of the NYSDHR that investigates plaintiff's charge, and dismissed
plaintiff's claim. The EEOC adopted the findings of the state
fair employment practices agency that investigated plaintiff's
charges, and issued a right-to-sue letter on June 3, 2002.
Plaintiff commenced legal proceedings against the defendants with
the filing of a complaint on August 8, 2002. At this court's
direction, he filed an amended complaint on October 7, 2002,
claiming that defendants violated Title VII of the Civil Rights
Act of 1964, as amended, codified at 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq.,
and the Civil Rights Act of 1991. Plaintiff alleged that
defendants conduct discriminated against his religion, that they
imposed unequal terms and conditions of employment, and
retaliated against him by unjustly terminating his employment.
The amended complaint seeks reinstatement as an Account
Executive, retroactive back pay, punitive damages, attorney fees
In May 2003, a motion to dismiss the complaint in this case was
brought in this court by defendant IKON and then defendant John Watkins. After
reviewing the submissions of the respective parties and hearing
oral argument on the motion, the court denied the motion to
dismiss the complaint as against defendant IKON, and granted the
motion to dismiss the complaint as against defendant John
Currently before the court is IKON's motion for summary
judgment dismissing the complaint pursuant to Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 56(c) ("that there is no genuine issue of
material fact and that the moving party is entitled to judgment
as a matter of law."). Plaintiff has entered opposition to
The principles applicable to summary judgment are familiar and
well-settled. Summary judgment may be granted only when there is
"no genuine issue as to any material fact," and the moving party
is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c);
see also Hermes International v. Lederer de Paris Fifth Ave.,
Inc., 219 F.3d 104, 107 (2d Cir. 2000). A court's role is "to
assess whether there are any factual issues to be tried, while
resolving ambiguities and drawing reasonable inferences against
the moving party," Knight v. U.S. Fire Insurance Co.,
804 F.2d 9, 11 (2d Cir. 1986); however, the non-movant may not rely on
"mere speculation or conjecture as to the true nature of the
facts to overcome a motion for summary judgment." Id. at 12.
Instead, when the moving party has documented particular facts in
the record, "the opposing party must `set forth specific facts
showing that there is a genuine issue for trial." Williams v.
Smith, 781 F.2d 319, 323 (2d Cir. 1986) (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e)). Establishing such facts requires
going beyond the allegations of the pleadings. Weinstock v.
Columbia University, 224 F.3d 33, 41 (2d Cir. 2000).
Accordingly, unsupported allegations in the pleadings cannot
create a material issue of fact. Id.
Plaintiff appears pro se, and the court is sympathetic to the
plight of the unrepresented, and is mindful of the clearly
announced principle that encourages the federal courts to accord
pro se litigants greater leniency with respect to certain
procedural requirements more easily fulfilled by members of the
bar. Mount v. Book-of-the-Month Club, Inc., 555 F.2d 1108, 1112
(2d Cir. 1977) ("A layman representing himself . . . is entitled
to a certain liberality with respect to procedural
requirements"); Stewart v. United States Postal Service,
649 F. Supp. 1531, 1535 (S.D.N.Y. 1986) ("the law downplays the strict
application of harsh procedural rules when a party is pro se").
Moreover, the Court has given careful consideration to the
general rule that where, as here, "pro se papers implicate the
vindication of civil rights or civil liberties," they are to
receive a particularly liberal construction. Stewart,
649 F. Supp. at 1535. Branum v. Clark, 927 F.2d 698, 705 (2d Cir.
1991); Williams v. King, 796 F. Supp. 737, 739 (E.D.N.Y. 1992).
Nevertheless, the net effect of the principles cited above does
not require that the courts disregard completely procedural
requirements or rules of substantive law whenever a pro se
litigant alleges a civil rights violation. Rather, although the
courts have "an obligation to make reasonable allowances to
protect pro se litigants from inadvertent forfeiture of important
rights . . . `[t]he right of self-representation does not exempt
a party from compliance with the relevant rules of procedural and
substantive law.'" Clarke v. Bank of New York, 687 F. Supp. 863, 871 (S.D.N.Y. 1988) (quoting
Birl v. Estelle, 660 F.2d 592, 593 [5th Cir. 1981]). Michelson
v. Merrill Lynch Pierce, Fenner & Smith, Inc., 619 F. Supp. 727,
741-42 (S.D.N.Y. 1985) ("pro se litigants . . . like all
parties to a litigation, cannot rely upon [their] pro se status
as a shield from all mistakes but must at some point bear the
consequences of [their] procedural errors").
