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Raimondi v. Wyoming County

United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania

April 15, 2015

DEBRA RAIMONDI, Plaintiff,
v.
WYOMING COUNTY, THOMAS S. HENRY, JUDY KRAFT MEAD and RONALD P. WILLIAMS, Defendants

MEMORANDUM

JAMES M. MUNLEY, District Judge.

Plaintiff Debra Raimondi (hereinafter "Raimondi") asserts Defendants Wyoming County, Thomas S. Henry, Judy Kraft Mead and Ronald P. Williams's (collectively "defendants") decision to terminate her employment with Wyoming County violated her constitutional rights and rights under the Family Medical Leave Act, 29 U.S.C. §§ 2601-2619, 2631-2654 and 5 U.S.C. § 6381-6387 (hereinafter "the FMLA").[1] Before the court for disposition is defendants' motion to dismiss Raimondi's civil rights causes of action pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.[2] For the reasons that follow, the court will grant defendants' motion to dismiss.

Background

The instant civil rights lawsuit arose from Raimondi's employment with defendants. In 2006, defendants hired Raimondi to serve as Wyoming County's Assistant Director of Public Safety located at Wyoming County's 911 Center. (Doc. 1, Compl. ¶ 9). In 2007, defendants promoted Raimondi to the Director of Wyoming County's 911 Center. (Id. ¶ 10). Raimondi worked as the director until her termination on July 10, 2014. (Id. ¶¶ 11, 39).

Two months before her termination, on May 1, 2014, Raimondi's elderly father broke his hip and underwent surgery. (Id. ¶ 12). Upon completion of his post-operation recovery, the hospital planned to discharge Raimondi's father to a nursing home to rehabilitate. (Id.) In late May 2014, Raimondi requested two weeks of FMLA leave to care for her father and mother who also resided in a nursing home. (Id. ¶¶ 13-15). Defendants approved Raimondi's FMLA leave request. (Id. ¶ 16).

On June 2, 2014, Raimondi traveled to Indiana to care for her elderly parents. (Id. ¶ 18). On June 13, 2014, Raimondi requested, and defendants approved, a one-week extension of her FMLA leave. (Id. ¶¶ 19-20). A week later, on June 20, 2014, Raimondi again requested, and defendants approved, a second one-week extension of her FMLA leave. (Id. ¶¶ 21-22).

On Monday, June 30, 2014, the first day after the expiration of Raimondi's FMLA leave, Raimondi, still in Indiana, left a voice mail message for Defendant Henry, stating her mother broke her wrist and requested Defendant Henry call her back. (Id. ¶¶ 15, 19-23). Defendant Henry did not return Raimondi's call. (Id. ¶ 24).

The following day, July 1, 2014, Raimondi called the Wyoming County Commissioner's office and asked to speak with Defendant Henry. (Id. ¶ 25). The receptionist put Raimondi's call through to Defendant Henry. (Id. ¶ 26). Defendant Henry answered the phone and notified Raimondi that he had Defendants Mead and Williams on speakerphone with him. (Id.) During the call, Defendant Williams, on behalf of all defendants, requested Raimondi's resignation. (Id. ¶ 27).

Raimondi returned to Pennsylvania on July 4, 2014, and planned on working the following day. (Id. ¶ 30). Defendant Henry, however, directed Raimondi not to work on July 5, 2014. (Id. ¶ 31). Instead, Defendant Henry advised Raimondi to meet with the defendants on Tuesday, July 8, 2014. (Id.)

On July 8, 2014, Raimondi met with the defendants. (Id. ¶ 32). Defendants requested Raimondi tender her resignation or they would terminate Raimondi's employment. (Id. ¶ 33). Defendants claimed Raimondi failed to oversee the recent installation of a new computer aided dispatch system and noted that "the leadership wasn't there." (Id. ¶¶ 34-35). Raimondi further asserts defendants stated that she "should have made other arrangements" and asked whether Raimondi had other family members to care for her elderly parents. (Id. ¶¶ 36-37).

Two days later, Raimondi advised defendants that she would not resign. (Id. ¶ 38). Accordingly, defendants terminated Raimondi's employment on July 10, 2014.

In response to her termination, Raimondi filed a four-count complaint. Count One avers defendants interfered with her rights under the FMLA. Count Two asserts a claim pursuant to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (hereinafter "section 1983"), contending defendants deprived Raimondi of her fundamental right to continued employment in contravention of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments. Count Three states a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1985(3) (hereinafter "section 1985"), asserting defendants conspired to interfere with Raimondi's civil rights. Count Four avers a claim of neglect to prevent conspiracy in contravention of 42 U.S.C. § 1986 (hereinafter "section 1986"). Defendants filed a motion to dismiss Counts Two, Three and Four on December 1, 2014. The parties then briefed the issues bringing this matter to its present procedural posture.

Jurisdiction

The court has federal question jurisdiction over this FMLA and civil rights action brought under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. See 28 U.S.C. § 1331 ("The district courts shall have original jurisdiction of all civil actions arising under the Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United States."); 28 U.S.C. §§ 1343(a)(3), (4) (granting district courts jurisdiction over civil actions brought to ...


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