United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
A. ROSS, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter is before the Court on Defendants Heartland Automotive
Services, Inc., d/b/a Jiffy Lube, and Raphael Doriety's
Motion to Dismiss. (Doc. 5.) Plaintiff Jenna Mauller has
filed a Response in Opposition (Doc. 7), and Defendants have
filed a Reply in Support (Doc. 8).
alleges the following facts in her complaint: She was hired
in August 2015 to work at the Jiffy Lube on North New
Florissant Road in Florissant, Missouri, where Doriety was
employed as a supervisor. (Doc. 1 at 2.) On August 25, 2015,
“[a]fter making several sexually suggest[ive] comments
to [Plaintiff], Doriety grabbed [Plaintiff's]
breasts.” (Id.) “Soon thereafter,
” Doriety asked Mauller to join him in the office at
the Jiffy Lube. (Id.) When Plaintiff entered,
Doriety closed and locked the door and positioned himself
between Plaintiff and the exit. (Id.) Doriety
intimated that he would help Plaintiff with payroll issues
and schedule her for additional hours in exchange for sexual
favors. (Id. at 3.) He “then moved toward
[Plaintiff] and unzipped the fly of his pants and said:
‘I need some assistance.'” (Id.)
Plaintiff asked Doriety to unlock the door, left work, and
reported the incident to police. (Id.) She did not
February 17, 2016, Plaintiff requested Right to Sue Letters
from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
(“EEOC”) and the Missouri Human Rights Commission
(“MHRC”). (Doc. 7 at 1.) On August 7, 2017,
Plaintiff filed this suit, alleging discrimination under
Title VII and assault, battery, and false imprisonment under
Missouri law. (Doc. 1 at 3-5.) Defendants moves to dismiss
Plaintiff's Title VII claim as untimely and urges the
court to decline to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over
Plaintiff's remaining Missouri tort claims. (Doc. 5 at
6.) Defendants also argue that Plaintiff's state-law
claims are barred by issue preclusion and fail on the merits.
(Id. at 7-8.)
survive a motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6),
“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, 768 (2009) (citing Bell Atl.
Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). “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
first argue that the Court should dismiss Plaintiff's
Title VII claim as time-barred. (Doc. 5 at 4-6.) Title VII
claims must be brought within ninety days of the date on
which Plaintiff receives the EEOC's right to sue letter.
42 U.S.C. § 2000e-5(f)(1). The EEOC mailed its letter on
March 23, 2016. (Doc. 1-2.) Defendants state in their Reply
that they received a copy of the letter on March 25, 2016
(Doc. 8 at 2, n.2), but Plaintiff asserts that she did not
receive her copy until August 4, 2017, more than sixteen
months after it was mailed (Doc. 1 at 3).
correctly assert that EEOC letters are presumed to have been
delivered three days after they are mailed. Baldwin Cty.
Welcome Ctr. v. Brown, 466 U.S. 147, 148 n.1 (1984)
(citing Fed.R.Civ.P. 6). However, Plaintiff's assertion
that the letter arrived on August 4, 2017, is a factual
matter that the Court is required to accept as true for
purposes of the instant motion. The Court therefore concludes
that the allegations in Plaintiff's August 7, 2017,
complaint are sufficient to rebut the presumption and to
survive dismissal as to the timeliness issue.
do not address the merits of Plaintiff's Title VII claim
in their argument. (See Docs. 5, 8.) Nevertheless,
the Court finds that Plaintiff has not alleged sufficient
factual matter to allow the Court to draw the reasonable
inference that the Defendants are liable for the misconduct
Plaintiff described. See Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 768
plaintiff may establish a violation of Title VII by proving
that discrimination based on sex has created a hostile or
abusive work environment.” Meritor Sav. Bank, FSB
v. Vinson, 477 U.S. 57, 66 (1986). To establish a prima
facie hostile work environment claim based on sexual
harassment, Plaintiff must show that:
(1) she was a member of a protected group;
(2) she was subject to unwelcome ...