In his opposition memorandum to IKON's summary judgment motion,
plaintiff sets forth a claim that John Watkins' actions toward
him constituted intentional discrimination prompting a reckless
disregard for his human rights, and entitling plaintiff to
punitive damages. The conduct complained of was not before the
court until plaintiff filed a memorandum in opposition to summary
judgment. No mention of it appeared in the original Complaint or
the Amended Complaint. Discovery by plaintiff did not focus on
investigating such conduct thereby providing the defendants with
notice that he intended to pursue this claim. Having received no
notice of it, the defendant had no opportunity to investigate it
when defendant conducted its own discovery. A party may not rely
on wholly new allegations of wrongdoing to resist a motion for
summary judgment. Wilburn v. Dial Corp., 724 F. Supp. 521, 525
(W.D. Tenn. 1989).
The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provide for liberal notice
pleading at the outset of the litigation because "[t]he
provisions for discovery are so flexible" that, by the time a
case is ready for summary judgment, "the gravamen of the dispute
[has been] brought frankly into the open for inspection by the
court." Swierkiewicz v. Sorema N.A., 534 U.S. 506, 512-13,
122 S.Ct. 992, 152 L. Ed.2d 1 (2002) (noting that the "simplified
notice pleading standard relies on liberal discovery rules and
summary judgment motions to define disputed facts and issues and to dispose of unmeritorious
claims"). Once a case has progressed to the summary judgment
stage, therefore, "the liberal pleading standards under
Swierkiewicz and [the Federal Rules] are inapplicable."
Gilmour v. Gates McDonald & Co., 382 F.3d 1312, 1315 (11th Cir.
2004) (holding that a plaintiff could not raise a new claim in
response to a summary judgment motion); see also 10A Charles Alan
Wright, Arthur R. Miller & Mary Kay Kane, Federal Practice and
Procedure § 2723 (3d ed. Supp. 2005) ("A non-moving party
plaintiff may not raise a new legal claim for the first time in
response to the opposing party's summary judgment motion. At the
summary judgment stage, the proper procedure for plaintiffs to
assert a new claim is to amend the complaint in accordance with
Rule 15(a)."). To permit a plaintiff to do otherwise would
subject defendants to unfair surprise. Guiffre v. Local Lodge
No. 1124, 1991 WL 135576, at *5 (6th Cir. July 24, 1991)
(refusing to hear claims raised for the first time in opposition
to summary judgment because, "[h]aving received no notice of
them, the defendants had no opportunity to investigate them when
they conducted their own discovery"); EEOC v. J.H. Routh Packing
Co., 246 F.3d 850, 854 (6th Cir. 2001) (stating that even under
the liberal notice-pleading regime, the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure still require "that the complaint give the defendant
fair notice of the claim and its supporting facts").
Even construing the allegations in the Amended Complaint as
generously as possible, the only claims that plaintiff asserted
were unequal employment, retaliation. and termination of
employment. No allegations are made regarding Watkins' alleged
intentional discrimination that promoted reckless disregard for
human rights. Consequently, this claim will not be considered by
this court in ruling on defendant's motion for summary judgment. This court will also not consider plaintiff's surreply to
defendant's reply to plaintiff's memorandum. Rule 7.1, 4(b)(1) of
the Local Rules of Practice for the United States District Court
Northern District of New York does not permit a surreply in
dispositive motions practice.
