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Waithe v. United Road Towing

United States District Court, Middle District of Tennessee, Nashville Division

May 6, 2015

MALISSA WAITHE, Plaintiff
v.
UNITED ROAD TOWING, Defendant

HONORABLE KEVIN H. SHARP, CHIEF JUDGE

REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

JOHN S. BRYANT United States Magistrate Judge

The remaining Defendant, United Road Towing, has filed its motion to dismiss pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) on the grounds that Plaintiff’s complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Specifically, Defendant argues that Plaintiff’s claim of racial discrimination in employment is time-barred because Plaintiff has failed to file a timely charge of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) or any state agency.

Plaintiff Waithe has filed a response in opposition (Docket Entry No. 10) and Defendant has filed a reply (Docket Entry No. 14).

For the reasons stated below, the undersigned Magistrate Judge recommends that Defendant’s motion be granted, and that the complaint be dismissed.

STATEMENT OF THE CASE

Plaintiff Malissa Waithe, who is proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis, has filed her complaint alleging that her former employer, Defendant United Road Towing (“United”) wrongfully terminated her employment on March 13, 2013, “following [a] racially motivated incident, instigated and committed by [a] white employee who was not terminated.” (Docket Entry No. 1 at 6). Upon review, the Court found that “the complaint states a colorable claim of discrimination in violation of Title VII against United Road Towing that is not facially frivolous or malicious.” (Docket Entry No. 3 at 2).

Defendant United has filed its motion to dismiss.

STANDARD OF REVIEW

Although United entitled its motion as one to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6), it relies upon the affirmative defense of Plaintiff’s failure to comply with a statute of limitations contained in Title VII. Therefore, the undersigned Magistrate Judge finds that this motion is properly analyzed under the standard that applies to a motion for summary judgment pursuant to Rule 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

A party may obtain summary judgment by showing “that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and that the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(a); Covington v. Knox County School Sys., 205 F.3d 912, 914 (6thCir. 2000). The moving party bears the initial burden of satisfying the court that the standards of Rule 56 have been met. See Martin v. Kelley, 803 F.2d 236, 239 n.4 (6th Cir. 1986). The ultimate question to be addressed is whether there exists any genuine dispute of material fact. See Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986); Covington, 205 F.3d at 914 (citing Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 325 (1986)). If so, summary judgment is inappropriate.

To defeat a properly supported motion for summary judgment, the nonmoving party must set forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue of material fact for trial. If the party does not so respond, summary judgment will be entered if appropriate. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e). The nonmoving party’s burden of providing specific facts demonstrating that there remains a genuine issue of material fact for trial is triggered once the moving party shows an absence of evidence to support the nonmoving party’s case. Celotex, 477 U.S. at 325. A genuine issue of material fact exists “if the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party.” Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248. In ruling on a motion for summary judgment, the Court must construe the evidence in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party, drawing all justifiable inferences in its favor. See Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587 (1986).

ANALYSIS

Defendant United argues that Plaintiff’s complaint must be dismissed because she has failed to file a timely charge of race discrimination with the EEOC or the appropriate state agency within the statutory limitations period. Title 42, § 2000e-5(e)(1) provides that a charge of employment discrimination shall be filed with the EEOC within 180 days after the alleged unlawful employment practice occurred or, alternatively, a charge must be filed with an appropriate state agency within 300 days after the alleged unlawful employment practice occurred. Defendant United argues that Plaintiff has failed to ...


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