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Abraham v. Gold Crown Management LLC

United States District Court, D. Kansas

January 11, 2019

ELSA T. ABRAHAM, also known as ELSA ABRAHA, Plaintiff,


          Daniel D. Crabtree United States District Judge

         On August 13, 2018, plaintiff Elsa Abraham filed this employment discrimination lawsuit against defendant Gold Crown Management. Defendant has filed a Motion to Dismiss. Doc. 10. Defendant asks the court to dismiss plaintiff's lawsuit for two reasons. First, defendant argues, the court should dismiss the Complaint because plaintiff did not file it within 90 days of plaintiff receiving her right to sue letter. Thus, defendant contends, plaintiff's claims are time-barred. Second, defendant argues, the Complaint fails to state a plausible claim for relief as required by Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8. As explained below, the court agrees that the Complaint fails to state a plausible claim for relief. But the court grants plaintiff leave to file an amended complaint curing the various deficiencies identified in this Order. Thus, the court denies defendant's Motion to Dismiss but without prejudice to refiling a motion on an amended complaint, if plaintiff files one.

         I. Factual Background

         Pro se plaintiff[1] Elsa Abraham filed her Complaint with our court on August 13, 2018, using the court's form for a pro se Employment Discrimination Complaint. Doc. 1. The Complaint is difficult to understand. But, as best the court can discern, plaintiff alleges that defendant used to employ her. She asserts claims under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000e, et seq.; the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, as amended, 29 U.S.C. §§ 621, et seq.; and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended, 42 U.S.C. §§ 12101, et seq. Id. at 1. Under the section in the Complaint called “Nature of the Case, ” plaintiff identifies the conduct she complains of in this lawsuit by checking the boxes for “termination of [her] employment, ” “failure to promote [her], ” “failure to accommodate [her] disability, ” “terms and conditions of [her] employment differ from those of similar employees, ” “retaliation, ” “harassment, ” “reduction in wages, ” and “other conduct” handwritten as “Title VII American w/ Disabilities.” Id. at 3. Plaintiff asserts defendant discriminated against her because of her race, religion, national origin, gender, disability or perceived disability, and age. Id. She identifies herself as black, Christian, Eritrean, [2] female, with PTSD/depression as a disability, and born in 1959. Id.

         In the part of the form B Complaint asking plaintiff to state “briefly and clearly as possible, the essential facts of [her] claim, ” plaintiff provides the following response:

During my employment, I was harassed by the management. Including insults, because of my race, religion and my national origin. Similarly harassed with others [based on] my sex as a female, age as well. Under pay and garnished my pay check. Rental agreement was revoked for no reason. All in all at work and my residence which is owned by them.

Id. at 3-4.

         The Complaint states that plaintiff no longer works for defendant. Id. at 4. But, at the same time, she alleges that defendant still is committing the alleged unlawful acts. Id. Plaintiff asserts that defendant denied her request for a reasonable accommodation for her disability. Id. In the space provided to explain, she alleges: “Did not allow me to work regular work schedule, and retaliated against me daily.” Id. Plaintiff seeks money damages for “deterioration of mental health, ” all lost wages, relocation fees, and all costs for the case. Id. at 5.

         Plaintiff alleges that she filed a Charge of Discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on April 26, 2018. Id. at 2. But she has attached to her Complaint a different charge of discrimination-one she filed with the EEOC four years earlier in 2014. Doc. 1-1 at 2. It lists the Charge Number as 563-2014-01521 (“the 2014 Charge”).

         Plaintiff also attached a right to sue letter. Doc. 1-1 at 1. It addresses a different charge of discrimination than the EEOC charge attached to the Complaint as Doc.1-1 at 2, i.e. Charge Number 563-2018-01555 (“the 2018 Charge”). Id. at 1. This right to sue letter is dated May 15, 2018. Id.

         II. Legal Standard

         Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2) provides that a complaint must contain “a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.” Although this Rule “does not require ‘detailed factual allegations, '” it demands more than “[a] pleading that offers ‘labels and conclusions' or ‘a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action'” which, as the Supreme Court explained, “will not do.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)).

         When considering a motion to dismiss under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6), the court must assume that the factual allegations in the complaint are true. Id. (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). But the court is “‘not bound to accept as true a legal conclusion couched as a factual allegation.'” Id. (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). “‘Threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice'” to state a claim for relief. Bixler v. Foster, 596 F.3d 751, 756 (10th Cir. 2010) (quoting Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678). Also, the complaint's “[f]actual allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555 (citations omitted).

         For a complaint to survive a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), the pleading “must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to ‘state a claim for relief that is plausible on its face.'” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679 (quoting 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.” Id. at 678 (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556). “The plausibility standard is not akin to a ‘probability requirement,' but it asks for more than a sheer possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully.” Id. (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556); see also Christy Sports, LLC v. Deer Valley Resort Co., 555 F.3d 1188, ...

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