United States District Court, N.D. Alabama, Southern Division
DAVID PROCTOR, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
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.
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.
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.
Standard of Review
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
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.
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.
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).
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.
Plaintiff's Claims for Disability Discrimination and
Retaliation under the ADA and the ADAAA are Administratively
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.
¶¶ 51, 65). Defendant contends ...