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Brown v. Iqor U.S. Inc.

United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Charleston Division

February 26, 2015

Mariah D. Brown, Plaintiff,
v.
IQor U.S. Inc., IQor Holdings U.S. Inc., iQor U.S. Inc., and IQor Holdings Inc., Defendants.

REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

MARY GORDON BAKER, Magistrate Judge.

The Plaintiff, Mariah D. Brown, filed this employment case alleging the following causes of action: 1) sexual discrimination in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act; 2) violation of the South Carolina Payment of Wages Act; 3) violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA"); 4) Negligent Hiring, Training and Supervision; and 5) Breach of Contract. (Dkt. 5.) The Defendants have moved to dismiss the Third Cause of Action, violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act, and the Fourth Cause of Action, Negligent Hiring, Training and Supervision. (Dkt. 12, 12-1.)

Pursuant to the provisions of Title 28, United States Code, Section 636(b)(1)(A) and Local Civil Rule 73.02(B)(2)(g), DSC, all pretrial matters in employment cases are referred to a United States Magistrate Judge for consideration.

ALLEGATIONS OF COMPLAINT

The Amended Complaint alleges that the Plaintiff was working for the Defendant companies from 2010 until her termination in April of 2013. (Dkt. 5, ¶¶ 12, 25). The Plaintiff alleges that she was subjected to inappropriate sexual advances, comments and gestures almost daily from her supervisor. (Dkt. 5, ¶¶13, 15-16, 21.) On February 14, 2013, she began to receive text messages from her supervisor after he obtained her cell phone number; those messages included a nude photograph of the supervisor. (Dkt. 5, ¶15.) She told her supervisor that his sexual advances were unwanted and requested that it end. (Dkt. 5, ¶16.) The Plaintiff was still "forced to work" with him while his sexual advances continued. (Id.)

The Plaintiff alleges that she reported the lewd and inappropriate behavior verbally and via text message to another supervisor, who responded, "it's too late now, the damage is already done, or words to that effect...". (Dkt. 5, ¶19.) The Plaintiff alleges that after her report, she "was forced to continue to work" with him while the harassment continued. (Dkt. 5, ¶23.) In addition, the supervisor she complained about began treating her harshly in retaliation, eventually resulting in the Defendants' wrongfully terminating her employment. (Dkt. 5, ¶¶22-25.)

The Plaintiff alleges that as a result of her "exemplary work performance", she would receive a bonus every three months. (Dkt. 5, ¶30.) She claims that she "accrued earned wages" which the Defendants "have failed to pay." (Dkt. 5, ¶31.) The Defendants "wrongfully withheld the Plaintiff's earned bonus." (Id.) The Amended Complaint also alleges that on the date the Plaintiff was terminated, she was:

due a bonus; however, the Defendants have failed and continue to fail to pay the Plaintiff her bonus. The Defendants continue to fail to pay wages owed to the Plaintiff in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act....

(Dkt. 5, ¶32.) In the third cause of action for violation of the FLSA, the Plaintiff states only that:

[t]he Plaintiff was working for the Defendants and accrued earned wages. The Defendants ha[ve] failed and continue to fail to pay the wages owed to the Plaintiff in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

(Dkt. 5, ¶57.)

APPLICABLE LAW

Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), a complaint must be dismissed if it does not allege "enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'" Giarratano v. Johnson, 521 F.3d 298, 302 (4th Cir. 2008) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). "In reviewing a motion to dismiss an action pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6)... a court must determine whether it is plausible that the factual allegations in the complaint are "enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level.'" Andrew v. Clark, 561 F.3d 261, 266 (4th Cir. 2009) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). "[A] plaintiff's obligation to provide the grounds of his entitlement to relief requires more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do." Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555 (citing Papasan v. Allain, 478 U.S. 265, 286 (1986)).

For purposes of a motion to dismiss, the district court must "take all of the factual allegations in the complaint as true." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). However, while the court must draw all reasonable inferences in favor of the plaintiff, it need not accept the "legal conclusions drawn from the facts, ... unwarranted inferences, unreasonable conclusions or arguments." Nemet Chevrolet, Ltd. v. Consumeraffairs.com, Inc., 591 F.3d 250, ...


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