Plaintiff claims that his superior, John Watkins, subjected him
to religious discrimination, disparate treatment and
retaliatorydismissal, and that defendant IKON knew, or should
have known, about his actions but did nothing to prevent or
rectify it. Plaintiff was employed by IKON as an Account
Executive from November 1, 1999 through September 14, 2000. An
Account Executive's job entailed cold calling on business
establishments and try to interest them in the educational
training products IKON had available. Likely customers were
offered a free coupon for a single session of training in one of
several "Computer Application" training classrooms. If the
training period proved satisfactory, the likely customer might
agree to pay for further training periods. The Account Executive
was required to make an average of 50 cold calls per day and to
qualify a minimum of 5 likely customers per day for a free
An Account Executive was obliged to achieve the minimal
acceptable levels for sales of IKON products and services,
collections, calls and coupons. Before being hired, plaintiff
received, reviewed and executed an Account Executive Commission
Structure Acknowledgment that specifically outlined his monthly
sales and collection level requirements. Plaintiff was supervised
by Aaron Ballard from November 1999 to June 20, 2000, and by John
Watkins for the rest of his employment term at IKON.
During the time he worked at IKON, plaintiff was given several
written and oral warnings regarding his inadequate work performance throughout his
term of employment. On November 26, 1999 and January 25, 2000, he
had received a Document of Verbal Warning admonition from Aaron
Ballard because an Account Executive was to make sales calls on
at least 50 businesses per day and plaintiff was only averaging
27 such calls. On June 1, 2000, plaintiff received an email from
facility manager, John Watkins, concerning his low call count.
In March 2000, plaintiff received and executed an Account
Executive Interim Report that showed that his levels of sales
collections and calls were under IKON's minimum criteria. The
report warned that if minimal acceptable levels were not obtained
for three consecutive months, employment would be terminated.
Plaintiff signed the report acknowledging that he understood its
significance and would use his best efforts to meet the minimal
At the same time, plaintiff explained to Ballard that part of
his low production level could be due to his lack of training for
the position, and inquired when he was going to get the training
for the job that was included in his employment agreement with
IKON. It was then agreed upon that IKON would send plaintiff to
the CORE-4 Relationship Sales Training seminar in Atlanta, GA.
This one week training seminar was usually reserved for employees
who showed a potential for learning and whom the company felt
that the investment was well worth the outlay. This expense was
approved by General Manager Watkins, who later advised Robert D.
Shannon, the State Division of Human Rights investigator handling
plaintiff's claim, that IKON would not have spent $4,000 sending
plaintiff to the training seminar unless they planned to keep him
as an employee. Plaintiff successfully completed the training course in May
2000. However, his work endeavors remained inadequate, and in
June 2000, he received another Documentation of Verbal Warning
for improperly registering customers in without receiving
payments from them.
On June 30, 2000, John Watkins met with plaintiff to discuss
his inability to attain the required minimum sale and collection
levels. Although plaintiff's salary could have been reduced for
these shortfalls, plaintiff and Watkins agreed that plaintiff
would move to a Level II arrangement, and be paid on a commission
basis only. This meeting resulted in plaintiff receiving another
Employee Counseling Report that plaintiff executed. The Report
listed the necessary levels of sales the plaintiff was to reach
along with his actual sales. In July 2000, plaintiff received
another Employee Counseling Report concerning his insufficient
sales output. The Report warned that if he didn't meet the
minimum of $20,00 in sales in August, he would be terminated, and
if he fell below the $20,000 minimal sales level for any month
thereafter, he would be terminated.
When plaintiff began his employment at IKON in early November
1999, he was given, and signed a receipt for a copy of IKON's
Employee Handbook. The handbook contained specific policies
against the use of its email facilities for sending or receiving
non-business related activities such as personal messages and
jokes. Violations of this policy were to be reported to the
violator's manager. (IKON Office Solutions Handbook, pp. 41-44).
On June 26, 2000, plaintiff failed to comply with the
Handbook's restrictions on improper use of its email system by
sending co-workers non-work associated emails. Plaintiff acknowledged that a certain email referred to "New
Barbies" with specific citations to "exoticbarbie,"
"lactatingbarbie," "sororitybarbie" and "transbarbie." (Massie
Tr. at pp. 115, 5-7; 116,15-25). Another email asked a female
co-worker whether she was a fan of the music group Def Leonard,
or pornographic star, Ron Jeremy. (Massie Tr. at pp.
