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Stanley J. Hanczyc, Jr v. Valley Distributing and Storage Company

May 9, 2011

STANLEY J. HANCZYC, JR., PLAINTIFF,
v.
VALLEY DISTRIBUTING AND STORAGE COMPANY, INC., CONRAD KOTLOWSKI, AND CAROL KEUP, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Judge Caputo

MEMORANDUM

Presently before the Court is Defendants Conrad Kotlowski's and Carol Keup's motion to dismiss. (Doc. 8.) . Defendants argue that Plaintiff is not permitted to bring claims against the Defendants as employees under the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA"). They also argue that Plaintiff's Pennsylvania Human Relations Act ("PHRA"), intentional infliction of emotional distress ("IIED"), and negligent infliction of emotional distress ("NIED") claims should be dismissed under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). Since it is clear from the face of the complaint that Plaintiff is not bringing claims against these defendants under the ADA, that issue need not be addressed here. As to the others, for the reasons discussed below, the Court will dismiss the claims for intentional infliction of emotional distress ("IIED") and negligent infliction of emotional distress ("NIED"). However, the Court will not dismiss Plaintiff's PHRA claim.

BACKGROUND

The facts alleged in the complaint are as follows.

At all times relevant to the action, Plaintiff was employed by Valley Distributing and Storage Company, Inc. ("Valley") and Defendants Kotlowksi and Keup were both Plaintiff's supervisors. Prior to October 31, 2007, Plaintiff had been an exempt, salaried employee with the position of Distribution Manager earning approximately forty-two thousand dollars ($42,000.00) a year. On October 31, 2007, Plaintiff underwent open-heart surgery and returned to his job six and half weeks later, on or around December 17, 2007. Upon returning to work, Plaintiff was reclassified as a non-exempt employee at an hourly rate of twenty dollars and nineteen cents ($20.19). Upon returning to work, Plaintiff was subject to medical restrictions regarding the hours he could work and the duties he could perform, reasonable accommodations he was entitled to under the ADA, PHRA, and Family Medical Leave Act ("FMLA"). However, Valley refused to accommodate these medical restrictions and forced Plaintiff to work in excess of the medical restrictions. Further, Plaintiff regularly worked in excess of forty hours a week between December 2007 and August 2009 and was never paid overtime despite his non-exempt status. Plaintiff continually requested that Defendants observe his medical restrictions but was ignored and disciplined when he left work after working beyond the maximum number of hours recommended by his doctors. After complaining about the treatment he was receiving to Defendants and then to the United States Department of Labor, Plaintiff's pay was cut and in August 2009 Plaintiff was fired.

In his complaint, Plaintiff brings claims under: the ADA (Count I); the ADA's retaliation provision (Count II); the PHRA (Count III); the FMLA (Count IV); the FMLA's retaliation provision (Count V); the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA") (Count VI); and the Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act (Count VII); as well as IIED and NIED claims (Counts VIII and IX) under Pennsylvania common law. Defendants Keup and Kotlowski filed a motion to dismiss (Doc. 8) the complaint on January 31, 2011. The motion has been briefed and is ripe for review.

LEGAL STANDARD

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) 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 the facts alleged in the complaint, a plaintiff has not pleaded "enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face," Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007), meaning enough factual allegations "'to raise a reasonable expectation that discovery will reveal evidence of'" each necessary element, Phillips v. County of Allegheny, 515 F.3d 224, 234 (3d Cir. 2008) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556); see also Kost v. Kozakiewicz, 1 F.3d 176, 183 (3d Cir. 1993) (requiring a complaint to set forth information from which each element of a claim may be inferred). In light of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2), the statement need only "'give the defendant fair notice of what the ... claim is and the grounds upon which it rests.'" Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 93 (2007) (per curiam) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). "[T]he factual detail in a complaint [must not be] so undeveloped that it does not provide a defendant [with] the type of notice of claim which is contemplated by Rule 8." Phillips, 515 F.3d at 232; see also Airborne Beepers & Video, Inc. v. AT&T Mobility LLC, 499 F.3d 663, 667 (7th Cir. 2007).

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). The Court may also consider "undisputedly authentic" documents when the plaintiff's claims are based on the documents and the defendant has attached copies of the documents to the motion to dismiss. Id. The Court need not assume the plaintiff can prove facts that were not alleged in the complaint, see City of Pittsburgh v. W. Penn Power Co., 147 F.3d 256, 263 & n.13 (3d Cir. 1998), or credit a complaint's "'bald assertions'" or "'legal conclusions,'" Morse v. Lower Merion Sch. Dist., 132 F.3d 902, 906 (3d Cir. 1997) (quoting In re Burlington Coat Factory Sec. Litig., 114 F.3d 1410, 1429-30 (3d Cir. 1997)). "While legal conclusions can provide the framework of a complaint, they must be supported by factual allegations." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. 1937, 1950 (2009).

When considering a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, the Court's role is limited to determining if a plaintiff is entitled to offer evidence in support of her claims. See Scheuer v. Rhodes, 416 U.S. 232, 236 (1974). The Court does not consider whether a plaintiff will ultimately prevail. See id. A defendant bears the burden of establishing that a plaintiff's complaint fails to state a claim. See Gould Elecs. v. United States, 220 F.3d 169, 178 (3d Cir. 2000).

DISCUSSION

I. Plaintiff's ADA claims

Since Plaintiff's complaint states that his ADA claims are against Defendant Valley and not against Defendants Keup or Kotlowski, Defendants motion to dismiss these claims is ...


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