United States District Court, D. Maryland
DEBORAH K. CHASANOW UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
pending and ready for resolution in this civil rights case is
the motion to dismiss filed by Defendant International Union
of Operating Engineers, Local 77 (“Defendant
Union”). (ECF No. 20). The issues have been fully
briefed, and the court now rules, no hearing being deemed
necessary. Local Rule 105.6. For the following reasons, the
motion to dismiss will be granted.
to the amended complaint:
On July 20, 2015, Plaintiff was assigned by [Defendant Union]
to work as an Excavator Operator at SNC Lavalin. Beginning
August 24, 2016, Plaintiff was subjected to race harassment
which took the form of having the words, "N -----
looking up out a hole go back to Africa, " written in a
portable bathroom. Plaintiff reported it to his supervisor
and nothing was done.
Plaintiff began using the office restrooms to avoid the race
harassment, but was told by supervisors that he had to use
the portable bathrooms. Plaintiff reported this
discriminatory conduct to his supervisor Reno Herbert and the
Safety Director Sam Knight. On September 13, 2016, Plaintiff
complained to union representative, Gregory Strohman, about
all white employee meetings being held by union
representatives on site. On September 16, 2016, Plaintiff was
terminated in retaliation for his complaint. The union has
been retaliating against the Plaintiff since his termination
interfering with job opportunities.
(ECF No. 14, at 6).
filed a charge of discrimination against IUOE Local 77 with
the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on or before June
1, 2017. In the charge, he checked the boxes
for discrimination on basis of race and retaliation and
identified the discrimination as occurring on September 16,
2016. The EEOC issued a right to sue letter on July 28, 2017.
Plaintiff filed his initial complaint on October 30 against
Defendant Union Union and SNC Lavalin Constructors, Inc.
Plaintiff's complaint purported to assert claims of
retaliation and termination on the basis of race. (ECF No.
1). Defendant Union moved to dismiss, and instead of
responding, Plaintiff filed an amended complaint purporting
to raise the same claims. (ECF Nos. 9, 14). Defendant Union
moved to dismiss again, Plaintiff responded, and Defendant
Union replied. (ECF Nos. 20, 22, 23).
Standards of Review
purpose of a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6) is to test
the sufficiency of the complaint. Presley v. City of
Charlottesville, 464 F.3d 480, 483 (4th Cir.
2006). A complaint need only satisfy the standard of Rule
8(a)(2), which requires a “short and plain statement of
the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to
relief.” “Rule 8(a)(2) still requires a
‘showing, ' rather than a blanket assertion, of
entitlement to relief.” Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 n.3 (2007). That showing must
consist of more than “a formulaic recitation of the
elements of a cause of action” or “naked
assertion[s] devoid of further factual enhancement.”
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009)
(citations omitted). At this stage, all well-pleaded
allegations in a complaint must be considered as true,
Albright v. Oliver, 510 U.S. 266, 268 (1994), and
all factual allegations must be construed in the light most
favorable to the plaintiff. See Harrison v. Westinghouse
Savannah River Co., 176 F.3d 776, 783 (4th
Cir. 1999) (citing Mylan Labs., Inc. v. Matkari, 7
F.3d 1130, 1134 (4th Cir. 1993)). In evaluating
the complaint, unsupported legal allegations need not be
accepted. Revene v. Charles Cty. Comm'rs, 882
F.2d 870, 873 (4th Cir. 1989). Legal conclusions
couched as factual allegations are insufficient,
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678, as are conclusory factual
allegations devoid of any reference to actual events,
United Black Firefighters v. Hirst, 604 F.2d 844,
847 (4th Cir. 1979); see also Francis v.
Giacomelli, 588 F.3d 186, 192 (4th Cir.
brings his claims pursuant to Title VII of the Civil Rights
Act of 1964 (“Title VII”), 42 U.S.C. §
2000e, et seq. Under Title VII, a plaintiff can
establish his or her case by demonstrating elements which
“enable the fact-finder to conclude, in the absence of
any further explanation, that it is more likely than not the
adverse employment action was the product of
discrimination.” Ennis v. Nat'l Ass'n of
Bus. & Educ. Radio, Inc., 53 F.3d 55, 57-58
(4th Cir. 1995). “[W]hile a plaintiff is not
required to plead facts that constitute a prima
facie case in order to survive a motion to dismiss,
‘factual allegations must be enough to raise a right to
relief above the speculative level.'” Coleman
v. Md. Court of Appeals, 626 F.3d 187, 190
(4th Cir. 2010) (quoting Twombly, 550
U.S. at 555) (internal citations and alterations omitted).
Union also moves to dismiss a portion of the complaint for
lack of jurisdiction. The plaintiff bears the burden of
proving that subject matter jurisdiction properly exists in
the federal court. See Evans v. B.F. Perkins Co.,
166 F.3d 642, 647 (4th Cir. 1999). In a 12(b)(1)
motion, the court “may consider evidence outside the
pleadings” to help determine whether it has
jurisdiction over the case before it. Richmond,
Fredericksburg & Potomac R.R. Co. v. United States,
945 F.2d 765, 768 (4th Cir. 1991); see also
Evans, 166 F.3d at 647. The court should grant the
12(b)(1) motion ...