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Everett v. The Material Child Consortium, LLC

United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania

July 10, 2018




         Plaintiff, Susan Everett, brings suit against her former employer, Maternal Child Consortium, LLC (“MCC”), alleging that Defendant discriminated against her in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), 42 U.S.C. § 12101, et seq., and the Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”), 29 U.S.C. § 621, et seq., and that Defendant violated the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), 29 U.S.C. § 201, et seq., as well as the Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act of 1968 (“PMWA”), 43 P.S. § 33, et seq. Defendant has filed a motion to dismiss the claims against it. For the reasons below, Defendant's motion will be granted and denied in part.

         I. Facts

         In or about September 2004, the Maternal Child Care Consortium hired Everett as a scheduler. Between 2004 and October 13, 2016, Everett alleges that she consistently worked 41.5 hours per week. Everett estimates that on three occasions per week, her meal breaks were interrupted and lasted fewer than the twenty minutes required by law. Nevertheless, MCC deducted thirty minutes of time from Plaintiff's time records. According to the Complaint, MCC failed to pay Everett 1.5 times her regular rate of pay for each hour that she worked in excess of 40 hours per week. In addition, Everett alleges that she performed compensable on-call work. On the basis of these allegations, Everett asserts claims for violations of the FLSA and the PMWA.

         Everett also asserts claims under the FMLA and ADA. Specifically, during the summer of 2016, after she was diagnosed with Lofgren Syndrome, Everett requested a leave of absence pursuant to the FMLA, which MCC granted. In early October, 2016 Everett notified Defendant that she anticipated that her rheumatologist would soon release her to return to work. However, MCC notified Everett that it required a work authorization from her podiatrist instead. Everett was unable to obtain an appointment with her podiatrist until October 17, 2016. On October 13, 2016, MCC terminated her employment on the grounds that she had not obtained a timely letter from her podiatrist.

         On February 3, 2017, Everett filed a Charge of Discrimination against “Associates Home Care, Inc.” with the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”). Plaintiff subsequently received a Notice of Right to Sue from the EEOC. The Notice states that Plaintiff has the right to sue “Associates Home Care, Inc, ” the respondent in the EEOC matter. Defendant, MCC, moves to dismiss Plaintiff's claims under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure Rule 12(b)(6) for failure to state a claim.

         II. Legal Standard

         “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.'” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). “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. “Threadbare” recitations of the elements of a claim supported only by “conclusory statements” will not suffice. Id. at 683. Rather, a plaintiff must allege some facts to raise the allegation above the level of mere speculation. Great Western Mining & Mineral Co. v. Fox Rothschild LLP, 615 F.3d 159, 176 (3d Cir. 2010) (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555).

         In analyzing a motion to dismiss legal conclusions are disregarded, well-pleaded factual allegations are taken as true, and a determination is made whether those facts state a “plausible claim for relief.” Fowler v. UPMC Shadyside, 578 F.3d 203, 210-11 (3d Cir. 2009). Generally that determination is made upon a review of the allegations contained in the complaint, exhibits attached appropriately to the complaint and matters of public record. See Pension Benefit Guar. Corp. v. White Consol. Indus., Inc. 998 F.2d 1192, 1996 (3d Cir. 1993). A court may also consider a document “integral to or explicitly relied upon in the complaint.” In re Burlington Coat Factory Sec. Litig., 114 F.3d 1410, 1426 (3d Cir. 1997). In this case, Plaintiff's Complaint explicitly relies upon the Notice of the Right to Sue from the EEOC. Therefore, the EEOC Notice may be considered as well.

         III. Discussion

         a. ADA claim

         Typically, a plaintiff is precluded from bringing an action under the ADA against a defendant other than the one named in his or her original charge before the EEOC. See Glus v. G.C. Murphy Co., 562 F.2d 880, 888 (3d Cir. 1977). An exception exists, however, “when the unnamed party received notice and when there is a shared commonality of interest with the named party.” Schafer v. Bd. of Pub. Educ. of Sch. Dist. of Pittsburgh, 903 F.2d 243, 252 (3d Cir. 1990). In Glus, the Third Circuit identified four factors relevant to determine whether a party not named in an administrative charge can nevertheless be named as a defendant in a subsequent civil action:

(1) whether the role of the unnamed party could through reasonable effort by the complainant be ascertained at the time of the filing of the EEOC complaint; whether, under the circumstances, the interests of a named [party] are so similar as the unnamed party's that for the purpose of obtaining voluntary conciliation and compliance, it would be unnecessary to include the unnamed party in the EEOC proceedings; (3) whether its absence from the EEOC proceedings resulted in actual prejudice to the interests of the unnamed party; and (4) whether the unnamed party has in some way represented to the complainant that its relationship with the complainant is to be through the named party.

Glus, 562 F.2d at 888. Plaintiff's Complaint is bereft of any information concerning the relationship between Associates Home Care, Inc. and MCC. Absent additional details, the Court is unable to determine whether the Glus factors weigh in favor or against allowing this case to proceed. Thus, ...

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