United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Greenville Division
Joyce M. Allen, Plaintiff,
Michelin North American, Inc. - USA, Michelin North American Inc., - US2, and Beacon Health Options, Inc. Defendants.
REPORT OF MAGISTRATE JUDGE
F. McDonald United States Magistrate Judge.
matter is before the court on the motion to dismiss of
defendant Michelin North America, Inc. (doc. 17).
Pursuant to the provisions of Title 28, United States Code,
Section 636(b)(1)(A), and Local Civil Rule 73.02(B)(2)(g)
(D.S.C.), all pretrial matters in employment discrimination
cases are referred to a United States Magistrate Judge for
plaintiff filed a pro se complaint on March 22,
2018, alleging she was discriminated and retaliated against
based on her race, color, sex, age, and disability in
violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the
Age Discrimination in Employment Act (“ADEA”),
and the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”)
(docs. 1, 1-2). She named as defendants Michelin, her
employer, and Beacon Health Options, Inc., which she
identifies as a “service provider”
Michelin filed a motion to dismiss on May 8, 2018 (doc. 17).
On May 9, 2018, pursuant to Roseboro v. Garrison,
528 F.2d 309 (4th Cir. 1975), the plaintiff was advised of
the motion dismiss and motion for summary judgment procedures
and the possible consequences if she failed to respond
adequately to defendant Michelin's motion (doc. 20). On
June 1, 2018, counsel filed a notice of appearance on behalf
of the plaintiff and a motion for extension of time to file a
response to the motion to dismiss (docs. 22, 23). The motion
for extension was granted through July 11, 2018 (doc. 25).
The plaintiff filed a response in opposition to the motion to
dismiss on July 10, 2018 (doc. 17). Defendant Michelin filed
a reply on July 17, 2018 (doc. 29). Defendant Beacon has not
appeared in this action.
plaintiff previously worked for Michelin at its US2 facility
in Sandy Springs, South Carolina (doc. 1-2 at 8). In her
complaint, the plaintiff claims that male team members
sexually harassed her and other female employees
(id.). She further alleges that the alleged sexual
harassment was reported to her supervisors and other
individuals, but nothing was done and the harassment
continued (id. at 5, 8). The plaintiff alleges she
was subjected to a hostile work environment after she
reported the sexual harassment (id. at 8-9). In
January 2017, the plaintiff went out on medical leave, and
she has not returned to work since then (id. at 7,
9; doc. 1-1 at 1). She alleges that another entity, defendant
Beacon, deemed her unable to return to work (doc. 1-2 at
January 9, 2018, approximately one year after beginning her
medical leave, the plaintiff filed a charge of disability
discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity
Commission (“EEOC”) (doc. 1-1 at 1). In her EEOC
charge, the plaintiff alleged that she had been out on
medical leave since January 2017 due to complications from an
unspecified medical condition, and Michelin denied her the
opportunity to return to work (id.). She also
alleged that she was rendered “disabled” by the
Social Security Administration based on paperwork submitted
by Michelin (id.). Based upon these facts, she
alleged that Michelin discriminated against her because of
her disability in violation of the ADA (id.). In her
charge, the plaintiff checked only the box for discrimination
based on disability (id.). She stated in the charge
that July 24, 2017, was the earliest date the discrimination
took place (id.). On January 9, 2018, the same day
she filed her EEOC charge, the plaintiff requested and
received a notice of right to sue (id. at 3). She
then filed the instant lawsuit on March 22, 2018 (doc. 1).
LAW AND ANALYSIS
Michelin argues in its motion that the complaint against it
should be dismissed pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 12(b)(5) for insufficient service of process (doc.
17-1 at 4-6). Subsequent to the filing of the motion to
dismiss, the plaintiff cured the service issue by properly
serving Michelin, and thus this issue is moot (doc. 27 at 1;
doc. 29 at 1).
further argues in its motion that the plaintiff cannot assert
a state law claim for intentional infliction of emotional
distress because it is barred by the South Carolina
Workers' Compensation Act (doc. 17-1 at 13-15). In her
response, the plaintiff concedes that she cannot state such a
claim (doc. 27 at 2).
third and sole remaining argument is that the plaintiff's
Title VII, ADEA, and ADA failure to accommodate and sexual
harassment causes of action should be dismissed pursuant to
Rule 12(b)(1) for lack of subject matter jurisdiction (doc.
17-1 at 6-13). The undersigned agrees.
well-established that prior to bringing a lawsuit under Title
VII, the ADEA, or the ADA, a plaintiff must file a charge of
discrimination with the EEOC and receive a right to sue
letter or other notice of termination of the administrative
investigation. 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-5(e), (f) (Title VII);
42 U.S.C. § 12117(a) (ADA adopts procedures set forth in
§ 2000e-5(e)); 29 U.S.C. § 626(d)(1), (e) (ADEA).
“[A] failure by the plaintiff to exhaust administrative
remedies concerning a Title VII claim deprives the federal
courts of subject matter jurisdiction over the claim. The
same is true of claims made under the ADEA.” Jones
v. Calvert Group, Ltd., 551 F.3d 297, 300-301
(4th Cir. 2009) (citation omitted). Rule 12(b)(1)
provides for dismissal of a claim for lack of subject matter
jurisdiction. Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(1).
EEOC charge “defines the scope of the plaintiff's
right to institute a civil suit.” Bryant v. Bell
Atl. Md., Inc., 288 F.3d 124, 132 (4th Cir. 2002). As
stated by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals: “In any
subsequent lawsuit alleging unlawful employment practices
under Title VII, a federal court may only consider those
allegations included in the EEOC charge.” Balas v.
Huntington Ingalls Indus., Inc., 711 F.3d 401, 407
(4th Cir. 2013) (citation omitted). If the
plaintiff's claims “‘exceed the scope of the
EEOC charge and any charges that would naturally have arisen
from an investigation ...