United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania
F. Kenney, Judge
the Court is Defendant SEPTA's Motion for Judgment on the
Pleadings (ECF No. 18) and Pro se Plaintiff
Angelique Jenkins' Response (ECF No. 20).
se Plaintiff Angelique Jenkins filed this discrimination
action against her former employer, SEPTA, under Title VII of
the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as codified, 42 U.S.C
§§ 2000e to 2000e-17 (race, color, gender,
religion, national origin) ("Title VII"). ECF No. 2
at 3. Jenkins used the Court's preprinted
form complaint and alleged that SEPTA discriminated against
her by terminating her employment and subjecting her to
unequal terms and conditions of employment, and retaliation.
Id., at 4-5.
employment with SEPTA began in January 2009. Id. at
35. On July 6, 2017, she entered into a Last Chance
Agreement. Id. at 27. Following an incident on
February 7, 2019, SEPTA accused Jenkins of opening the doors
on the wrong side of the train- a rule violation.
Id. Therefore, SEPTA concluded that Jenkins violated
her agreement and terminated her employment. Id. at
Standard of Review
may move for judgment on the pleadings "[a]fter the
pleadings are closed - but early enough not to delay
trial." Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(c). Judgment on the pleadings is
appropriate when "the movant clearly establishes that no
material issue of fact remains . . . and that he is entitled
to judgment as a matter of law." Rosenau v. Unifund
Corp., 539 F.3d 218, 221 (3d Cir. 2008).
deciding a motion for judgment on the pleadings, the Court
considers the pleadings and exhibits attached thereto,
matters of public record and "undisputedly authentic
documents attached to the motion for judgment on the
pleadings if plaintiffs' claims are based on the
documents." Atiyeh v. Nat'l Fire Ins. Co. of
Hartford, 742 F.Supp.2d 591, 595 (E.D. Pa. 2010). A
motion for judgment on the pleadings is analyzed under the
same standards that apply to a Rule 12(b)(6) motion."
Zimmerman v. Corbett, 873 F.3d 414, 417 (3d Cir.
2017) (internal quotations omitted). Accordingly, the Court
"accept[s] as true all allegations in plaintiffs
complaint as well as all reasonable inferences that can be
drawn from them, and [the court] construes them in a light
most favorable to the non-movant." Tatis v. Allied
Interstate, LLC, 882 F.3d 422, 426 (3d Cir. 2018)
(quoting Sheridan v. NGK Metals Corp., 609 F.3d 239,
262 n.27 (3d Cir. 2010)).
motion will be granted if the plaintiff has not articulated
enough facts "to raise a right to relief above the
speculative level." Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly,
550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). The plaintiff must plead
"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 Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570). A
claim is plausible "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. (quoting Twombly, 550
U.S. at 557). It is not enough for a plaintiff to allege mere
"labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of
the elements of a cause of action will not do."
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555. "The plausibility
determination is 'a context-specific task that requires
the reviewing court to draw on its judicial experience and
common sense.'" Connelly v. Lane Const.
Corp., 809 F.3d 780, 786-87 (3d Cir. 2016) (quoting
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679).
Title VII Claims
Jenkins' Complaint is not sufficiently pled to survive
SEPTA's Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings. According
to SEPTA, this Court should grant its motion because Jenkins
failed to allege she is a member of a protected class under
Title VII and she engaged in a protected activity within the
meaning of Title VII. ECF No. 18 at 4.
Title VII, it is "unlawful for an employer ... to
discriminate against any individual..., because of
such individual's race, color, religion, sex, or national
origin." Desert Palace, Inc. v. Costa, 539 U.S.
90, 92-93 (2003) (citing 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-2(a)(1)
(emphasis in original)). In order for an employer, like
SEPTA, to be liable under Title VII an employment
discrimination plaintiff bears the burden of establishing
a prima facie case by showing that she (1) belongs
to a protected class; (2) was qualified for the position she
sought to attain or retain; (3) suffered an adverse
employment action; and (4) the action occurred under
circumstances that gave rise to an inference of
discrimination. McDonnell Douglas Corp. v. Green,411 U.S. 792, 802 (1973). The burden to establish a.
prima facie case of discrimination is not an onerous
one, but a prima facie case allows the ...