United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
C. HAMILTON, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court upon Defendant Karen Walker's
Motion to Dismiss, filed March 6, 2017. (ECF No. 4). The
motion is fully briefed and ready for disposition.
about December 28, 2016, Plaintiff Lanette Starks, a Food
Service Worker for Defendant Aramark, filed a Complaint in
the Circuit Court of St. Louis County, Missouri, against
Aramark and her former manager, Defendant Karen Walker. (ECF
No. 3). In her Complaint, Plaintiff alleges she was denied
assignments and equal pay because of her association with her
disabled son, and her past participation as a witness in
Aramark's internal investigations of employee complaints
of discrimination. (Id.). Plaintiff further asserts
she was “harassed, paid less, denied time off, and
assigned to less favorable shifts…in violation of
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.”
Walker removed Plaintiff's case to this Court on February
27, 2017, on the basis of federal question jurisdiction. (ECF
No. 1). As noted above, she filed the instant
Motion to Dismiss on March 6, 2017, asserting Plaintiff's
Complaint against her must be dismissed because (1) Title VII
does not create a cause of action for discrimination,
retaliation, and/or harassment based on a person's
association with a disabled person, and (2) there can be no
individual liability under Title VII or the Americans with
Disabilities Act (“ADA”). (ECF No. 4).
FOR MOTION TO DISMISS
ruling on a motion dismiss, the Court must view the
allegations in the complaint in the light most favorable to
Plaintiff. Eckert v. Titan Tire Corp., 514 F.3d 801,
806 (8th Cir. 2008). The Court, “must accept
the allegations contained in the complaint as true and draw
all reasonable inferences in favor of the nonmoving
party.” Coons v. Mineta, 410 F.3d 1036, 1039
(8th Cir. 2005) (citation omitted). The
Complaint's factual allegations must be sufficient
“to raise a right to relief above the speculative
level, ” however, and the motion to dismiss must be
granted if the Complaint does not contain “enough facts
to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its
face.” Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550
U.S. 544, 555, 570 (2007) (abrogating the “no set of
facts” standard for Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) found in
Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 45-46 (1957)).
Furthermore, “the tenet that a court must accept as
true all of the allegations contained in a complaint is
inapplicable to legal conclusions. Threadbare recitals of the
elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory
statements, do not suffice.” Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009) (citing
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555 (pleading offering only
“labels and conclusions” or “a formulaic
recitation of the elements of a cause of action” will
Walker asserts Plaintiff's claims against her under Title
VII and the ADA must be dismissed because individual
liability is precluded under those statutes. “[T]he
Eighth Circuit squarely [holds] that supervisors may not be
held individually liable under Title VII.” Watts v.
U.S. Bank, No. 4:16CV46, 2016 WL 6873450, at *2 (E.D.
Mo. November 22, 2016) (internal quotations and citations
omitted). See also Favaloro v. BJC Healthcare, No.
4:14CV284, 2015 WL 6531867, at *4 (E.D. Mo. Oct. 28, 2015)
respect to the ADA, “[a]lthough the Eighth Circuit has
not addressed whether individuals may be liable under Title I
of the ADA, this Court has stated its belief that the Eighth
Circuit would determine that suits may not be brought against
individual defendants under the ADA.”
Favaloro, 2015 WL 6531867, at *4 (citations
omitted). See also Breidenbach v. Shillington Box Co.,
LLC, No. 4:11CV1555, 2012 WL 85276, at *3 (E.D. Mo. Jan.
11, 2012); Ebersole v. Novo Nordisk, Inc., No.
1:11CV25, 2011 WL 6115655, at *1 (E.D. Mo. Dec. 8, 2011);
McCann v. New World Pasta Co., No. 4:10CV1694, 2010
WL 4180717, at *2 (E.D. Mo. Oct. 20, 2010); Donnelly v.
St. John's Mercy Med. Ctr., No. 4:08CV347, 2008 WL
2699859, at *2 (E.D. Mo. June 30, 2008); Stevenson v.
Best Buy Corp., No. 4:03CV1188, 2005 WL 3434770, at * 3
(E.D. Mo. Dec.14, 2005).
Those decisions have been based on the fact that the
ADA's definition of “employer” is practically
identical to the definition of “employer” in two
other federal statutes that address discrimination: the Age
Discrimination in Employment Act (“ADEA”), 29
U.S.C. § 630(b), and Title VII, 42 U.S.C. §
2000e(b). It is well-settled in the Eighth Circuit that
individuals are not subject to individual liability under
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and longstanding
precedent in this Court also holds that individuals are not
liable under the ADEA.
Ebersole, 2011 WL 6115655 at *1 (citations omitted).
to these authorities, Plaintiff's Title VII and ADA
claims against Defendant ...