United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Southeastern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
L. WHITE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter is before the Court on Defendants' Motion to
Dismiss Plaintiffs claims against Loretta Dodson
("Dodson") (ECF No. 30). The motion is fully
briefed and ready for disposition. Upon review of the
motions, the responses, and the exhibits, the Court will
grant Defendants' motion with respect to Plaintiffs
claims under the MHRA and Title VII.
brings this action against Defendants Manpower, Inc.
("Manpower") and Dodson under the Missouri Human
Rights Act ("MHRA"), Mo. Rev. Stat.
§§213.010, et seq., Title VII of the Civil
Rights Act of 1964, as amended, 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000e,
et seq., and 42 U.S.C. § 1981. Plaintiff
alleges discrimination based on her race, African American,
stemming from an October 16, 2014 work incident that
allegedly involved a piece of tape with a written racial
epithet on her work cart. (Second Am. Compl. ¶¶ 14,
17-19, ECF No. 20) Plaintiff further alleges that neither her
supervisor, Defendant Dodson, nor her employer, Defendant
Manpower, followed proper procedure in addressing her report
of discrimination. (Id. at ¶¶ 21-35)
Instead, Plaintiff claims that she was fired at the end of
her shift in retaliation for reporting the racial
discrimination after she preserved the evidence by taking a
photo. Defendants told Plaintiff she was "fired"
for violating company policy prohibiting cameras on-site.
(Id. at ¶¶ 37, 40-44)
December 23, 2014, Plaintiff filed a Charge of Discrimination
with the Missouri Commission on Human Rights
("MCHR") and the Equal Employment Opportunity
Commission ("EEOC") against Defendant Manpower on
the basis of race and retaliation. (Pl.'s Ex. 1, ECF No.
24) In the Particulars, Plaintiff mentions two line
leaders/supervisors to which she reported the incident,
Dodson, a Caucasian individual, and Kelvin Mackins, an
African American individual. (Id.) Plaintiff states
that Dodson tried to convince her that the workers were not
racist, and Mr. Mackins told her the line was from a rap
song. (Id.) In the Intake Questionnaire, Plaintiff
mentions three individuals, Ms. Dodson, Mr. Mackins, and the
on-site manager, Nick Reynolds. Plaintiff states that Loretta
Dodson informed her of the reason she was let go and that
Dodson failed to act as thought the situation was important.
(Pl.'s Ex. 2, ECF No. 24)
filed a Petition against Defendants Manpower, The Procter
& Gamble Paper Products Company,  and Dodson in state court on
September 16, 2015. She filed a First Amended Petition on
September 17, 2015. Defendants removed the case to federal
court on the basis of federal question jurisdiction. After
Defendants filed a motion to dismiss, Plaintiff filed a
Second Amended Petition ("Complaint"). Defendants
then renewed their Motion to Dismiss the claims against
Dodson for failure to exhaust administrative remedies.
(Defs.' Mot. to Dismiss, ECF No. 30)
complaint must be dismissed under Federal Rule 12(b)(6) for
failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted if
the complaint fails to plead "enough facts to state a
claim to relief that is plausible on its face." Bell
Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007).
"Factual allegations must be enough to raise a right to
relief above the speculative level...." Id. at
555. Courts must liberally construe the complaint in the
light most favorable to the plaintiff and accept the factual
allegations as true. See Schaaf v. Residential Funding
Corp., 517 F.3d 544, 549 (8th Cir. 2008) (stating that
in a motion to dismiss, courts accept as true all factual
allegations in the complaint); Eckert v. Titan Tire
Corp., 514 F.3d 801, 806 (8th Cir. 2008) (explaining
that courts should liberally construe the complaint in the
light most favorable to the plaintiff). However,
"[w]here the allegations show on the face of the
complaint there is some insuperable bar to relief, dismissal
under Rule 12(b)(6) is appropriate." Benton v.
Merrill Lynch & Co., 524 F.3d 866, 870 (8th Cir.
2008) (citation omitted).
argue that the Court must dismiss the claims against Dodson
because Plaintiff failed to name Dodson as a respondent in
the Charge of Discrimination, thus failing to exhaust her
administrative remedies. Plaintiff responds that she named
Dodson in the Particulars and in the EEOC Intake
Questionnaire such that Dodson knew or should have known of
the charge against her. In addition, Plaintiff contends that
she was not represented by an attorney during the
administrative process, and she should retain her right to
complete redress without hindrance from procedural
requirements. Finally, Plaintiff asserts that Defendant
Dodson has not been prejudiced.
the Missouri Human Rights Act ("MHRA"):
[a]ny person claiming to be aggrieved by an unlawful
discriminatory practice may make, sign, and file with the
commission a verified complaint in writing .. . which shall
state the name and address of the person alleged to have
committed the unlawful discriminatory practice and which
shall set forth the particulars thereof and such other
information as may be required by the commission.
Rev. Stat. § 213.075.1. Further, a claimant under the
MHRA "must exhaust administrative remedies by timely
filing an administrative complaint and either adjudicating
the claim through the MCHR or obtaining a right-to-sue
letter." Tart v. Hill Behan Lumber
Co., 31 F.3d 668, 671 (8th Cir. 1994). Thus, for a
plaintiff to exhaust her administrative remedies, "[s]he
must name all of those alleged to be involved in the
discriminatory behavior in [her] original administrative
charge." Breidenbach v. Shillington Box Co.,
LLC, No. 4:11CV1555 JCH, 2012 WL 85276, at *6 (E.D. Mo.
Jan. 11, 2012) (citing Hill v. Ford Motor Co., 277
S.W.3d 659, 669 (Mo. 2009)).
requirement that an individual be named in the charge to then
be included in a later civil suit serves the purpose of
"giv[ing] notice to the charged party and providing] an
avenue for voluntary compliance without resort to litigation
... ." Hill, 277 S.W.3d at 669 (citations
omitted). "If allowing suit would not be inconsistent
with these purposes, then some federal cases have forgiven a
failure to join the individual in the initial charge."
Id. (citation omitted). A plaintiff meets the
requirements for naming an individual where a substantial
identity of interest exists between ...