United States District Court, W.D. Tennessee, Western Division
ORDER ADOPTING MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND
RECOMMENDATION TO GRANT DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO DISMISS
PLAINTIFF'S RACE AND COLOR DISCRIMINATION CLAIMS AND
EQUAL PROTECTION CLAIMS
T. Fowlkes, Jr. United States District Judge.
the Court is Defendant FedEx's Motion to Dismiss
Plaintiff's Race and Color Discrimination Claims and
Equal Pay Act Claim; the Motion was filed on April 30, 2019.
(ECF No. 15.) Pursuant to Administrative Order 2013-05, this
case, including Defendant's Motion, was referred to the
Magistrate Judge for management of all pretrial matters.
Plaintiff Sheree Smith did not file a response to the Motion,
and accordingly, the Magistrate Judge entered an Order to
Show Cause on May 31, 2019, instructing Plaintiff to show
cause why the Court should not grant Defendant's Motion
based solely on the arguments presented therein. (ECF No.
24.) Plaintiff did not respond to the Order to Show Cause. As
a result, the Magistrate Judge considered the arguments
presented by Defendant's Motion and entered a June 20,
2019 Report and Recommendation suggesting that this Court
grant Defendant's Motion and dismiss Plaintiff's race
and color discrimination claims and Equal Pay Act claim. (ECF
No. 27.) Plaintiff did not file objections to the Report and
following reasons, the Court finds that the Magistrate
Judge's Report and Recommendation should be ADOPTED and
Defendant's Motion to Dismiss GRANTED.
Report and Recommendation, the Magistrate Judge provides, and
this Court adopts and incorporates, proposed findings of fact
in this case. (ECF No. 27, 1-3.)
passed 28 U.S.C. § 636(b) “to relieve some of the
burden on the federal courts by permitting the assignment of
certain district court duties to magistrates.”
United States v. Curtis, 237 F.3d 598, 602 (6th Cir.
2001). Pursuant to the provision, magistrate judges may hear
and determine any pretrial matter pending before the Court,
except various dispositive motions. 28 U.S.C. §
636(b)(1)(A). Regarding those excepted dispositive motions,
magistrate judges may still hear and submit to the district
court proposed findings of fact and recommendations for
disposition. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B). Upon hearing a
pending matter, “[T]he magistrate judge must enter a
recommended disposition, including, if appropriate, proposed
findings of fact.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b)(1); see also
Baker v. Peterson, 67 Fed.Appx. 308, 310 (6th Cir.
2003). Any party who disagrees with a magistrate's
proposed findings and recommendation may file written
objections to the report and recommendation. Fed.R.Civ.P.
standard of review that is applied by the district court
depends on the nature of the matter considered by the
magistrate judge. See Baker, 67 Fed.Appx. at 310
(citations omitted) (“A district court normally applies
a ‘clearly erroneous or contrary to law' standard
of review for nondispositive preliminary measures. A district
court must review dispositive motions under the de
novo standard.”). Upon review of the evidence, the
district court may accept, reject, or modify the proposed
findings or recommendations of the magistrate judge.
Brown v. Bd. of Educ., 47 F.Supp.3d 665,
674 (W.D. Tenn. 2014); see also 28 U.S.C. §
636(b)(1). The court “may also receive further evidence
or recommit the matter to the [m]agistrate [j]udge with
instructions.” Moses v. Gardner, No.
2:14-cv-2706-SHL-dkv, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 29701, at *3
(W.D. Tenn. Mar. 11, 2015). A district judge should adopt the
findings and rulings of the magistrate judge to which no
specific objection is filed. Brown, 47 F.Supp.3d at
Court finds that Defendant's Motion to Dismiss
Plaintiff's Race and Color Discrimination Claims and
Equal Pay Act Claim should be granted as a result of
Plaintiff's failure to pursue her race and color
discrimination claims in her Equal Employment Opportunity
Commission (“EEOC”) charge and failure to allege
any facts regarding Defendant paying different wages to male
employees, as compared to female employees, for performing
equal work under similar conditions. Plaintiff's race and
color discrimination claims are pursuant to Title VII of the
Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e to 2000e-17;
her age-based discrimination claim is pursuant to the Age
Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, 29 U.S.C.
