United States District Court, N.D. Alabama, Southern Division
DAVID PROCTOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
case is before the court on the Motion to Dismiss (Doc. #15)
filed by Defendant Nucor Steel Birmingham Inc.
(“Nucor”). The parties have fully briefed the
Motion to Dismiss. (Docs. #15, 17, 18). For the reasons
explained below, the Motion to Dismiss (Docs. #15) is due to
be granted in part and denied in part.
claims that Defendant Nucor intentionally retaliated against
him for opposing Nucor's discriminatory practices in
violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the
Age Discrimination in Employment Act (“ADEA”),
and the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”).
(Doc. #9 at 3-4). Plaintiff alleges that, as a part of its
hiring process, Nucor requires applicants to undergo a
“psychological evaluation, ” where a psychologist
asks applicants questions about their age, marital status,
children, parents, and family life. (Id. at
¶6). Plaintiff claims that the psychologist subsequently
shares this information with Nucor employees involved in the
hiring process. (Id.).
claims that he was concerned that Defendant was using
psychological evaluations to circumvent federal laws
protecting personal information from disclosure during the
application process. (Id. at ¶¶6-9).
Approximately twenty days prior to his termination, Plaintiff
alleges that he raised his concerns about the psychological
evaluations with Controller Susan Grahs
(“Grahs”) and other unnamed supervisors at Nucor.
(Id. at ¶5). On July 13, 2015, Plaintiff
notified the EEOC of his concerns regarding Defendant's
hiring process. (Id. at ¶10). Plaintiff alleges
that he notified Nucor that he had contacted the EEOC.
(Id. at ¶11).
15, 2015, Grahs gave Plaintiff a “coaching for the
month end” document, which detailed work areas where
Plaintiff needed to improve his performance. (Id. at
¶12). Plaintiff claims that, prior to receiving this
coaching document, he had never been provided with any formal
negative feedback from Nucor and had only received
“exceed expectations” evaluations from Grahs.
(Id. at ¶13(b)). The coaching document stated
that Plaintiff had until the end of the next month to improve
his performance in the identified areas; however, Plaintiff
was terminated sixteen days later, on July 31, 2015.
(Id. at ¶13(c)).
January 21, 2016, Plaintiff filed a charge of discrimination
with the EEOC against Defendant, alleging retaliation in
violation of Title VII. (Doc. #15-1). Plaintiff filed a
complaint against Nucor in Jefferson County Circuit Court on
May 16, 2017. (Doc. #1-1). On June 15, 2017, Nucor removed
the case to federal court. (Doc. #1). On July 3, 2017,
Plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint, which dropped
Plaintiff's (1) claim of retaliation under the Fair Labor
Standards Act (“FLSA”), (2) state law fraud
claim, and (3) state law claim of outrage and intentional
infliction of emotional distress. (Compare Doc. #1-1
with Doc. #9). Nucor moved to dismiss this action on
July 17, 2017. (Doc. #15).
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. Int'l Univ., 495 F.3d 1289, 1295 (11th Cir.
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) (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.
argues that Plaintiff's Amended Complaint should be
dismissed for two principal reasons: (1) Plaintiff failed to
exhaust his requisite administrative remedies prior to filing
suit and (2) Plaintiff's Amended Complaint fails to state
a plausible claim. (Docs. #15, 18). These two arguments are
considered, in turn.
Plaintiff's Retaliation Claims under the ADA and ADEA are
Outside theScope of ...