United States District Court, W.D. Missouri, Central Division
NANETTE K. LAUGHREY United States District Judge
before the Court is Defendant State of Missouri, Department
of Revenue's Motion to Dismiss, Doc. 11. For the
following reasons, the motion is granted.
“the late 1990's, ” Plaintiff Roberta Sherrod
worked for the Defendant Missouri Department of Revenue. Doc.
4-1, p. 1. In “1997 and 1998, ” she began to have
respiratory problems, and was diagnosed with Reactive Airway
Disease. Doc. 4, p. 6. Plaintiff's doctor attributed the
disease to her work in the Truman Building, in Jefferson
City, Missouri, and repeatedly wrote to the Defendant
requesting that she be transferred to another location. In
spite of the requests, Defendant refused to accommodate
Plaintiff with a transfer. Defendant also did not allow
Plaintiff to take her medication as prescribed, and instead
only allowed her to take it while she was on her breaks.
Ultimately, in 1998, Plaintiff “was removed on a
stretcher” from work, and placed on long term
disability. Doc. 4-1, p.1.
then, Plaintiff has had an ongoing worker's compensation
case for over eighteen years. On February 17, 2017, Plaintiff
filed a Charge of Discrimination with the EEOC. After the
charge was dismissed, she subsequently brought this suit pro
se, alleging hostile work environment and disability
discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and
the Americans with Disabilities Act.
moves to dismiss under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) for failure to
state a claim upon which relief can be granted. “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.” Zink v.
Lombardi, 783 F.3d 1089, 1098 (8th Cir. 2015) (quoting
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009)). A
claim has facial plausibility when its allegations rise above
the “speculative” or “conceivable, ”
Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570
(2007)), and where “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. at 678. Such a
complaint will be liberally construed in the light most
favorable to the plaintiff. Eckert v. Titan Tire
Corp., 514 F.3d 801, 806 (8th Cir. 2008).
argues that Plaintiff's claims are time-barred under both
the ADA and Title VII. “As a general rule, ‘the
possible existence of a statute of limitations defense is not
ordinarily a ground for Rule 12(b)(6) dismissal unless the
complaint itself establishes the defense.'”
Couzens v. Donohue, 854 F.3d 508, 516 (8th Cir.
2017) (quoting Joyce v. Armstrong Teasdale, LLP, 635
F.3d 364, 365 (8th Cir. 2011)). Here, the complaint
establishes that Plaintiff's claims are time-barred.
condition precedent to maintaining an action under either the
ADA or Title VII, a plaintiff must first exhaust
administrative remedies by filing a timely charge of
discrimination with the EEOC. Nat'l R.R. Passenger
Corp. v. Morgan, 536 U.S. 101, 105 (2002); Henderson
v. Ford Motor Co., 403 F.3d 1026, 1032 (8th Cir. 2005).
“Under the ADA, an employee must file a charge of
discrimination-including failure to accommodate-within 300
days of the alleged discrimination.”
Henderson, 403 F.3d at 1032. The cause of action
accrues on the date that “the adverse employment action
is communicated to the employee.” Id. (citing
Del. State Coll. v. Ricks, 449 U.S. 250, 258
(1980)). Hostile work environment claims under Title VII
require an employee to file a charge of discrimination with
the EEOC within 300 days of any act that contributes to the
claim. 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-5(e)(1); Nat'l R.R.
Passenger Corp., 536 U.S. at 117 (“Provided that
an act contributing to the claim occurs within the filing
period, the entire time period of the hostile environment may
be considered by a court for the purposes of determining
the events on which Plaintiff bases her claims occurred
nearly two decades ago. Page five of the complaint asks
Plaintiff to complete the following sentence: “It is my
best recollection that the alleged discriminatory acts
occurred on the following date(s): __.” Plaintiff wrote
“1998.” Moreover, the complaint also states that
the Defendant “refused to accommodate a doctor ordered
transfer” before it states “[Plaintiff] was
eventually removed on a stretcher and was placed on long term
disability.” Doc. 4, p. 6. According to the complaint,
Plaintiff has been on long term disability “since March
13, 1998.” Doc. 4-1, p. 1. Therefore her failure to
accommodate claim must have accrued before that date, nearly
twenty years ago. Any act that may contribute to
Plaintiff's hostile work environment claim also must have
occurred before she was placed on long term disability.
filed her charge of discrimination with the EEOC for the
first time on February 17, 2017. Nothing in the complaint
occurred in the time since 1998, which is well beyond the 300
day requirement. Plaintiff argues against dismissal on the
grounds that she still has a worker's compensation case
pending, and argues that because she never resigned, she
should still be considered a state employee. However,
Plaintiff's arguments are not relevant to the statute of
limitations issue. To be timely, charges under the ADA and
Title VII must be filed within 300 days of the alleged act of
discrimination. Plaintiff's employment status and pending
worker's compensation case have no bearing on the
timeliness of this action.
reasons set forth above, Defendant's motions to ...