§§ 621-634; and her Equal Pay Act of 1963
(“EPA”) claim is codified at 29 U.S.C.
Court adopts the Magistrate Judge's conclusion that
Plaintiff's race and color discrimination claims should
be dismissed because she did not exhaust her administrative
remedies. A plaintiff must exhaust her administrative
remedies with respect to each potential claim before bringing
a Title VII action in federal court. Holmes v. Southwest
Human Res. Agency, No. 1:17-cv-02266-STA-egb, 2017 U.S.
Dist. LEXIS 139742, at *4 (W.D. Tenn. Aug. 30, 2017). Thus,
“‘[a]s a general rule, a Title VII plaintiff
cannot bring claims in a lawsuit that were not included in
h[er] EEOC charge' unless those claims are
‘reasonably related to or grow out of the factual
allegations in the EEOC charge.'” Russell v.
AAA Limo, No. 2:15-cv-02455-JPM-tmp, 2016 U.S. Dist.
LEXIS 29329, at *6 (W.D. Tenn. Feb. 17, 2016) (quoting
Younis v. Pinnacle Airlines, Inc., 610 F.3d 359,
361-62 (6th Cir. 2010)). Here, Plaintiff's EEOC charge
does not provide sufficient facts regarding race or color
discrimination. Although she checked the box for
discrimination, which allows for race or color -based
discrimination claims, her EEOC charge merely states,
“I believe that I have been discriminated against
because of my sex (female) . . . and age (50)[.]” (ECF
No. 21-1, 1.) Additionally, the factual allegations of
Plaintiff's charge would not prompt the EEOC to
investigate a claim for race or color discrimination.
Green v. Memphis Light, Gas & Water, No.
18-cv-02269-JTF-tmp, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 142736, at *6
(W.D. Tenn. July 24, 2018). Accordingly, Plaintiff's race
and color discrimination claims should be dismissed.
Court additionally adopts the Magistrate Judge's
conclusion that Plaintiff's Complaint cannot state a
plausible EPA claim, as it does not allege any facts
regarding Defendant paying different wages to male employees
for performing work equal to that of Plaintiff under similar
conditions. To avoid dismissal for failure to state a claim,
“‘a complaint must contain sufficient factual
matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.” Hill v. Lappin, 630
F.3d 468, 471 (6th Cir. 2010) (quoting Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009)). “A claim 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.'” Center for Bio-Ethical Reform, Inc.
v. Napolitano, 648 F.3d 365, 369 (6th Cir. 2011)
(quoting Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678). As it relates to
Plaintiff's EPA claim, the Court notes that “[t]he
EPA prohibits employers from paying an employee at a rate
less than that paid to an employee of the opposite sex for
performing equal work.” Schleicher v. Preferred
Sols., Inc., 831 F.3d 746, 752 (6th Cir. 2016)
(quoting Beck-Wilson v. Principi, 441 F.3d 353, 359
(6th Cir. 2006)). Thus, to state an EPA claim here, Plaintiff
must allege facts sufficient to allow the court to reasonably
infer that Defendant paid Plaintiff, as a female, a rate less
than that paid to an employee of the opposite sex for
performing equal work. Plaintiff's Complaint, however,
fails to allege any facts regarding Defendant paying
different wages to male employees for performing equal work
under similar conditions. Thus, Plaintiff's EPA claim
should be dismissed.
de novo review, the Court hereby
ADOPTS the Magistrate Judge's Report and
Recommendation to GRANT Defendant's
Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's Race and Color
Discrimination Claims and Equal Pay Act ...