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Jackson v. Continental Tire Americas, LLC

United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Rock Hill Division

December 6, 2019

LATONYA JESSICA JACKSON, Plaintiff,
v.
CONTINENTAL TIRE THE AMERICAS, LLC; CONTINENTAL AG; ADAM LOVE; ERIK LEFEBVRE, Defendants.

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          Thomas E. Rogers, III United States Magistrate Judge

         I. INTRODUCTION

         Plaintiff, who is proceeding pro se, brings this action pursuant to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII), 42 U.S.C. § 2000(e) et seq., alleging that Defendants discriminated against her and subjected her to a hostile working environment and then retaliated against her when she complained. Presently before the court are Defendants Adam Love and Erik Lefebvre's Motion to Dismiss (ECF No. 22) and Defendants Continental AG and Continental Tire the Americas LLC's Motion to Dismiss (ECF No. 24). Because she is proceeding pro se, Plaintiff was advised pursuant to Roseboro v. Garrison, 528 F.3d 309 (4th Cir. 1975), that a failure to respond to the motions could result in dismissal of his case. Plaintiff did not timely file a response to the motions, and the undersigned entered a text order giving Plaintiff an additional ten days to file a response. Thereafter, Plaintiff filed a response to both motions. All pretrial proceedings in this case were referred to the undersigned pursuant to the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(A) and (B) and Local Rule 73.02(B)(2)(g), DSC. This report and recommendation is entered for review by the district judge.

         II. FACTUAL ALLEGATIONS

         Plaintiff was employed by Continental Tire and sets forth in an attachment to her complaint a series of harassment she endured from other employees, including Inside Sales Department Supervisors, Adam Love and Erik Lefebvre. She alleges that the harassment began in April of 2015 and continued thereafter. Plaintiff alleges that Continental Tire terminated her employment on June 30, 2017, after she complained of the harassment.

         III. STANDARD OF REVIEW[1]

         A Rule 12(b)(6) motion examines whether Plaintiff has stated a claim upon which relief can be granted. The United States Supreme Court has made clear that, under Rule 8 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim that is plausible on its face. See Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949, 173 L.Ed.2d 868 (2009); Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 167 L.Ed.2d 929 (2007). The reviewing court need only accept as true the complaint's factual allegations, not its legal conclusions. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678; Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555.

         Expounding on its decision in Twombly, the United States Supreme Court stated in Iqbal:

[T]he pleading standard Rule 8 announces does not require “detailed factual allegations, ” but it demands more than an unadorned, the defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me accusation. A pleading that offers “labels and conclusions” or “a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do.” Nor does a complaint suffice if it tenders “naked assertion[s]” devoid of “further factual enhancement.”
To 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.” 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.

Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 677-78 (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555, 556, 557, 570) (citations omitted); see also Bass v. Dupont, 324 F.3d 761, 765 (4th Cir.2003). The court may consider documents attached to a complaint or motion to dismiss “so long as they are integral to the complaint and authentic.” Philips v. Pitt Cty. Mem. Hosp., 572 F.3d 176, 180 (4th Cir.2009) (citing Blankenship v. Manchin, 471 F.3d 523, 526 n. 1 (4th Cir.2006)).

         IV. DISCUSSION

         A. Love's and Lefebvre's Motion to Dismiss

         As stated above, Plaintiff brings this action pursuant to Title VII, alleging claims of discrimination, hostile work environment and retaliation. It is well settled that Title VII does not provide causes of action against defendants in their individual capacities. Title VII reads as follows: “[i]t shall be unlawful employment practice for an employer ... to discriminate against any individual with respect to his ... terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of such individual's .. . sex.” 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-2(a). The statute defines employer as “a person engaged in an industry affecting commerce who has fifteen or more employees” and “any agent of such a person.” 42 U.S.C. § 2000e(b). The Fourth Circuit has analyzed the definition of “employer” and rejected the notion of individual liability under Title VII. Lissau v. Southern Food Serv., Inc., 159 F.3d ...


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