100:20;101:5). Although his supervisor, John Watkins, instructed
him to discontinue sending emails of that character, plaintiff
continued to do so through the month of July 2000.During this
period, plaintiff sent emails entitled "Dream a Little of
Me. . . . . ." (Massie Tr. at pp. 109:17-20, 114:13;115:7); Tale a
Break From Your Busy Schedule" (Id. p. 115: 2-8) "True Lust" (Id.
at p. 115:2-8); Aaron at Diamond Dolls, a picture of co-worker
Aaron Ballard at a gentlemen's club (Id. 118:22-119:14); IKON's
New Keyboard with a picture of a computer key with the words
"Fuck It" on it (Id. at p. 119:16-23) "I Finally Got My
Handicapped Sticker" with an individual sitting in a wheelchair
with "Blow Job Accessible" printed under the picture; (Id., p.
120: 15-23); and "Dear Penis" (Id. at pp. 121:24-122:3. On July
26, 2000, sent an unauthorized mass email to his friends,
co-workers and John Watkins that described an email beta test
pyramid scheme. For a second time, John Watkins put plaintiff on
notice that he was not to use the company email system for
non-business related purposes. (Id., pp. 105:23-106: 12-14).
On August 2, 2000, plaintiff once again disregarded company's
email use policy by sending IKON's customers a non-business
connected named "XXX-Image is Everything" (Id., p. 122:15,
123:10), and shortly thereafter, sending his former supervisor,
Aaron Ballard, a non-work associated email called, "She Shoots,
She Scores . . ." (Id. pp. 115: 2-8, 121:20-21). On August 4,
2000, plaintiff sent a co-worker another unauthorized email about
a confused manager and used John Watkins as the confused manager.
(Id. p. 113:10-21) On August 23, 2000, John Watkins emailed
plaintiff warning him that any further misuse of the company's
email system will be a direct violation of his wishes and would
be constituted as insubordination. (Id.108:17-23; Johnson Aff.
On September 13, 2000, plaintiff sent an email to Don Greger,
John Watkins, supervisor, concerning the need to "enhance the
attitude of the sales room." (Massie Tr. p. 130). The letter
requested Mr. Greger's help in getting effective sales management
in the Syracuse office. It then stated that:
Mr. John Watkins, General Manager is trying to wear
both General Manager and Sales Manager hats. This is
poor because the responsibilities of both positions
require two different skill sets and are occasionally
at odds with one another. The net result of this
current situation is that our team then is required
to take on additional management duties, cutting into
the time allotted for selling. There is no one to go
to for upper level decisions because Mr. Watkins is
usually doing three things:
1) In a meeting
2) Out of the Office
3) Working on it
There is a bad level of morale here in the sales room
because we are not getting the assistance needed to
do our jobs or worse are getting browbeat by Mr.
Watkins for technical mistakes that would not happen
if there were an actual sales manager (Plltf.'s
Memorandum of Law Ex. 16).
FACT 1: We have not had a single sales promotion
since the termination of the former sales manager.
FACT 2: We have been forced to do double and triple
make requests for additional information policy,
protocol and clerical assistance .
FACT:3: We are forced to "steamroll" class requests
for new raining opportunities and new technology
because Mr. Watkins is not concerned with what "can"
sell, but more with what "has" sold. An example is a
sold out class in "Cold Fusion" that is not on our
schedule (and Should have been) and was originally
rejected as a class request.
FACT 4: Our training manager cannot assist on a very
lucrative sales call because she is being used to
teach a class. Fact of the matter is that the
training manager is not being allowed to manage
because she has very little in the way of resources to work with in the first place.
FACT 5: We have not had a single sales meeting,
weekly one on one, monthly review, or promotion since
the termination of our former sales manger.
We the sales team are not asking for much. We ask
that we be able to do our jobs in the best fashion
that we can. This is how we intend to drive IKON
higher and higher. In order to do that we need a
manager. We don't need a cheerleader to once a month
to come back and push for another $500 in sales. We
don't need a taskmaster to threaten our job security
every time a simple mistake is made. We don't need
someone to throw us in the water and then jump on our
backs as a way of teaching us how to swim. We simply
need a manager.
Looking forward to your assistance in this matter.
The Sales Team of Syracuse Education.
