United States District Court, D. Kansas
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
D. Crabtree, United States District Judge
Rebecca Ledbetter filed this employment discrimination action
against International Association of Machinists and Aerospace
Workers (“IAMAW”) and District 70 IAM Machinist
Union (“District 70”). In her First Amended
Complaint, plaintiff asserts sex discrimination and
retaliation claims under Title VII, 42 U.S.C. Â§Â§
2000eâ2000e-17, against both defendants. Defendants have
filed a Motion to Dismiss (Doc. 14). Plaintiff responded
(Doc. 16) and defendants replied (Doc. 18). For the reasons
explained below, the court grants in part and denies in part
following facts come from plaintiff’s First Amended
Complaint (Doc. 11) and are viewed in the light most
favorable to her. S.E.C. v. Shields, 744 F.3d 633,
640 (10th Cir. 2014) (stating “[w]e accept as true all
well-pleaded factual allegations in the complaint and view
them in the light most favorable to the [plaintiff]”
(quoting Burnett v. Mortg. Elec. Registration Sys.,
Inc., 706 F.3d 1231, 1235 (10th Cir. 2013)).
2008, plaintiff worked for defendants as an elected business
representative in Wichita, Kansas. She was appointed as
Assistant Directing Business Representative in 2012.
Plaintiff alleges supervisor Mark Blondin sexually harassed
her in February 2014. After reporting the incident, Mr.
Blondin tried to terminate her employment. Tom Bugginbarger,
District 70 president, prevented this outcome. Also, Mr.
Blondin also made disparaging comments about plaintiff.
November 2015, IAMAW took over operation of District 70, and
hired Tony Blevins to oversee operations. About two months
later, in January 2016, Mr. Bugginbarger retired. Mr. Blevins
suspended plaintiff’s employment in February 2016.
Plaintiff alleges she was suspended because she had reported
sexual harassment. In April 2016, defendants filed formal
charges against plaintiff, alleging she had violated the
union’s constitution and bylaws. In August 2016, Mr.
Blevins permanently removed plaintiff from her union position
at District 70. Plaintiff continued to pay her monthly union
dues to defendants.
her removal, District 70 did not offer plaintiff a new
position. Plaintiff alleges District 70 always has
re-employed male union members locally. On December 27, 2016,
plaintiff filed discrimination charges against District 70
with both the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
(“EEOC”) and Kansas Human Rights Commission
(“KHRC”) (the “December Charge”).
Plaintiff amended her December Charge on January 12, 2017. In
her amended December Charge, plaintiff alleged District 70
had discriminated against her because of her age and her sex.
Doc. 11-2 at 1. Plaintiff’s amended December Charge
also alleged that she was terminated by District 70 and not
re-employed with another aerospace company “as
similarly situated terminated males have been.”
Id. Plaintiff did not name IAMAW in her amended
70 removed plaintiff from union membership on January 20,
2017. Plaintiff alleges that District 70 allowed unemployed
male members to keep their membership. Plaintiff filed her
second discrimination charge against District 70 with both
the EEOC and KHRC on February 15, 2017 (the “February
Charge”). In the February Charge, plaintiff asserts
that she filed a discrimination charge with the EEOC,
District 70 removed her from union membership, and
“male non-employees [were] allowed to keep their
membership.” Doc. 11-3 at 1. Plaintiff checked the
“sex” and “retaliation” boxes on her
February Charge. Id. Plaintiff did not name IAMAW in
her February Charge. The EEOC issued a right to sue letter to
plaintiff on July 18, 2018 for the February Charge.
First Amended Complaint asserts two claims against
defendants: (1) sex discrimination violating Title VII, and
(2) retaliation violating Title VII. In their motion,
defendants assert that plaintiff has failed to exhaust her
administrative remedies against defendant IAMAW, some of her
claims are time barred, and none of her claims states a
plausible cause of action. Defendants thus ask the court to
dismiss plaintiff’s First Amended Complaint under Rule
12(b)(6). For reasons discussed below, the court grants
defendants’ motion in part and denies it in all other
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
Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)).
survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must contain
sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to ‘state
a claim to relief that is plausible on its
face.’” Id. (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. (citing
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556). “Under this
standard, ‘the complaint must give the court reason to
believe that this plaintiff has a reasonable
likelihood of mustering factual support for these
claims.’” Carter v. United States, 667
F.Supp.2d 1259, 1262 (D. Kan. 2009) (quoting Ridge at Red
Hawk, L.L.C. v. Schneider, 493 F.3d 1174, 1177 (10th
Cir. 2007)). Although the court must assume that the
complaint’s factual allegations are true, it is
“‘not bound to accept as true a legal conclusion
couched as a factual allegation.’” Id.
at 1263 (quoting Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678).
“‘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).
evaluating a motion to dismiss under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6),
the court may consider “not only the complaint itself,
but also attached exhibits and documents incorporated into
the complaint by reference.” Smith v. United
States, 561 F.3d 1090, 1098 (10th Cir. 2009) (first
citing Tellabs, Inc. v. Makor Issues & Rights,
Ltd., 551 U.S. 308, 322 (2007); then citing TMJ
Implants, Inc. v. Aetna, Inc., 498 F.3d 1175, 1180 (10th
Cir. 2007); then citing Indus. Constructors Corp. v.
United States Bureau of Reclamation, 15 F.3d 963,
964–65 (10th Cir. 1994)). A court “‘may
consider documents referred to in the complaint if the
documents are central to the plaintiff’s claim and the
parties do not dispute the documents’
authenticity.’” Id. (quoting
Alvarado v. KOB–TV, L.L.C., 493 F.3d 1210,
1215 (10th Cir. 2007)).
ask the court to dismiss plaintiff’s claims for three
reasons. First, defendants argue plaintiff failed to exhaust
her administrative remedies against defendant IAMAW. Second,
defendants assert, some of plaintiff’s claims are time
barred. Finally, defendants argue, plaintiff’s First
Amended Complaint fails to state plausible claims ...