United States District Court, N.D. Alabama, Southern Division
OWEN BOWDRE, CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter comes before the court on Defendant KMG Enterprises,
Inc.'s motion to dismiss Plaintiff Deandra Spears's
amended complaint. (Doc. 9). In her amended complaint, Ms.
Spears alleges that her supervisor directed racist remarks at
her, insulted her for wearing a hijab, and instructed her to
stop wearing her hijab. She asserts that KMG terminated her
employment because of her race and in retaliation for
complaining about her supervisor's behavior in violation
of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and 42 U.S.C. §
Spears has pled facts showing a patently offensive
supervisor, but she has not pled facts showing a prima facie
case of racial discrimination or retaliation under §
1981. Further, she failed to timely exhaust her
administrative remedies before bringing her Title VII claim.
For these reasons, and as further explained below, the court
will GRANT KMG's motion to dismiss.
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
granted.” To 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.
these rules in mind, the court will present the facts of Ms.
Spears's short-lived employment with KMG alleged in her
amended complaint that the court accepts as true.
Spears began working as a server and hostess for KMG in
Calhoun County, Alabama on May 28, 2017. Ms. Spears is
African-American, “closely aligns herself with the
Moorish Science Temple religious beliefs, ” and wears a
hijab. (Doc. 8 at ¶ 3).
co-worker regularly used the word “n****r” in the
presence of her supervisors, and her supervisors never told
that employee to stop. One of her supervisors, Linda, called
Ms. Spears a terrorist, “Aunt Jemima, ” and
“Kunta Kinte's sister.” Linda also referred
to Ms. Spears's hijab as a rag, told her that she was
“going straight to hell, ” and said that she
“should live her life based on the Bible.” (Doc.
8 at ¶¶ 8-9).
Spears complained to KMG's store manager about
“being instructed by her supervisors not to wear the
hijab.” The store manager asked about Ms. Spears's
religious beliefs, and she responded that “she was a
spiritual person but closely aligned herself with the Moorish
Science Temple.” According to Ms. Spears, the Moorish
Science Temple, “while quasi-spiritual in nature[, ]
advocate[s] Black Empowerment, including but not limited to
racial pride.” The store manager informed Ms. Spears
that he was familiar with her beliefs and that she could wear
her hijab. (Doc. 8 at ¶ 10).
Linda found out that the store manager would let Ms. Spears
wear her hijab, Linda told Ms. Spears “you gonna get
the hell out of here with your s***” and
“[y]ou'll see when the next schedule comes
out.” Linda scheduled Ms. Spears for substantially
reduced hours on the next work schedule. (Doc. 8 at ¶
weeks later, on June 22, 2017, a different supervisor,
“Assistant Manager Mary, ” terminated Ms.
Spears's employment. (Doc. 8 at ¶ 10).
these facts, Ms. Spears alleges that KMG terminated her
because of her race and in retaliation for complaining about
discrimination to the store manager in violation of Title VII