United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
CATHERINE D. PERRY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Saundra Agnew is a United States Postal Service employee. She
brings this lawsuit against the Postal Service claiming that
it discriminated against her in her employment by subjecting
her to a hostile work environment on account of her race, in
violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42
U.S.C. §§ 2000e, et seq. The Postal Service now
moves to dismiss Agnew's complaint under Fed.R.Civ.P.
12(b)(6) for failure to state a claim. Agnew has not
responded to the motion, and the time to do so has passed. I
will grant the motion.
purpose of a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6) is to test
the legal sufficiency of the complaint. Fed.R.Civ.P.
12(b)(6). When reviewing a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, I assume the
allegations in the complaint to be true and construe the
complaint in plaintiff's favor. See Bell Atl. Corp.
v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555-56 (2007). I am not bound
to accept as true, however, a legal conclusion couched as a
factual allegation. Id. at 555.
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). The
factual allegations must be sufficient to “‘raise
a right to relief above the speculative level.'”
Parkhurst v. Tabor, 569 F.3d 861, 865 (8th Cir.
2009) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). More than
labels and conclusions are required. Twombly, 550
U.S. at 555. “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.” Iqbal, 556 U.S.
Saundra Agnew is an African-American woman who works for the
Postal Service at the National Distribution Center in
Hazelwood, Missouri. Pam Meehan, a Caucasian woman, is the
plant manager at the distribution center who Agnew claims
subjected her to a hostile work environment on account of her
respect to alleged discriminatory conduct directed toward
her, Agnew claims as follows:
• An employee meeting was called in June 2016 for the
purpose of recognizing the good work of certain employees,
but Meehan did not acknowledge Agnew as such an employee.
Agnew claims that Meehan yelled at her and “got into
[her] face” for talking while Meehan was talking, at
which time Agnew left the meeting and returned to her work
station. Meehan and another manager followed Agnew to her
work station, and Meehan stated that she wanted to speak with
her. Agnew requested that a union representative be present,
but Meehan refused. Agnew avers that the denial of this
request was because Meehan has a pattern of yelling at and
berating African-American employees and did not want a union
representative present while she engaged in this conduct.
Agnew also avers that the presence of both Meehan and the
other manager at her work station was intended to physically
intimidate her, which caused Agnew to fear for her safety.
• On an unspecified date, an employee town hall meeting
was held where employees were told that Meehan would answer
questions put to her. Meehan answered questions posed by two
white employees with no incident. When Agnew asked Meehan
about supervisors making a “big deal” about
employees requesting certain days off, Meehan yelled at her.
• On an unspecified date, Meehan requested Agnew to
perform physical tasks that were outside her medical
restrictions. Agnew avers that Meehan made this request for
the purpose of disrespecting her as an African-American.
also claims generally that Meehan gives hostile looks to
African-American employees, refuses to speak to them, and
ignores them. Agnew avers that this conduct causes
African-American employees to be isolated from white
employees. Agnew contends that Meehan's bullying and
disrespect toward African-American employees has created a
hostile work environment, which is perceived by Agnew to be
abusive. Agnew claims that this environment causes her to
feel humiliated and embarrassed and has caused emotional
distress, loss of dignity, and sleeplessness. She seeks
motion to dismiss, the Postal Service claims that Agnew's
complaint fails to state a claim of discriminatory hostile
work environment because the conduct of which Agnew complains
is not actionable harassment and the facts fail to allege
that the conduct affected a term, condition, or privilege of
her employment. Agnew has not responded to the motion, and