United States District Court, W.D. Missouri, Western Division
ORDER AND OPINION GRANTING IN PART AND DEFERRING JUDGMENT IN PART ON DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO DISMISS
ORTRIE D. SMITH, Senior District Judge.
Pending is Defendants' Motion to Dismiss. (Doc. # 11). The Court grants the Motion in part and defers judgment in part pending a hearing.
On September 10, 2014, Plaintiff Nancy Gail Thompson ("Plaintiff") filed a Complaint against Defendants Marshall Public Schools, Board of Education of Marshall Public Schools, and Unknown and Unnamed Defendants 1 through 10 ("Defendants") asserting claims under Title VII and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act ("ADEA"). Plaintiff's claims are based on Defendants' allegedly discriminatory refusal to hire Plaintiff due to her age.
The liberal pleading standard created by the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure requires "a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief." Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 93 (2007) (per curiam) (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2)). "Specific facts are not necessary; the statement need only give the defendant fair notice of what the... claim is and the grounds upon which it rests.'" Id. (citing Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)). In ruling on a motion to dismiss, the Court "must accept as true all of the complaint's factual allegations and view them in the light most favorable to the Plaintiff[ ]." Stodghill v. Wellston School Dist., 512 F.3d 472, 476 (8th Cir. 2008).
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. 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. 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. 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.
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009).
In keeping with these principles a court considering a motion to dismiss can choose to begin by identifying pleadings that, because they are no more than conclusions, are not entitled to the assumption of truth. While legal conclusions can provide the framework of a complaint, they must be supported by factual allegations. When there are well-pleaded factual allegations, a court should assume their veracity and then determine whether they plausibly give rise to an entitlement to relief.
Id. at 1950.
A plaintiff must timely file a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") in order to bring suit in federal court for both ADEA and Title VII claims. Hutson v. Wells Dairy, Inc., 578 F.3d 823, 825 (8th Cir. 2009). A plaintiff must file an EEOC charge within 300 days of the "alleged unlawful employment practice." 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-5(e)(1). A refusal to hire is a discrete act, not a continuing violation. Woodland v. Joseph T. Ryerson & Son, Inc., 302 F.3d 839, 842 (8th Cir. 2002). When a discrete act occurs, the start of the 300-day limitations period begins. Hutson, 578 F.3d at 826. However, the timely filing of an EEOC charge is not a jurisdictional requirement to bring suit in federal court; rather it is a condition precedent which "is subject to waiver, estoppel and equitable tolling." Lawrence v. Cooper Communities, Inc., 132 F.3d 447, 451 (8th Cir. 1998). The equitable tolling doctrine can apply when the EEOC has misled a plaintiff as to the requirements for filing a charge. Id.
Here, Plaintiff claims Defendants refused to hire her because of her age on two occasions - in the spring of 2011 and the spring of 2013. In Plaintiff's response to Defendants' Motion to Dismiss, she claims for the first time that she relied on ...