United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Greenville Division
Timothy M. Cain United States District Judge
proceeding pro se, filed this civil action alleging
that his former employer, Defendant Drive Automotive
Industries of America, Inc. (“Drive”) and former
manager, Defendant Maurer, retaliated and discriminated
against him because of his race, in violation of Title VII of
the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, 42 U.S.C. §
2000e et seq. (ECF No. 1). On May 23, 2018, Defendant Maurer
filed a Motion to Dismiss. (ECF No. 23). Plaintiff responded
(ECF No. 35), and Defendant Maurer replied (ECF No. 41).
Plaintiff subsequently filed a sur reply. (ECF No. 42).
accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1) and Local Civil
Rule 73.02, D.S.C., this matter was referred to a magistrate
judge for pretrial handling. Before the court is the
magistrate judge's Report and Recommendation
(“Report”), which recommends that the court grant
Defendant Maurer's Motion to Dismiss and that all claims
against Defendant Maurer be dismissed with prejudice. (ECF
No. 45). Plaintiff was advised of his right to file
objections to the Report. Id. at 4. Plaintiff filed
timely objections (ECF No. 61), and Defendant Maurer
responded to those objections (ECF No. 71).
Report has no presumptive weight and the responsibility to
make a final determination in this matter remains with this
court. See Mathews v. Weber, 423 U.S. 261, 270-71
(1976). In the absence of objections, this court is not
required to provide an explanation for adopting the Report.
See Camby v. Davis, 718 F.2d 198, 199 (4th Cir.
1983). Rather, “in the absence of a timely filed
objection, a district court need not conduct a de novo
review, but instead must only satisfy itself that there is no
clear error on the face of the record in order to accept the
recommendation.” Diamond v. Colonial Life &
Accident Ins. Co., 416 F.3d 310, 315 (4th Cir. 2005)
(quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 72 advisory committee's note).
alleges that Defendant Maurer discriminated against him by
filing a Progressive Discipline Action in Plaintiff's
personnel file but not filing one against the “white
team lead on A shift.” (ECF No. 1 at 5). Plaintiff
further contends that Defendant Maurer then filed another
Progressive Discipline Action against Plaintiff two weeks
later for the same offense. Id. Finally, Plaintiff
alleges that Defendant Maurer subsequently eliminated
Plaintiff's position after Plaintiff had worked for the
company for ten years. Id. As noted in the
Complaint, Defendant Maurer is a Quality Assistant Manager
for Defendant Drive, Plaintiff's former employer.
Id. at 1.
contends that all of this was in retaliation against
Plaintiff and that it was also discriminatory based on his
race, in violation of Title VII. Id. at 4. Plaintiff
states that he “suffered from pain and suffering,
inconvenience, [and] mental anguish . . . physical
injuries” and lost wages. Id. at 6. Plaintiff
further claims that he suffered damage to his reputation and
character. Id. As a result, Plaintiff seeks sixty
thousand dollars as relief. Id.
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), a motion to dismiss
for failure to state a claim should not be granted unless it
appears certain that the plaintiff can prove no set of facts
which would support his claim and entitle him to relief.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). When considering a motion to dismiss,
the court should “accept as true all well-pleaded
allegations and should view the complaint in a light most
favorable to the plaintiff.” Mylan Labs., Inc. v.
Matkari, 7 F.3d 1130, 1134 (4th Cir. 1993). However, the
court “need not accept the legal conclusions drawn from
the facts” nor “accept as true unwarranted
inferences, unreasonable conclusions, or arguments.”
E. Shore Mkts., Inc. v. J.D. Assocs. Ltd.
P'ship, 213 F.3d 175, 180 (4th Cir. 2000). While
“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) (citations omitted).
a plaintiff's complaint only needs to include “a
short and plain statement of the claim showing that [he] is
entitled to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2).
Additionally, when “evaluating a civil rights complaint
for failure to state a claim under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6),
” the court must be “especially solicitous of the
wrongs alleged.” Harrison v. U.S. Postal
Serv., 840 F.2d 1149, 1152 (4th Cir. 1988) (internal
citations omitted). Furthermore, when the plaintiff proceeds
pro se, the court is charged with liberally
construing the factual allegations of the complaint in order
to allow potentially meritorious claims to go forward.
See Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007).
Still, this requirement of liberal construction does not mean
that this court may ignore a clear failure in the pleading to
allege facts that set forth a cognizable claim for relief.
Weller v. Dep't of Soc. Servs., 901 F.2d 387,
391 (4th Cir. 1990).
Report, the magistrate judge recommended that Defendant
Maurer's Motion to Dismiss (ECF No. 23) be granted
because employees and supervisors are not liable in their
individual capacities for violations of Title VII.”
(ECF No. 45 at 2) (citing Lissau v. S. Food Serv.,
Inc., 159 F.3d 177, 180 (4th Cir. 1998)). In his
objections, Plaintiff simply reiterated his allegations
against both Defendant Drive and Defendant Maurer and stated
the he disagreed with the magistrate judge's
determination that a supervisor cannot be held individually
liable under Title VII. (ECF No. 61).
cited multiple cases in support of his contention that a
supervisor can be liable individually for violations of Title
VII. Id. However, notably, none of these cases
relate to claims for violations of Title VII. See Jones
v. Lodge at Torrey Pines P'ship, 173 P.3d 232 (Cal.
2008) (holding that nonemployer individuals may not be held
personally liable under the Fair Employment and Housing Act);
Harless v. First Nat'l Bank in Fairmont, 289
S.E.2d 692 ( W.Va. 1982) (holding that a supervisor could be
found individually liable for the state law tort of
retaliatory discharge in West Virginia); Frampton v.
Cent. Indiana Gas Co., 297 N.E.2d 425 (Ind. 1973)
(holding that an employee may file a claim for retaliatory
discharge pursuant to the Indiana Workman's Compensation
Act or the Indiana Workmen's Occupational Diseases Act).
Furthermore, none of these cases affect the binding precedent
in the Fourth Circuit, which, as the magistrate judge
correctly noted, states that “[e]mployees are not
liable in their individual capacities for Title VII
violations.” Lissau, 159 F.3d at 178; see
also, Baird ex rel. Baird v. Rose, 192 F.3d 462, 472
(4th Cir. 1999) (“Title VII does not authorize a remedy
against individuals for violation of its provisions.”).
Accordingly, the court overrules this objection.