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Ernest v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.

United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division

May 3, 2018

MARC T. ERNST, Plaintiff,
v.
WAL-MART STORES, INC., Defendant.

          OPINION, MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          HENRY EDWARD AUTREY, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This matter is before the Court on Defendant's Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's First Amended Complaint, [Doc. No. 11]. Plaintiff opposes the Motion, and Defendant has filed a Reply to the Opposition. For the reasons set forth below, the motion is granted in part and denied in part.

         Introduction

         Plaintiff filed this action against Defendant alleging violations of the Family Medical Leave Act, 29 U.S.C. § 2615 (FMLA), and the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 12111-12117 (ADA). Plaintiff filed his First Amended Complaint on October 5, 2017. Defendant filed its Amended Motion to Dismiss on January 26, 2018.

         Facts and Background[1]

         Plaintiff's Amended Complaint alleges the following facts and background:

         Plaintiff was employed by Defendant from September 2009 until January 4, 2017.

         Plaintiff has a disability as defined by the ADA. Prior to October 2016, Plaintiff informed Defendant of his disability. In October 2016, Defendant granted FMLA leave to Plaintiff to accommodate Plaintiff's disability.

         On December 28, 2016, Plaintiff informed Defendant of an upcoming medical procedure related to his disability. The same day, Plaintiff requested that Defendant grant him FMLA leave in February 2017 for that medical procedure. Plaintiff “qualified for FMLA.” On January 4, 2017, Defendant discharged Plaintiff on the grounds that three months earlier, Plaintiff had worked six minutes over his shift time. During the preceding three months, Defendant never notified Plaintiff about the six minute overage.

         Plaintiff filed a charge of discrimination with the EEOC against Defendant and received his notice of right to sue on August 23, 2017.

         Defendant moves to dismiss the Amended Complaint for failure to state a claim upon which relief could be granted.

         Discussion

         Under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6), a party may move to dismiss a claim for “failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.” The notice pleading standard of Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2) requires a plaintiff to give “a short and plain statement showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.” To meet this standard and to survive a Rule 12(b)(6) 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) (internal quotations and citation omitted). This requirement of facial plausibility means the factual content of the plaintiff's allegations must “allow[ ] the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Cole v. Homier Distrib. Co., 599 F.3d 856, 861 (8th Cir. 2010) (quoting Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678). Courts must assess the plausibility of a given claim with reference to the plaintiff's allegations as a whole, not in terms of the plausibility of each individual allegation. Zoltek Corp. v. Structural Polymer Group, 592 F.3d 893, 896 n. 4 (8th Cir. 2010) (internal citation omitted). This inquiry is “a context-specific task that requires the reviewing court to draw on its judicial experience and common sense.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679. The Court must grant all reasonable inferences in favor of the nonmoving party. Lustgraaf v. Behrens, 619 F.3d 867, 872-73 (8th Cir. 2010).

         FMLA ...


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