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Jenkins v. Polysciences, Inc.

United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania

April 2, 2017

RAYMOND JENKINS
v.
POLYSCIENCES, INC.

          MEMORANDUM RE: MOTION TO DISMISS

         I. Introduction

         Plaintiff Raymond Jenkins brings this action against defendant Polysciences, Inc. (“Defendant”) for alleged discriminatory termination of employment. Plaintiff's Complaint (ECF 1, “Compl.”) contains two Counts:

(1) Race discrimination, pursuant to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”), 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-2; and
(2) Age discrimination, pursuant to the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (“ADEA”), 29 U.S.C § 623.

         Before the Court now is Polysciences' Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's Complaint under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) (ECF 3, “Def.'s Mot.”). For the reasons explained below, Polysciences' Motion will be GRANTED without prejudice.

         II. Factual Background

         The following facts are taken from the Complaint, and are accepted as true for purposes of the pending motions. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6); United States Express Lines, Ltd. V. Higgins, 281 F.3d 383, 388 (3d Cir. 2002). Plaintiff is an African-American male and is at least sixty-six years of age. (Compl., ¶¶ 8-9). Plaintiff began employment with Polysciences as a Lab Technician in August of 2000. (Id. ¶ 7). Throughout his employment with Polysciences, Plaintiff alleges that he observed Caucasian and younger employees receive promotions and transfers to better positions, while Plaintiff was not offered similar opportunities to advance. (Id. ¶¶ 12-15). In addition, Plaintiff alleges that he was paid less than Caucasian and younger employees, and, while Caucasian and younger employees received a Christmas bonus, Plaintiff did not. (Id. ¶ 16-18). Plaintiff alleges that he was not awarded a Christmas bonus because of “mistakes” he made, but that the Caucasian and/or younger employees who did receive the Christmas bonus “made more or the same or similar mistakes[.]” (Id. ¶ 19).

         In February 2016, Plaintiff was given the responsibility of training a “younger, Caucasian employee.” (Id. ¶ 21). In the course of training this employee, Plaintiff “had a verbal argument” with him “at the warehouse.” (Id. ¶ 21). A day later, Plaintiff was informed by the Human Resources department that “he had attempted to instigate a physical altercation with the younger Caucasian employee, ” which Plaintiff denied. (Id. ¶ 22).

         Plaintiff was terminated by Polysciences for “intimidation” in February 2016, and his responsibilities were “distributed among Caucasian and younger employees”. (Id. ¶¶ 22; 24-25, 28). Although Polysciences has a “progressive disciplinary policy” that disciplines employees “in stages, ” Plaintiff “was terminated with no prior progressive discipline.” (Id. ¶ 23-24). The younger, Caucasian employee involved in the dispute was not terminated. (Id. ¶ 26).

         III. Procedural History & Jurisdiction

         Soon after Plaintiff's termination, Plaintiff filed a timely complaint and charge of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) for both race and age discrimination. (Id. ¶ 6). Following receipt of a Notice of Right to Sue from the EEOC, Plaintiff filed the instant Complaint. (Id. ¶ 6). On January 24, 2017, Polysciences filed a Motion to Dismiss, alleging that Plaintiff failed to exhaust his administrative remedies with the EEOC[1] and that Plaintiff also failed to state a claim for race or age discrimination (See Def's Mot.). Plaintiff filed an Opposition to Defendant's Motion on February 7, 2017 (ECF 4, “Pl.'s Opp'n”), to which Defendant filed a Reply on February 8, 2017. (ECF 5, “Def.'s Reply”).

         This Court has jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331, and venue is proper pursuant to 28 U.S.C § 1441(a).

         IV. Legal Standard

         To survive a motion to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), a complaint must contain sufficient factual allegations that “state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly,550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). A complaint will satisfy this threshold test for facial plausibility if “the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal,556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). “Threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice.” Id. at 678. While all factual ...


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