The opinion of the court was delivered by: Jones, J.
Before the Court is Defendant CSS Industries, Inc.'s ("CSS") Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings (Doc. Nos. 12 & 13), Plaintiff's Response in Opposition thereto (Doc. No. 15), and CSS's Reply (Doc. No. 23). For the reasons that follow, CSS's Motion will be granted to the extent that it seeks dismissal of Plaintiff's claims against CSS for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.
I. Relevant Procedural History
On August 15, 2008, Plaintiff Greg Richardson filed a Complaint against CSS and its subsidiary, Paper Magic Group, Inc ("PMG"). Plaintiff claims that CSS and PMG violated the Family and Medical Leave Act ("FMLA") (Count I) and the Employee Retirement Income Security Act ("ERISA") (Count II). On November 21, 2008, CSS filed an Answer to the Complaint. On December 8, 2008, CSS filed a Rule 12(c) Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings. On December 22, 2008, Plaintiff filed a Response in opposition to CSS's Motion.
CSS filed a Reply on February 20, 2009.
The Court recites the facts as alleged in the Complaint and as viewed in the light most favorable to Plaintiff.
CSS is the parent corporation of PMG. (Compl. ¶ 2.) Plaintiff was employed with PMG from April 12, 1999, until he was terminated on March 23, 2007. (Compl. ¶¶ 7, 18.)*fn1 He held the position of Superintendent from October 2002 until his termination. (Compl. ¶ 7.)
In early May 2006, Plaintiff requested FMLA leave from PMG. (Compl. ¶ 8.) His request was approved, and he took FMLA leave from May 26, 2006, through August 17, 2006. (Compl. ¶¶ 9-10, 12.) Upon his return, he was assigned to an "off shift," was assigned more hours than he had previously been assigned, was given more responsibilities, and was required to complete performance evaluations. (Compl. ¶ 12.) Plaintiff complained to the Department of Labor, which subsequently cited PMG for failure to reinstate Plaintiff to his former duties, shift, hours, and responsibilities. (Compl. ¶¶ 13-14.) Plaintiff claims that the terms and conditions of his employment were changed in retaliation against him for his "use of FMLA leave and/or complaint to the Department of Labor." (Compl.¶ 14.) Plaintiff seeks judgment against CSS and PMG, jointly and severally, on his FMLA claims. (Compl. 3.)
While employed by PMG, Plaintiff anticipated being promoted to the position of plant manager. (Compl. ¶ 21.) He had been groomed for that position over a five-year period. (Compl. ¶ 21.) PMG failed to promote Plaintiff. (See Compl. ¶ 16.) After his termination, Plaintiff learned that Scott Andrews was promoted from Human Resource Manager to Plant Manager. (Compl. ¶ 22.) Mr. Andrews was not qualified for that position. (Compl. ¶ 22.) Plaintiff was more qualified than Mr. Andrews. (Compl. ¶ 22.)
Plaintiff underwent open-heart surgery in April of 2000, while he was employed by PMG. (Compl.¶ 17.) In a staff meeting prior to Plaintiff's termination and prior to PMG's failure to promote Plaintiff, Rich Denny, Vice-President of PMG, said that people who were having open heart surgery were costing PMG's insurance company $250,000 per year. (Compl. ¶ 16.) Mr. Denny was referring to the increased cost of insurance premiums paid by the company and employees. (Compl. ¶ 16.) When PMG terminated Plaintiff on March 23, 2007, PMG informed him that his termination was the result of layoffs. (Compl. ¶ 18.) Plaintiff believes that his termination was due, inter alia, to his use of company-sponsored medical insurance benefits. ...