United States District Court, E.D. Tennessee
A. VARLAN CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
civil case is before the Court on defendant's motion to
dismiss [Doc. 5]. Pro se plaintiff did not respond to the
motion to dismiss, and her time in which to do so has
expired. See E.D. Tenn. L.R. 7.1. For the reasons
contained herein, the Court will grant defendant's motion
initiated the present action by filing a complaint with this
Court on July 14, 2016 [Doc. 1]. As grounds for suit, the
complaint alleges age, color, and disability discrimination,
as well as violations of the Equal Pay Act [Id. at
1, 3]. To support these allegations, the complaint alleges
only the following facts:
Discrimination 45 yrs old African American went out on FMLA
in 12-2015 to surgery[.] Returned to work I was written up
1st suspended for 3 days told I was unsatisfactory
worked fired 2 weeks after Returning to work[.] Job given to
white 22 year old female. This person has violated HIPAA laws
but continues to work there. Worked Weekend shift 7am-7pm
with no Lunch Break or 15 min breaks [Id. at 2].
also attached to the complaint a Dismissal and Notice of
Rights issued to her by the Equal Employment Opportunity
Commission (“EEOC”) [Doc. 1-1]. Although
plaintiff did not attach the EEOC charge itself, defendant
included plaintiff's EEOC charge as an attachment to its
motion to dismiss [Doc. 5-1]. In her EEOC charge, plaintiff
alleged the following:
I was hired by the above-named employer as a Help Information
Specialist. The company employs at least 15 employees.
I went on FMLA to cover me when I was off work for my
disability. When I returned to work, I was still under FMLA
and requested a reasonable accommodation. The accommodation
consisted of me requesting a modified work schedule. Even
though the company reasonably accommodated me, I began to be
harassed and disciplined once I was on my modified schedule.
I was disciplined for an incident that took place in October
of 2015 but wasn't disciplined until January 15, 2016. I
was disciplined for three incidents at the same time and
suspended on January 19, 2016. After the suspension, I was
off work for my disability on January 29, 2016. When I
returned to work I was terminated for false reasons.
I believe that I have been discriminated and retaliated
against because of my disability, in violation of the
Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008.
[Id. at 1].
filed the instant motion to dismiss, arguing that to the
extent plaintiff alleges discrimination because of age or
color, these claims must be dismissed because they were not
raised in the EEOC charge. Furthermore, defendant argues that
with respect to disability discrimination, the complaint does
not set forth any facts identifying any disability, or any
facts involving discrimination against plaintiff on the basis
of that disability. Finally, defendant argues that the
complaint fails to allege any facts stating a claim under the
Equal Pay Act.
Standard of Review
Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a) sets out a liberal pleading
standard. To survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint need
contain only a “short and plain statement of the claim
showing that the pleader is entitled to relief, ‘in
order to give [the opposing party] fair notice of what the .
. . claim is and the grounds upon which it rests.'”
Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)
(quoting Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 47 (1957)).
Detailed factual allegations are not required, but a
party's “obligation to provide the
‘grounds' of his ‘entitle[ment] to
relief' requires more than labels and conclusions.”
Id. “[A] formulaic recitation of the elements
of a cause of action will not do, ” nor will “an
accusation.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662,
deciding a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, a court must
construe the complaint in the light most favorable to the
claimant, accept all factual allegations as true, draw all
reasonable inferences in favor of the claimant, and determine
whether the complaint contains “enough facts to state a
claim to relief that is plausible on its face.”
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570; Directv, Inc. v.
Treesh, 487 F.3d 471, 476 (6th Cir. 2007) (citation
omitted). “A claim has facial plausibility when the
plaintiff pleads the factual content that allows the court to
draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable
for the misconduct alleged.” Iqbal, 556 U.S.
at 678. When considering a 12(b)(6) motion, the Court
“may consider the complaint and any exhibits attached
thereto, public records, items appearing in the record of the
case and exhibits attached to defendant's motion to
dismiss so long as they are referred to in the Complaint and
are central to the claims contained therein.”
Basset v. Nat'l Collegiate Athletic Ass'n,
528 F.3d 426, 430 (6th Cir. 2008). However, when considering
a complaint filed by a pro se plaintiff, courts give the
complaint a “liberal construction.” See
Kennedy v. First NLC Servs., LLC, No. 08-12504, 2009 WL
482715, at *1 (E.D. Mich. Feb. 25, 2009).