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Hayward v. Chemours Co.

United States District Court, W.D. Tennessee, Western Division

February 5, 2018

STANLEY E. HAYWARD, Plaintiff,
v.
CHEMOURS COMPANY, Defendant.

          ORDER

          SAMUEL H. MAYS, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Before the Court are four motions. First is Defendant Chemours Company's Motion to Dismiss, filed on May 23, 2017. (ECF No. 15.)

         Second is Defendant's Amended Motion to Dismiss, filed on May 23, 2017. (ECF No. 16.) Plaintiff Stanley E. Hayward responded on November 17, 2017. (ECF No. 25.) Defendant replied on December 6, 2017. (ECF No. 33.)

         Third is Plaintiff's Motion for Leave to Re-Issue Summons and Obtain Proper Service on Chemours Company (“Motion to ReIssue Summons”), filed on November 17, 2017. (ECF No. 26.) Defendant responded on December 1, 2017. (ECF No. 31.)

         Fourth is Plaintiff's Motion for Leave to File Amended Complaint, filed on November 17, 2017. (ECF No. 27.) Defendant responded on December 1, 2017. (ECF No. 30.)

         For the reasons discussed below, Plaintiff's Motion to ReIssue Summons is GRANTED, and the Motion for Leave to File Amended Complaint is GRANTED insofar as it claims race discrimination and DENIED insofar as it claims color discrimination. Defendant's Motion to Dismiss and Amended Motion to Dismiss are DENIED AS MOOT.

         I. Background

         On August 26, 2016, Plaintiff filed a pro se complaint. (ECF No. 1.) The complaint alleges that Defendant violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended (“Title VII”), 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-5(f)(1), by refusing to promote Plaintiff on the basis of his race. (Id. at 1, 3-4.)[1] Also on August 26, 2016, Plaintiff filed a motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis (“Motion for Leave”). (ECF No. 2.) On September 2, 2016, the Court denied Plaintiff's Motion for Leave and directed Plaintiff to pay the filing fee. (ECF No. 7.) On September 16, 2016, Plaintiff paid the filing fee. (ECF No. 8.)

         On February 15, 2017, United States Magistrate Judge Tu M. Pham entered an Order directing the Clerk of the Court to provide Plaintiff with a blank summons. (ECF No. 10 at 25.) The Order required Plaintiff to serve Defendant within 90 days from the receipt of the blank summons. (Id. at 26.)

         On March 20, 2017, [2] Plaintiff served Defendant's counsel with the summons. (ECF No. 12.) Defendant represents that it did not receive a copy of the complaint with service. (ECF No. 16-2 at 64.) Defendant represents that it contacted Plaintiff and requested a copy of the summons and the complaint. (Id.) Defendant represents that, on May 3, 2017, it received a copy of the summons and an altered copy of the complaint. (Id.; ECF No. 16-1.) Defendant contends that the complaint it received on May 3, 2017, differed from the complaint Plaintiff filed with the Court on August 26, 2016. (ECF No. 16-2 at 64-65.)

         On May 23, 2017, Defendant filed a Motion to Dismiss. (ECF No. 15.) The same day, Defendant filed an Amended Motion to Dismiss. (ECF No. 16; cf. ECF No. 16-2.) On September 6, 2017, counsel entered an appearance on behalf of Plaintiff. (ECF No. 20.) Plaintiff responded to the Motion to Dismiss and Amended Motion to Dismiss on November 17, 2017. (ECF No. 25; see also ECF No. 25-1.) Defendants replied on December 6, 2017. (ECF No. 33.)

         On November 17, 2017, Plaintiff filed his Motion to Re-Issue Summons and Motion for Leave to File Amended Com plaint. (ECF No. 27; ECF No. 26.) On December 1, Defendant responded to the Motion to Re-Issue Summons and to the Motion for Leave to File Amended Complaint. (ECF No. 31; ECF No. 30.)

         II. Jurisdiction

         Plaintiff brings suit under Title VII. Federal courts do not have jurisdiction over claims brought under Title VII “‘unless the claimant explicitly files the claim in an EEOC charge or the claim can reasonably be expected to grow out of the EEOC charge.'” Jones v. Sumser Retirement Village, 209 F.3d 851, 853 (6th Cir. 2000) (quoting Abeita v. Transamerica Mailings, Inc., 159 F.3d 246, 254 (6th Cir. 1998)). In a deferral state such as Tennessee, a plaintiff “must file a formal charge of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) or the Tennessee Human Rights Commission within three hundred (300) days of the allegedly discriminatory action, and must commence a civil action within ninety (90) days of receipt of the right to sue letter.” McNeil v. City of Memphis, 2007 WL 10849852 at *1 (W.D. Tenn. June 25, 2007) (internal citations omitted).

         Plaintiff filed his EEOC Charge on May 23, 2016. (ECF No. 1-1 at 8.) The EEOC Charge alleges that Plaintiff was discriminated against on March 18, 2016. (ECF No. 1-1 at 8.) Plaintiff's EEOC Charge was timely.

         The EEOC issued its notice of right to sue on June 2, 2016. (Id. at 10.) Plaintiff filed his complaint on August 26, 2016. ...


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