United States District Court, D. Delaware
RUDOLPH B. TYLER, JR., Plaintiff,
DIAMOND STATE PORT CORPORATION, Defendant.
L. Guy, Wilmington, DE - Attorney for Plaintiff
M. Willoughby, Lauren E.M. Russell, Young Conaway Stargatt
& Taylor, LLP, Wilmington, DE - Attorneys for Defendant.
NOREIKA, U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE.
Rudolph B. Tyler, Jr. (“Plaintiff or
“Tyler”) originally filed this employment suit
against Diamond State Port Corporation
(“Defendant”) on February 2, 2018. (D.I. 1). He filed
a First Amended Complaint (“Amended Complaint”)
on April 30, 2018. (D.I. 11). In the Amended Complaint,
Plaintiff alleges that “[t]his action is brought for
discrimination in employment pursuant to Jurisdiction
conferred through Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964,
as codified, 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000e to 2000e-17 (race,
color, gender), Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967
[(the ‘ADEA')], as codified, 29 U.S.C. §§
621 to 634, 42 USC 1981 and Constitutional Due Process and
Equal Protection.” (D.I. 11 ¶ 5). The Amended
Complaint also appears to allege retaliation in violation of
unspecified statutory or constitutional protections (D.I. 11
¶ 54), defamation (id. ¶ 70), and breach
of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing
(id. ¶ 81).
to the Court's Scheduling Order, the parties concluded
discovery on January 31, 2019. (D.I. 21). Plaintiff did not
request any discovery or take any depositions. (D.I. 33 at 1).
On March 26, 2019, Defendant moved for summary judgment on
all claims. (D.I. 32). Plaintiff failed to respond to
Defendant's motion. For the reasons set forth below, the
Court will GRANT Defendant's motion.
following paragraphs are the facts set forth in
Defendant's Statement of Concise Facts (D.I. 34). These
facts are supported by the appendix Defendant submitted (D.I.
35), and not disputed by Plaintiff.
1. Plaintiff was employed by Defendant from January 1, 2005
through his termination on May 26, 2016. (D.I. 11 ¶10;
D.I. 34 ¶ 1).
2. In the present case, Plaintiff was an at-will employee,
who could be terminated at any time, for any reason, with or
without cause. (D.I. 35 at ¶ 36).
3. At the time of his termination, Plaintiff was employed as
a Warehouse Supervisor. (D.I. 11 ¶10; D.I. 34 ¶ 3).
4. As a Warehouse Supervisor, Plaintiff was responsible for
overseeing laborers performing a variety of skilled and
unskilled tasks. (D.I. 35 at ¶ 36).
5. At all times relevant to this litigation, the laborers
under Plaintiff's supervision fell into one of three
categories: A Employees, B Employees, and Casual Laborers.
(D.I. 35 at ¶ 36).
6. Casual laborers were used to supplement unionized labor as
needed, but especially during the Port's labor-intensive,
peak season from late November through late April. (D.I. 35
at ¶ 37).
7. Among his many duties, Plaintiff was responsible for
tracking and reporting his subordinates' time worked.
(D.I. 35 at ¶ 37).
8. Generally, A and B Employees work regular schedules. (D.I.
35 at ¶ 37).
9. After work assignments are handed out to A and B
Employees, any casual laborers who appear for work and are
needed to supplement the regular workforce are hired for the
day, and their names and start times are entered into the
Port's payroll system by Manager of Employment and
Employee Relations Andrew Markow. (D.I. 35 at ¶ 37,
10. Once on the job, the Warehouse Supervisors enter the
actual time worked by casual laborers. (D.I. 35 at ¶ 37,
11. However, not infrequently and especially during the
Port's peak season, casual laborers would arrive when Mr.
Markow was not present. (D.I. 35 at ¶ 39).
12. In such instances, Warehouse Supervisors would hire the
casual laborers they needed to complete their assigned work
for the day, and send an email or text message to Mr. Markow
so that the individual(s) hired could be added to the payroll
system for the day. (D.I. 35 at ¶ 40).
13. In March 2016, Defendant received an anonymous complaint
that Plaintiff's subordinate, Casual Laborer Aketa
Rembert, was being paid for time that she had not actually
worked. (D.I. 35 at ¶ 9, A42; D.I. 11 ¶13; D.I. 23
14. The Port immediately began an investigation under the
supervision of Director of Operations Frank Vignuli. (D.I. 23
¶14; D.I. 35 at ¶ 42).
15. The investigation included the review of badge records
for Ms. Rembert, which recorded when she entered and exited
the Port's premises. (D.I. 35 at ¶ 42).
16. While the turn style at which employees scan their badges
is not a time clock, it does provide an accurate record of
when they enter and exit the Port's premises. (D.I. 35 at
17. Access to the Port, through the use of employee badges,
is required and monitored by the U.S. Coast Guard. (D.I. 35
at ¶ 42).
18. When there are issues with the accuracy of the turn
style, they are resolved immediately. (D.I. 35 at ¶ 42).
19. At no time has the system been down for months on end.
(D.I. 35 at ¶ 42).
20. The investigation also involved review of time records
reflecting the periods for which Ms. Rembert was supposed to
have been working. (D.I. 35 at ¶ 43).
21. The documents reflected that on more than 40 instances
from February through April, 2016, Ms. Rembert was paid for
full days of work during which she was not present on Port
premises, as well as being paid for full days of work on days
when she was present, but arrived late. (D.I. 23 ¶ 25;
D.I. 35 at ¶ 43).
22. The time records at issue were all entered under
Plaintiff's name. (D.I. 35 at ...