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.

Nemo v. RR Donnelley Logistics Services

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

February 8, 2019

STEVE J. NEMO, Plaintiff,
v.
RR DONNELLEY LOGISTICS SERVICES, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          MADELINE HUGHES HAIKALA UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         In this discriminatory discharge case, plaintiff Steve J. Nemo alleges that defendant RR Donnelley/Logistics Services (RRD) violated Title VII and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) because RRD based its decision to fire him on his race, gender, and age. (Doc. 1, p. 2). RRD argues that Mr. Nemo cannot pursue a discrimination claim against the company because Mr. Nemo was not an employee of the company. (Doc. 9, p. 1). RRD has asked the Court to either dismiss Mr. Nemo's complaint or enter judgment for the company on the merits of Mr. Nemo's claims. (Doc. 8).

         I. Standards for Motions to Dismiss and Motions for Summary Judgment

         RRD asks the Court to dismiss Mr. Nemo's claims pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Rule 12(b)(6) enables a defendant to move to dismiss a complaint for “failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). Pursuant to Rule 8(a)(2), a 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). Generally, to survive a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss and meet the requirements of Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2), “a complaint does not need detailed factual allegations, but the allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level.” Speaker v. U.S. Dep't of Health & Human Servs. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, 623 F.3d 1371, 1380 (11th Cir. 2010) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555, 570 (2007)). In deciding a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, a district court must view the allegations in a complaint in the light most favorable to the plaintiff and accept well-pleaded facts as true. Sun Life Assurance Co. v. Imperial Premium Fin., LLC, 904 F.3d 1197, 1207 (11th Cir. 2018); Little v. CRSA, 744 Fed.Appx. 679, 681 (11th Cir. 2018).

         When a defendant goes beyond the allegations of a complaint and asks a district court to enter judgment for the defendant on the basis of evidence related to the plaintiff's claims, the defendant must meet the requirements of Rule 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Under Rule 56, a district court must enter judgment for a defendant if the defendant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact such that the defendant “is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). Summary judgment evidence may include “depositions, documents, electronically stored information, affidavits or declarations, stipulations (including those made for purposes of the motion only), admissions, interrogatory answers, or other materials.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(1)(A). When considering a defendant's motion for summary judgment, a district court must view the evidence in the record and draw reasonable inferences from the evidence in the light most favorable to the plaintiff. Asalde v. First Class Parking Sys. LLC, 898 F.3d 1136, 1138 (11th Cir. 2018). “The court need consider only the cited materials, but it may consider other materials in the record.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(3).

         Because Mr. Nemo is handling his claims without a lawyer, the Court holds his complaint “to a less stringent standard” than a complaint drafted by an attorney. Tannenbaum v. United States, 148 F.3d 1262, 1263 (11th Cir. 1998) (citing Fernandez v. United States, 941 F.2d 1488, 1491 (11th Cir. 1991)). In addition, the Court must consider “specific facts” that Mr. Nemo has alleged in his signed complaint, but the Court may not consider conclusory statements that lack evidentiary support. Perry v. Thompson, 786 F.2d 1093, 1094-95 (11th Cir. 1986); (Doc. 1, p. 3). For example, Mr. Nemo cannot simply state: “I was an RRD employee.” Instead, he must describe facts that, if proven, would support a finding that, under the applicable legal standard, he was an RRD employee.

         II. The Standards for Discrimination Claims

         Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 makes it unlawful:

for an employer “to fail or refuse to hire or to discharge any individual, or otherwise to discriminate against any individual with respect to his compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of such individual's race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.” § 2000e- 2(a)(1); see also 78 Stat. 255.

Ricci v. DeStefano, 557 U.S. 557, 577 (2009). The ADEA:

prohibits employers from “fail[ing] or refus[ing] to hire or to discharge any individual or otherwise discriminate against any individual with respect to his compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of such individual's age.” 29 U.S.C. § 623(a)(1).

Ashkenazi v. S. Broward Hosp. Dist., 607 Fed.Appx. 958, 961 (11th Cir. 2015).

         Title VII and the ADEA apply to only employees. 42 U.S.C. § 2000e(f); Ashkenazi, 607 Fed.Appx. at 961. Title VII defines an employee as “an individual employed by an employer.” 42 U.S.C. § 2000e(f). The ADEA defines an employee as “an individual employed by any employer” with the exception of certain political positions. 29 U.S.C. § 630(f). The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals has held that Title VII and the ADEA do not protect independent contractors from discrimination. Cobb v. Sun Papers, Inc., 673 F.2d 337, 341, 342 (11th Cir. 1982) (affirming district court's use of common law analysis in concluding that Title VII plaintiff was an independent contractor and dismissing case); Daughtrey v. Honeywell, Inc., 3 F.3d 1488, 1495 n.13 (11th Cir. 1993) (“The ADEA does not provide relief for discrimination against an independent contractor.”).

         Under the Cobb test for Title VII cases, “the economic realities of the relationship viewed in light of the common law principles of agency and the right of the employer to control the employee” determine whether the relationship at issue is an employer/employee relationship or an owner/independent contractor relationship. 673 F.2d at 341. The Cobb test focuses on the extent to which the alleged employer “control[s] and direct[s] the work of an individual, not only as to the result to be achieved, but also as to the details by which the result is achieved ....” Cobb ...


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.