United States District Court, N.D. Alabama, Southern Division
OWEN BOWDRE CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
disability discrimination and retaliation matter comes before
the court on Defendant City of Adamsville's motion to
dismiss Plaintiff Ryon Clark's complaint. (Doc. 3).
Clark, who worked as a police officer for the City, suffered
from mental health issues after a traumatic experience on the
job. Mr. Clark brings a claim under the Americans with
Disabilities Act asserting that the City discriminated
against him because of his mental disability by, among other
actions, not approving paid administrative leave when the
City permitted him to take time off from work to recover. He
further alleges that the City retaliated against him in
violation of the ADA and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act
after he complained of disability and gender discrimination.
court will DENY IN PART and GRANT IN PART the City's
motion to dismiss because Mr. Clark has sufficiently pled a
prima facie case of disability discrimination based on the
City's failure to approve paid leave, but he has failed
to establish a prima facie case of retaliation.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
complaint must contain “a short and plain statement of
the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to
relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). If a complaint fails to
comply with this rule, the court will dismiss the complaint
on a defendant's Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss for
“failure to state a claim upon which relief can be
survive a motion to dismiss, the complaint must allege
“enough facts to state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.” Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). And for a complaint
to be “plausible on its face, ” it must contain
enough “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).
construing a complaint on a motion to dismiss, the court
accepts as true the factual allegations in the complaint.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. But the court does not
accept “labels and conclusions, ” a
“formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of
action, ” speculation, or statements that “merely
create a suspicion [of] a legally cognizable right of
action.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555 (internal
quotations and citations omitted). So, the court will look
only at well-pled facts, and if those facts,
accepted as true, state a plausible claim for relief, then
the complaint will survive the motion to dismiss.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678.
court accepts as true the following facts alleged in Mr.
Clark worked as a police officer for the City. On September
6, 2017, while executing an arrest warrant with the SWAT team
on a suspect charged with child pornography offenses and
assault, Mr. Clark saw a significant amount of evidence of
the suspect's abuse of a child. The evidence caused Mr.
Clark significant stress, insomnia, and difficulties eating.
chief of police arranged counseling for Mr. Clark. The chief
also told Mr. Clark that the City would place him on paid
administrative leave while he took time off to recover. After
taking some time off from work, Mr. Clark learned that the
City applied vacation days to his time off as opposed to paid
administrative leave. So he inquired with the City's
human resources director, who told him that only the mayor of
the City, not the chief of police, could place him on
administrative leave and that the mayor did not approve paid
administrative leave for mental health issues. But, according
to Mr. Clark, the mayor had previously allowed a female City
employee to take paid leave for a personal problem involving
Clark wrote a letter to the mayor in which he stated that he
felt the City discriminated against him because of his gender
and the type of health condition he faced-a mental health
issue as opposed to physical health-by not placing him on
paid administrative leave.
when Mr. Clark returned to work, the mayor's office
subjected him to “heightened scrutiny . . . in the form
of constant checking-in ...