CAPE GIRARDEAU — Securitas Security Services USA Inc. has filed a notice to remove a former employee's racial discrimination complaint from Scott County Circuit Court to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri.
The notice was filed May 4.
Under 28 U.S.C. section 1332(a), the defendant states that the diversity of citizenship between the plaintiff, who resides in Scott County, Missouri, and Securitas Security Services, a Delaware corporation with its principal place of business in Parsippany, New Jersey, gives the federal court jurisdiction.
“Contrary to Plaintiff’s allegations, Securitas has never been a Missouri corporation and has never maintained a place of business in Missouri,” the notice of removal said.
The defendant also noted that the matter in controversy exceeds $75,000, which also gives the court jurisdiction.
Tracy Ranson filed the suit against Securitas and Timothy Coley on March 13, alleging that the company discriminated and retaliated against him based on his race in violation of the Missouri Human Rights Act (MHRA). Ranson also sadi the company “wrongfully discharged him in violation of public policy for lodging complaints with Securitas supervisors.” Ranson’s sole allegation against Coley, a subordinate employee, is that Coley “pulled a knife on him and made threatening gestures.”
Securities argues that the complaint against Coley doesn’t amount to an MHRA violation.
“Plaintiff’s inclusion of Mr. Coley constitutes fraudulent joinder and should be disregarded for purposes of analyzing diversity,” the notice said.
Securities noted that Ranson, who quit his job in November 2016, had received an annual salary of $21,840.
“Assuming a conservative twelve-month track to trial from the date of removal, Plaintiff’s back pay claim would total approximately $51,415,” the notice said.