United States District Court, W.D. Tennessee, Western Division
H. Mays, Jr. United States District Judge.
the Court is Defendant City of Memphis's (the
“City”) January 18, 2019 Motion for Judgment on
the Pleadings (the “Motion”). (ECF No. 103.)
Plaintiff Theyer Ann Turner responded on February 19, 2019.
(ECF No. 117.)
following reasons, the City's Motion is GRANTED.
October 2000, the City hired Turner to work as an executive
secretary for the Memphis City Council. (ECF No. 1 ¶ 8.)
In January 2013, Turner suffered a “nervous
breakdown” and took leave under the Family Medical
Leave Act, 29 U.S.C. §§ 2601, et. seq.
(the “FMLA”). (Id. ¶ 18-19.) Turner
returned to work in April 2013. (Id.) She again took
FMLA leave in July 2014. (Id. ¶ 20.) When she
returned to work in October 2014, Turner's doctor
recommended that she work only four to five hours a day.
(Id.) The City initially allowed Turner to work
part-time. (Id.) In early December 2014, Turner
asked to continue working part-time through January 3, 2015,
and submitted another note from her doctor supporting her
request. (Id.) The City did not act on Turner's
request. (Id.) On December 30, 2014, Turner received
a letter informing her that her employment with the City had
been terminated. (Id. ¶ 22.)
October 15, 2015, Turner filed a Charge of Discrimination
(the “Charge”) with the Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission (the “EEOC”). (EEOC
Charge, ECF No. 1-2.) The Charge alleged that the City had
engaged in discrimination based on race, disability, and FMLA
rights. (Id.) It also alleged that the City had
retaliated by discharging Turner. (Id.) The EEOC
sent Turner a Dismissal and Notice of Rights letter, dated
March 30, 2017. (ECF No. 1-3.)
28, 2017, Turner brought this action against the City raising
claims of discrimination based on race, disability, FMLA
rights, and retaliation in violation of Title VII of the
Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended (“Title
VII”), 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-5(f)(1), and the
Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (the
“ADA”), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12101, et
seq., as amended by the ADA Amendment Act of 2008, Pub.
L. No. 110-325, 122 Stat. 3553 (2008).
Court has federal-question jurisdiction. Under 28 U.S.C.
§ 1331, United States district courts have original
jurisdiction “of all civil actions arising under the
Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United States.”
Turner alleges that the City violated Title VII, the FMLA,
the ADA, and 42 U.S.C. § 1981(b). (See ECF No.
1.) Those claims arise under the laws of the United States.
Standard of Review
Rule of Civil Procedure 12(c) provides that “[a]fter
the pleadings are closed __ but early enough not to delay
trial __ a party may move for judgment on the
pleadings.” The standard of review for a judgment on
the pleadings is the same as the standard for a motion to
dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6). Fritz v. Charter Twp. of
Comstock, 592 F.3d 718, 722 (6th Cir. 2010).
12(b)(6) allows dismissal of a complaint that “fail[s]
to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.” A
Rule 12(b)(6) motion permits the defendant “to test
whether, as a matter of law, the plaintiff is entitled to
legal relief even if everything alleged in the complaint is
true.” Campbell v. Na-tionstar Mortg., 611
Fed.Appx. 288, 291 (6th Cir. 2015) (quotation omitted). A
motion to dismiss tests only whether the plaintiff has pled a
cognizable claim and allows the court to dismiss meritless
cases that would waste judicial resources and result in
unnecessary discovery. See Kolley v. Adult Protective
Servs., 725 F.3d 581, 587 (6th Cir. 2013).
evaluating a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim,
the Court must determine whether the complaint alleges
“sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to
‘state a claim to relief that is plausible on its
face.'” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662,
678 (2009) (citing Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550
U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). If a court decides in light of its
judicial experience and common sense, that the claim is not
plausible, the case may be dismissed at the pleading stage.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679. The “[f]actual
allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above
[a] speculative level.” Ass'n of Cleveland Fire
Fighters v. City of Cleveland, 502 F.3d 545, 548 (6th
Cir. 2007) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555).
is plausible on its face if “the plaintiff pleads
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 (citing
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556). A complaint need not
contain detailed factual allegations. However, a
plaintiff's “[t]hreadbare recitals of ...