Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Brune v. Wal-Mart Stores East LP

United States District Court, N.D. Alabama, Southern Division

October 16, 2017

RENE BRUNE, Plaintiff,
v.
WAL-MART STORES EAST LP, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          R. DAVID PROCTOR, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         The court has before it Defendant Wal-Mart Stores East, LP's Partial Motion to Dismiss (Doc. #6) filed on June 14, 2017. The Motion (Doc. #6) has been fully briefed (Docs. #6-1, 15, 16) and is properly before the court for review.

         I. Procedural History

         Plaintiff Rene Brune filed her Complaint in this court on May 22, 2017. (Doc. #1). The Complaint asserts the following nine claims: Count One for racial discrimination in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1981; Count Two for retaliation in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1981; Count Three for disability discrimination in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) and Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (“ADAAA”); Count Four for retaliation in violation of the ADA and the ADAAA; Count Five for violations of the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”), including retaliation; Count Six for gender discrimination in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended (“Title VII”); Count Seven for gender retaliation in violation of Title VII; Count Eight for age discrimination in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (“ADEA”); and Count Nine for retaliation in violation of the ADEA. Attached as Plaintiff's Exhibit A to the Complaint is the charge of discrimination filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) on August 4, 2016. Attached as Plaintiff's Exhibit B to the Complaint is a Dismissal and Notice of Rights issued to Plaintiff and signed February 22, 2017. Attached as Plaintiff's Exhibit C to the Complaint is the EEOC intake questionnaire filled out and signed by Plaintiff on August 4, 2016.

         On June 14, 2017, Defendant Wal-Mart Stores East, LP (“Defendant” or “Wal-Mart”) filed a Partial Motion to Dismiss (Doc. #6) seeking dismissal of the claims asserted in Counts Three, Four, Five, Seven, Eight, and Nine of the Complaint. For the reasons set forth below, the court finds that Wal-Mart's Partial Motion to Dismiss (Doc. #6) is due to be granted.

         II. Standard of Review

         The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure require that a complaint provide “a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). However, the complaint must include enough facts “to raise a right to relief above the speculative level.” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). Pleadings that contain nothing more than “a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action” do not meet Rule 8 standards, nor do pleadings suffice that are based merely upon “labels and conclusions” or “naked assertion[s]” without supporting factual allegations. Id. at 555, 557. In deciding a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, courts view the allegations in the complaint in the light most favorable to the non-moving party. Watts v. Fla. International Univ., 495 F.3d 1289, 1295 (11th Cir. 2007).

         To survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must “state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570. “A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). Although “[t]he plausibility standard is not akin to a ‘probability requirement, '” the complaint must demonstrate “more than a sheer possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully.” Id. A plausible claim for relief requires “enough fact[s] to raise a reasonable expectation that discovery will reveal evidence” to support the claim. Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556.

         In considering a motion to dismiss, a court should “1) eliminate any allegations in the complaint that are merely legal conclusions; and 2) where there are well-pleaded factual allegations, ‘assume their veracity and then determine whether they plausibly give rise to an entitlement to relief.'” Kivisto v. Miller, Canfield, Paddock & Stone, PLC, 413 F. App'x 136, 138 (11th Cir. 2011) (unpublished) (quoting Am. Dental Ass'n v. Cigna Corp., 605 F.3d 1283, 1290 (11th Cir. 2010)). That task is context specific and, to survive the motion, the allegations must permit the court based on its “judicial experience and common sense . . . to infer more than the mere possibility of misconduct.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679. If the court determines that well-pleaded facts, accepted as true, do not state a claim that is plausible, the claims are due to be dismissed. Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570.

         III. Discussion

         Prior to filing a complaint of discrimination under Title VII, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, a plaintiff first must exhaust administrative remedies by filing a charge of discrimination with the EEOC. Wilkerson v. Grinnell Corp., 270 F.3d 1314, 1317 (11th Cir. 2001) (Title VII); Maynard v. Pneumatic Prods. Corp., 256 F.3d 1259, 1262 (11th Cir. 2001) (ADA); Hipp v. Liberty Nat. Life Ins. Co., 252 F.3d 1208, 1217 (11th Cir. 2001) (ADEA). “The first step down the path of exhaustion is filing a timely charge of discrimination with the Commission.” Stamper v. Duval Co. Sch. Bd., 863 F.3d 1336, 1340 (11th Cir. 2017) (quoting Wilkerson, 270 F.3d at 1317); see also Gregory v. Ga. Dep't of Human Res., 355 F.3d 1277, 1279 (11th Cir. 2004).

         A plaintiff's employment discrimination complaint is generally limited by the allegations contained in her charge and the scope of the EEOC investigation which can reasonably be expected to grow out of the charge of discrimination. Id. at 1280; see also McClure v. Oasis Outsourcing II, Inc. 674 Fed.Appx. 873, 875 (11th Cir. Dec. 29, 2016). Claims in a judicial complaint may “‘amplify, clarify, or more clearly focus' the allegations in the EEOC complaint.” Gregory, 355 F.3d at 1279 (quoting Wu v. Thomas, 863 F.2d 1543, 1547 (11th Cir. 1989)). Charges in a judicial complaint must be “like or related to, or [grow] out of, the allegations contained in [a plaintiff's] EEOC charge.” Id. at 1280. That is, “allegations of new acts of discrimination [in a complaint] are inappropriate.” Id. at 1279-80. However, the scope of a charge of discrimination should not be strictly interpreted and procedural technicalities should not be permitted to bar claims. Id. at 1280.

         A. Plaintiff's Claims for Disability Discrimination and Retaliation under the ADA and the ADAAA are Administratively Barred

         In Counts Three and Four of the Complaint, Plaintiff alleges disability discrimination and retaliation under the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act. (Compl., ¶¶ 46-70). Specifically, Plaintiff alleges that in or around September 2013 she was diagnosed with hemochromatosis, a metabolic disorder, and began having her blood drawn for lab work every two weeks with full doctor's visits every two months. (Id. ¶ 49). She alleges that after her diagnosis, Defendant perceived her as being disabled and treated her differently than similarly-situated, non-disabled males. (Id. ΒΆΒΆ 51, 65). Defendant contends ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.