BEAM, Circuit Judge.
Gerald L. Allen appeals the district court's
Allen was employed by Firestone from June 20, 1981, to December 31, 1993. He was originally hired as an assistant manager for one of Firestone's retail stores in Rochester, Minnesota, and was subsequently transferred to the St. Paul store on Hudson Road as a store manager. In May 1992, Firestone transferred Allen to its Ford Parkway location, where he worked as an assistant manager under manager Steven Gayheart. In March 1993, Allen received several reprimands. On December 22, 1993, Allen was suspended for three days allegedly in response to a customer complaint. On December 31, 1993, Allen submitted his letter of resignation to Firestone.
Allen was forty-nine years old when he filed this lawsuit on June 13, 1994. Allen brought an age discrimination claim, in which he alleged, inter alia, that Firestone constructively discharged him based on his age in violation of the Minnesota Human Rights Act, Minn.Stat. § 363.03, subd. 1(2)(c).
The district court granted Firestone's motion for summary judgment, rejecting all of Allen's claims.
The district court may enter summary judgment "if the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c). We review the district court's grant of summary judgment de novo, e.g., Landreth v. First Nat'l Bank, 45 F.3d 267, 268 (8th Cir.1995), and apply the same standards as the district court to determine whether summary judgment is appropriate. After examining the allegations in the light most favorable to Allen, we conclude that he has failed to raise a genuine issue of material fact as to whether he was constructively discharged by Firestone.
The Minnesota Human Rights Act (MHRA) prohibits, among other things, an employer from discriminating against an employee based on the employee's age. Minn. Stat. § 363.03, subd. 1(2)(b). The MHRA provides, in pertinent part: "Except when based on a bona fide occupational qualification, it is an unfair employment practice ... [f]or an employer, because of ... age, to
In analyzing age discrimination claims under the MHRA, Minnesota courts utilize the three-step burden-shifting process set forth by the Supreme Court in McDonnell Douglas Corp. v. Green, 411 U.S. 792, 93 S.Ct. 1817, 36 L.Ed.2d 668 (1973). See Hubbard v. United Press Int'l, Inc., 330 N.W.2d 428, 441 (Minn.1983). Under this three-step process, the plaintiff bears the initial burden of establishing a prima facie case by showing that: (1) he belongs to a protected class; (2) he is qualified for the position; (3) he was discharged despite his qualification; and (4) he was replaced by a person outside of the protected class.
To satisfy the elements of a prima facie age discrimination case, Allen must prove, among other things, that he was either actually or constructively discharged. Because Allen undeniably submitted a resignation letter to Firestone, we focus our analysis on whether he was constructively discharged. Constructive discharge occurs when an employer "deliberately renders the employee's working conditions intolerable and thus forces the employee to quit his job." Johnson v. Bunny Bread Co., 646 F.2d 1250, 1256 (8th Cir.1981) (quotation and citation omitted); see also Bradford v. Norfolk S. Corp., 54 F.3d 1412, 1420 (8th Cir.1995). The employer's actions must have been intended to force the employee to quit. Hukkanen v. International Union, 3 F.3d 281, 285 (8th Cir.1993). "Constructive discharge plaintiffs ... satisfy Bunny Bread's intent requirement by showing their resignation was a reasonably foreseeable consequence of their employers' discriminatory actions." Id. Additionally, to prove that a constructive discharge occurred, the plaintiff must demonstrate that a reasonable person would find the working conditions intolerable. Bunny Bread, 646 F.2d at 1256. The intolerability of working conditions is judged by an objective standard, not the plaintiff's subjective feelings. See West v. Marion Merrell Dow, Inc., 54 F.3d 493, 497 (8th Cir.1995).
At the district court level, Allen argued that Firestone treated him in a manner that would have caused any reasonable person to resign. Specifically, the district court enumerated several occurrences that Allen alleged constituted a constructive discharge. First, he was required to train younger employees. Second, his hours were reduced from forty-eight hours per week to forty hours per week, which also reduced his income. Third, management began giving part-time employees additional hours. Fourth, Allen was suspended for three days without pay as a result of an alleged customer complaint. Fifth, his hours were changed without giving him what he believed to be sufficient notice. Sixth, his request for a transfer was denied. Seventh, he was told that if he were not pleased with the denial of his transfer request, he could quit or become a floater (someone who works in several different stores).
Having considered these allegations, and others raised in Allen's pleadings, we conclude
Finally, a reduction in pay does not necessarily constitute a constructive discharge. See, e.g., McCann v. Litton Sys., Inc., 986 F.2d 946, 951-52 (5th Cir.1993). In the present case, Firestone simply eliminated Allen's overtime workload, thereby leaving his regular forty-hour work week intact. Therefore, even assuming that all of Allen's allegations are true, he nevertheless failed to raise a genuine issue of material fact as to one of the necessary elements of his prima facie case, namely that he was discharged.
Allen next asserts that the district court erred in granting summary judgment before he had the opportunity to complete discovery. Specifically, Allen argues that it was error for the district court to grant summary judgment before certain interrogatories
As the party opposing the motion for summary judgment, Allen can request that the district court delay ruling on the motion until the completion of additional discovery. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(f). Under Rule 56, Allen may submit an affidavit stating the reasons that he cannot present facts essential to justify his opposition. Id. Upon the filing of such an affidavit, "the court may refuse the application for judgment or may order a continuance to permit affidavits to be obtained or depositions to be taken or discovery to be had or may make such other order as is just." Id. We review the denial of a request for discovery under Rule 56(f) for an abuse of discretion. See Waible v. McDonald's Corp., 935 F.2d 924, 926 (8th Cir.1991) (per curiam).
To fall under the protection of Rule 56, a party must articulate what additional discovery is necessary and how it is relevant to the opposition of the pending motion for summary judgment. We have noted that a party who invokes the protection of Rule 56(f)
Willmar Poultry Co. v. Morton-Norwich Prods., Inc., 520 F.2d 289, 297 (8th Cir.1975), cert. denied, 424 U.S. 915, 96 S.Ct. 1116, 47 L.Ed.2d 320 (1976). In the present case, Allen asserted that certain interrogatories remained unanswered and that he had not yet deposed the district manager. Allen failed, however, to demonstrate how any of this discovery would be relevant in helping him establish that he was constructively discharged. Therefore, we agree with the district court that no additional discovery was required before ruling on Firestone's motion for summary judgment.
For the reasons discussed above, we conclude the district court did not err in granting summary judgment to Firestone. Accordingly, we affirm the district court's order.