On September 14, 2000, plaintiff's employment at IKON was
terminated for misconduct and insubordination.
Plaintiff contends that John Watkin's proselytizing constituted
religious discrimination, that Watkins retaliated against him for
not accepting the religious proselytizing, and that he was
dismissed from IKON's employ because he would not accede to
Watkins' spiritual dogma. The amended complaint alleges that he
was subjected to religious discrimination, received unequal terms
and conditions of employment, was retaliated against by Watkins,
and eventually terminated because of his religion.
Plaintiff maintains in his amended Title VII complaint that
while in Watkins' office, he compelled him to read the bible on
the following dates:
June 1, 2000 After a discussion of the "March for
June 2, 2000 After a meeting regarding the position
of Sales Manager
June 17, 2000 After a meeting regarding the removal
of a sign reading "True Lite" from plaintiff's work
June 30, 2000 After a counseling session regarding
plaintiff's sales performance
That on June 25, Watkins called him into his office and informed
him that he had to collect one half of his monthly total sales by the middle of the billing
month even though no other account executive was required to do
so, and on July 29, 2000, plaintiff received a "visual bible"
attachment from Watkins that required him to read a bible passage
on his computer before he could access his regular files.
To establish a prima facie case of religious discrimination, a
plaintiff must plead and prove that (1) he has a bona fide belief
that compliance with an employment requirement is contrary to his
religious faith; (2) he has informed his employer about the
conflict; and (3) he was discharged because of his refusal to
comply with the employment requirement. Philbrook v. Ansonia
Board of Education, 757 F.2d 476, 481 (2d Cir. 1985); Hussein
v. Pierre Hotel, 2001 WL 406258 (S.D.N.Y. April 20, 2001, aff'd.
2002 WL 200299 (2d Cir. Feb. 7, 2002), cert. denied
537 U.S. 978, 123 S. Ct. 439, 154 L. Ed.2d 377 (2002); Brown v. General
Motors Corp., 601 F.2d 956, 959 (8th Cir. 1979); Turpen v.
Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad Co., 736 F.2d 1022, 1026 (5th
If the employee establishes a prima facie case, the burden then
shifts to the employer to show it could not accommodate the
employees' religious beliefs without undue hardship. Id. Here,
plaintiff failed to make out his prima facie case. He did not
show that his employer was on notice of John Watkins' penchant
for evangelizing subordinate employees. Clearly, plaintiff was
aware of Watkins' actions, but there is no evidence in the record
showing that he requested any sort of accommodation to limit or
prevent this evangelization. An employer's knowledge that an
employee is a born-again Christian is insufficient to put the
employer on notice of that employee's need to evangelize to
co-employees. "Knowledge that an employee has strong religious
beliefs does not place an employer on notice that she might engage in any religious activity. . . .". Knight v.
Connecticut Department of Public Works, 275 F.3d 156, 167 (2d
Cir. 2001), quoting Chalmers v. Tulon Company of Richmond,
101 F.3d 1012, 1020 (4th Cir. 1996).
Plaintiff admits that he did not tell his corporate employer
about John Watkins' perceived evangelization even though he
acknowledged that he had received and read IKONs employee
handbook and was familiar with the procedure contained in the
handbook for reporting harassment in employment on the basis of
religion. (Massie Tr. p. 88). He maintains he did not do so
because he did not feel that the issue was important at the time
(Plaintiff's Memorandum of Law at p. 9). Subsequently, when he
told other employees that he was thinking of filing a complaint,
he was told that it might be considered a personal attack on
Watkins, and he could be terminated as a result.
Defendant's fear of being terminated is not an adverse
employment action because of its lack of consequence. In Mattern
v. Eastman Kodak, 104 F.3d 702 (5th Cir.), cert. denied,
522 U.S. 922, 118 S. Ct. 336, 139 L. Ed.2d 260 (1997), the court
stated that the verbal threat of being fired is not an "ultimate
employment" and does not "rise above mere tangential effect on a
possible future employment decision." Id. at 708. The Fifth
Circuit reasoned that "[t]o hold otherwise would be to expand the
definition of `adverse employment action' to include events such
as disciplinary filings, supervisor's reprimands, and even poor
performance by the employee anything which might jeopardize
employment in the future." Id. This court agrees with the Fifth
Circuit that based on the language found in Title VII and the
ADEA, such expansion is unwarranted. See also Cole,
43 F.3d 1371, 1381 (10th Cir. 1994) (finding no adverse employment action
where principal only stated that he would evaluate the plaintiff three times a year but did not
carry the "threat" out).
