United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania
RICHARD P. CONABOY United States District Judge.
Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's Complaint (Doc. 8) is
pending before the Court. Defendant requests that the Court
dismiss Plaintiff's Complaint in its entirety pursuant to
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). (Doc. 9 at 2.) For
the reasons discussed below, the Court concludes
Defendant's motion is properly granted in part and denied
states in her Complaint that Defendant Quixote Enterprises
Inc., (“Adult World”) is in the adult
entertainment business with approximately eighteen retail
establishments in Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey.
(Doc. 1 ¶ 10.) Defendant Morrow is the principal officer
in charge of Adult World. (Id. ¶ 11.)
had known Defendant Morrow since approximately 2009, and had
provided cleaning services to him. (Id. ¶ 19.)
She alleges that she and Defendant Morrow became close
friends and had a sexual relationship “earlier in 2015,
" i.e., sometime before October 2015. (Id.
¶¶ 12, 19.)
October 2015, Defendant Morrow offered Plaintiff a position
managing six stores at a salary of $35, 000, with fringe
benefits including a vehicle, gas card, 401K plan and health
insurance. (Id. ¶ 12.) Plaintiff accepted the
job offer and began working for Adult World on or about
November 9, 2015. (Id. ¶¶ 13, 15.)
got married on Sunday, November 15, 2015. (Id.
¶ 15.) The following week she worked Tuesday through
Friday as scheduled. (Id.)
Friday, November 20, 2015, another manager told Plaintiff
“that she wasn't working out and that they decided
to give another chance to the other girl Plaintiff was
supposed to be replacing.” (Id. ¶ 17.)
The manager was allegedly acting on instruction from
Defendant Morrow who told Plaintiff the same thing via text,
adding “you have a new husband.” (Id.
¶¶ 17-18.) Plaintiff adds that male employees who
got married were not fired and Defendant “contrived
specific reasons for firing Plaintiff” in response to
the EEOC charge. (Id. ¶¶ 21, 22.)
filed her Complaint in this Court on January 9, 2017. (Doc.
1.) The Complaint contains two counts: Count One for Sex
Discrimination in violation of Title VII and the PHRA against
Defendant Adult World; and Count Two for Aiding and Abetting
Sex Discrimination in violation of the PHRA against Defendant
Morrow. (Doc. 1 at 5-6.)
filed the instant motion on February 14, 2017, accompanied by
a supporting brief. (Docs. 8, 9.) On February 21, 2017,
Plaintiff filed an opposing brief. (Doc. 10.) With the filing
of Defendants' reply brief (Doc. 11) on February 26,
2017, this matter was fully briefed and became ripe for
Motion to Dismiss Standard
to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), the reviewing
court may dismiss a complaint for “failure to state a
claim upon which relief may be granted.” Detailed
pleading is not required--“Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 8(a)(2) requires only ‘a short and plain
statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled
to relief, ' in order to ‘give fair notice of what
the . . . claim is and the grounds upon which it rests, '
Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 47 . . .
(1957).” Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550
U.S. 544, 555 (2007). In Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S.
662, 678 (2009), the Court noted that, although Rule 8 does
not require detailed factual allegations, “it demands
more than an unadorned, the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me
accusation.” Id. (citing Twombly, 550
U.S. at 555). Iqbal also reiterated the
Twombly guidance that “[a] pleading that
offers ‘labels and conclusions' or ‘a
formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action
will not do.' 550 U.S. at 555 . . . Nor does a complaint
suffice if it tenders ‘naked assertion[s]' devoid
of ‘further factual enhancement.' Id. at
557.” 556 U.S. at 678.
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.”
[Twombly, 550 U.S.] at 570, 127 S.Ct. 1955. 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. Id., at 556, 127 S.Ct. 1955. The
plausibility standard is not akin to a “probability
requirement, ” but it asks for more than a sheer
possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully.
Ibid. Where a complaint pleads facts that are
“merely consistent with” a defendant's
liability, it “stops short of the line between
possibility and plausibility of ‘entitlement to
relief.'” Id., at 557, 127 S.Ct. 1955
556 U.S. at 678.
to Twombly and Iqbal, the Court of Appeals
for the Third Circuit set out three steps required of a court
reviewing the sufficiency of a claim in Connelly v. Lane
Constr. Corp., 809 F.3d 780, 787 (3d Cir. 2016).
First, it must “tak[e] note of the elements [the]
plaintiff must plead to state a claim.” Iqbal,
556 U.S. at 675, 129 S.Ct. 1937. Second, it should identify
allegations that, “because they are no more than
conclusions, are not entitled to the assumptions of
truth.” Id. at 679, 129 S.Ct. 1937. See
also Burtch v. Milberg Factors, Inc., 662 F.3d 212, 224
(3d Cir. 2011) (“Mere restatements of the elements of a
claim are not entitled to the assumption of truth.”
(citation and editorial remarks omitted)). Finally,
“[w]hen there are well-pleaded factual allegations,
[the] court ...