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Harris v. Fujitsu America International

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

March 9, 2018

MATTHEW LEWIS HARRIS, Plaintiff,
v.
FUJITSU AMERICA INTERNATIONAL, Defendant.

          ORDER

          SAMUEL H. MAYS, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Before the Court is the Magistrate Judge's Report and Recommendation (the “Report”), filed on February 21, 2018. (ECF No. 19.) The Report recommends denying Defendant Fujitsu America International's (“Fujitsu”) Motion to Dismiss, or in the Alternative to Stay, and Compel Arbitration (the “Motion to Dismiss”) (ECF No. 9). The Report also recommends denying Plaintiff Matthew Lewis Harris's two motions for leave to amend complaint (ECF Nos. 15 & 17). Fujitsu objected on February 26, 2017. (ECF No. 20.) Harris has not objected, and the deadline to do so has passed.

         For the following reasons, the Report is ADOPTED in part and REJECTED in part. Harris's motions for leave to amend complaint are DENIED. Fujitsu's Motion to Dismiss is GRANTED. Harris's complaint is DISMISSED.

         I. Background

         On August 7, 2017, Harris filed a pro se complaint against Fujitsu, alleging violations of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000e, et seq. (Compl., ECF No. 1 ¶ 1.) Plaintiff alleges that he was discriminated against based on his race, retaliated against, and suffered defamation of character (Id. ¶¶ 3, 6.) He alleges that his employment was terminated after he reported harassment. (Id. ¶¶ 9-10.)

         Fujitsu filed its Answer on August 24, 2017. (ECF No. 8.) The same day, Fujitsu filed the Motion to Dismiss, seeking to dismiss or stay based on a 2008 Agreement to Arbitrate between the parties (the “Arbitration Agreement”). (ECF No. 9; ECF No. 8-1.)

         On September 28, 2017, United States Magistrate Judge Charmian G. Claxton ordered Harris to show cause within 14 days why the Court should not “file a Report and Recommendation recommending that the District Court enter an Order granting the Motion.” (ECF No. 47.)

         Harris responded to the Magistrate Judge's order on October 11, 2017. (ECF No. 14.)

         On November 28, 2017, Harris filed a Motion for Leave to File Amended Complaint, seeking to add three individual defendants and bring a claim for “malice and retribution.” (ECF No. 15.) Fujitsu responded on December 1, 2017. (ECF No. 16.)

         On December 18, 2017, Harris filed another Motion for Leave to File Amended Complaint, seeking to add three defendants, bring a claim for “malice and retribution, ” and bring a claim under the Tennessee Public Protection Act, T.C.A. §§ 50-1-34, et seq. (ECF No. 17.) Fujitsu responded on December 21, 2017. (ECF No. 18.)

         On February 21, 2018, the Magistrate Judge entered the Report. (ECF No. 19.) It recommends denying Harris's motions to amend and Fujitsu's Motion to Dismiss. (Id.) The Report concludes that, as to a claim for “malice and retribution, ” Harris's “proposed amended [complaint] is futile not only because it fails to state a basis in the law but is also futile given the Agreement to Arbitrate.” (Id. at 111.) The Report concludes that Harris's attempt to add three individual defendants is futile because “[o]fficers, supervisors, managers and employees are not individually liable under Title VII.” (Id. at 111-12.) The Report also concludes that Harris's Tennessee Protection Act claim is futile because “[i]t does not allege any public communication regarding the conduct or action taken to promote the public interest.” (Id. at 113.)

         The Report recommends denying Fujitsu's Motion to Dismiss because the Arbitration Agreement is “not attached to or referenced in the Plaintiff's Complaint, ” and thus cannot be considered on motion to dismiss. (Id. at 113-14.)

         Fujitsu objected on February 26, 2018. (ECF No. 20.) Harris has not objected to the Report.

         II. ...


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