Plaintiff also made no references to religious discrimination
in his September 2, 2000, letter to his then attorney, Angelo
Rinaldi, Jr., describing the situation at IKON to see if he had
grounds for a lawsuit against IKON or John Watkins. While the
letter went into some detail concerning John Watkins' abrasive,
autocratic, hypercritical, my way or the highway management
style, it makes no mention of Watkins' proselytizing. (Pltf's
Memorandum of Law Ex. 35). Furthermore, in his Exit Interview
Questionnaire, wherein plaintiff states in writing, that the he
"detailed his complaints," he again complains about Watkins'
autocratic management style, but makes no reference to religious
proselytization. (Pltf's Memorandum of Law p. 19).
When asked during his deposition what was his religious faith,
plaintiff replied that because he had "walked the paths of many
religions," he didn't subscribe to attending church or organized
religions, but didn't know "if you can put a label on that." He
did state that he was not an atheist, and did have certain
beliefs. (Pltf. Tr. pp 202-203).
Title VII's capacious definition of "religion" includes "all
aspects of religious observance and practice, as well as
belief. . . ." 42 U.S.C. § 2000e(j); see also 29 C.F.R. § 1605.1
("[R]eligious practices . . . include moral or ethical beliefs as
to what is right and wrong which are sincerely held with the
strength of traditional religious views."). Religious beliefs
protected by Title VII need not be "acceptable, logical,
consistent, or comprehensible to others. . . ." Thomas v. Review
Board of Indiana Employment Security Division, 450 U.S. 707,
714, 101 S.Ct. 1425, 67 L. Ed.2d 624 (1981). The statute thus
leaves little room for a party to challenge the religious nature
of an employee's professed beliefs. Yet, "[w]hile the `truth' of a belief is not open to question,
there remains the significant question of whether it is `truly
held.'" United States v. Seeger, 380 U.S. 163, 185,
85 S.Ct. 850, 13 L. Ed.2d 733 (1965). The element of sincerity is
fundamental, since "if the religious beliefs that apparently
prompted a request are not sincerely held, there has been no
showing of a religious observance or practice that conflicts with
an employment requirement." EEOC v. Ilona of Hungary, Inc.,
108 F.3d 1569, 1575 (7th Cir. 1997).
Even assuming an issue of fact exists with respect to the first
element, plaintiff fails on the second element of a prima facie
case of Title VII religious discrimination. To satisfy the second
element, a plaintiff must properly notify the employer of the
plaintiff's conflicting religious belief. Philbrook v. Ansonia
Board of Education, 757 F.2d 476, 481 (2d Cir. 1985). Chalmers
v. Tulon Company of Richmond, 101 F.3d 1012, 1020 (4th Cir.
1996) ("[G]iving notice to co-workers at the same time as an
employee violates employment requirements is insufficient to
provide adequate notice to the employer and to shield the
employee's conduct"); Johnson v. Angelica Uniform Group, Inc.,
762 F.2d 671, 673 (8th Cir. 1985) ("Had [plaintiff] informed [her
employer] of her need for religious accommodation . . . [in
advance], her employer would have had the chance to explain the . . .
policy in relation to [her] religious needs, and perhaps work
out an arrangement satisfactory to both parties."); Hussein v.
Hotel Employees and Restaurant Local 6, 108 F. Supp.2d 360, 369
It is undisputed that plaintiff did not report to IKON the
purported conflict between his religion and what he alleges was
the proselytization of John Watkins. By not doing so, he did not
give IKON sufficient notice to permit it to work out a
satisfactory arrangement with him. Therefore, plaintiff failed to satisfy the notice
element of a prima facie case.
Accordingly, defendants' motion for summary judgment pursuant
to Rule 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, is GRANTED,
and the Amended Complaint is DISMISSED.
IT IS SO ORDERED
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