Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Hruska v. Vacation Charters

July 9, 2007

JOHN J. HRUSKA, PLAINTIFF,
v.
VACATION CHARTERS, LTD., DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: A. Richard Caputo United States District Judge

(JUDGE CAPUTO)

MEMORANDUM

Presently before the Court is Defendant's motion to dismiss. (Doc. 7.) For the reasons stated below, the motion to dismiss will be granted in part and denied in part. The Court has jurisdiction over this action pursuant to Title 28 of the United States Code, section 1331 ("federal question") and exercises supplemental jurisdiction over Plaintiff's state-law tort claim pursuant to Title 28 of the United States Code, section 1367.

BACKGROUND

The allegations of Plaintiff's Complaint (Doc. 1) are as follows. Plaintiff, John J. Hruska, was an employee of Defendant Vacation Charters, Ltd. ("VC") at the Split Rock Resort in Lake Harmony, Pennsylvania. (Id. ¶ 7.) Plaintiff was restricted from work by his physician from approximately July 13, 2004 through August 23, 2004 due to medical conditions. (Id. ¶ 11.) Accordingly, Plaintiff verbally advised his employer that he required FMLA leave. (Id. ¶ 12.) Defendant did not provide Plaintiff with any notice of his rights under the FMLA, nor did it advise him that they considered him a "key employee" under the FMLA when he requested leave. (Id. ¶¶ 13, 14.) Prior to the six-week leave period, Hruska had been deliberately subjected to a pattern of increased harassment because of his health. (Id. ¶ 16.) During the Plaintiff's medical leave, Defendant placed advertisements seeking Hruska's permanent replacement, and cleaned out his office. (Id. ¶ 18).

Plaintiff was released to return to work on or about August 23, 2004, with a restriction that he should limit his work schedule to 40 hours per week. (Id. ¶ 17.) He was told by Defendant that he could not return to his prior position. (Id. ¶ 19.) Instead, Defendant asserted that Mr. Hruska could return to work only if he took a different job, at a different location, for less pay. (Id. ¶ 20.) In response, Hruska asserted he had a right to his job back, for the same amount of pay, and with an accommodation of a 40-hour work week. Defendant, however, refused to comply with these requests. (Id. ¶¶ 22, 23.) As a result, Hruska initiated a complaint with the U.S. Department of Labor, who found that Mr. Hruska's FMLA rights were violated. (Id. ¶¶ 24, 25.) In retaliation for Plaintiff asserting and utilizing his FMLA rights, the employer denied Plaintiff his previous employment. (Id. ¶ 26.)

Defendant also undertook a course of conduct to harass Plaintiff due to this health problems, both during and immediately after the leave period. (Id. ¶¶ 41, 42.) Defendant harassed Plaintiff because it did not want a person who had serious health conditions and visibly appeared ill working at the establishment. (Id. ¶ 43.) Plaintiff claims that Defendant's conduct caused him to suffer emotional and mental distress, as well as bodily harm, and that this distress was both a direct and proximate cause of Defendant's conduct. (Id. ¶¶ 44, 45.)

On August 24, 2006, Plaintiff filed a Complaint. (Doc. 1.) On February 5, 2007, Defendant filed the present motion to dismiss. (Doc. 7.) This motion is fully briefed and ripe for disposition.

LEGAL STANDARD

Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides for the dismissal of a complaint, in whole or in part, for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Dismissal is appropriate only if, accepting as true all of the facts alleged in the complaint and "drawing all reasonable inferences in the plaintiff's favor, no relief could be granted under any set of facts consistent with the allegations of the complaint." Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts, Inc. v. Mirage Resorts Inc., 140 F.3d 478, 483 (3d Cir. 1998); ALA, Inc. v. CCAIR, Inc., 29 F.3d 855, 859 (3d Cir. 1994) (citing Hishon v. King & Spalding, 467 U.S. 69, 73 (1984)).

In deciding a motion to dismiss, the Court should consider the allegations in the complaint, exhibits attached to the complaint and matters of public record. See Pension Benefit Guar. Corp. v. White Consol. Indus., Inc., 998 F.2d 1192, 1196 (3d Cir. 1993), cert. denied, 510 U.S. 1042 (1994). The Court may also consider "undisputedly authentic" documents where the plaintiff's claims are based on the documents and the defendant has attached a copy of the document to the motion to dismiss. Id. The Court need not assume that the plaintiff can prove facts that were not alleged in the complaint, see City of Pittsburgh v. West Penn Power Co., 147 F.3d 256, 263 (3d Cir. 1998), nor credit a complaint's "bald assertions" or "legal conclusions." Morse v. Lower Marion Sch. Dist., 132 F.3d 902, 906 (3d Cir. 1997).

When considering a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, the Court's role is limited to determining whether the plaintiff is entitled to offer evidence in support of the claims. See Scheuer v. Rhodes, 416 U.S. 232, 236 (1974). The Court does not consider whether the plaintiff will ultimately prevail. See id. In order to survive a motion to dismiss, the plaintiff must set forth information from which each element of a claim may be inferred. See Kost v. Kozakiewicz, 1 F.3d 176, 183 (3d Cir. 1993). The defendant bears the burden of establishing that the plaintiff's complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. See Gould Elecs. v. United States, 220 F.3d 169, 178 (3d Cir. 2000).

DISCUSSION

The Complaint raises causes of action under the Family Medical Leave Act of 1993 ("FMLA", or "the Act"), codified at Title 29 of the United States Code, sections 2601 et seq., and for the ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.