United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
G. FLEISSIG UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter is before the Court upon review of plaintiff Charles
Pointer's response to the Court's order to show
cause. (Docket No. 6). On January 2, 2019, the Court ordered
plaintiff to show cause why his case should not be dismissed
for failure to state a claim. (Docket No. 5). Specifically,
the Court noted that plaintiff had filed his lawsuit pursuant
to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII), the
Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA), and the
Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA). However,
plaintiff's complaint improperly named an individual,
rather than employer, as the sole defendant. For the reasons
discussed below, the Court will construe plaintiff's
response as a request to add the City of St. Louis as a
defendant, and direct the Clerk of Court to issue process
upon it. Additionally, the Court will dismiss plaintiff's
claims against defendant Maggie Ludwig.
29, 2018, plaintiff filed his pro se complaint under Title
VII, the ADEA, and the ADA. (Docket No. 1 at 1). He named
Maggie Ludwig, a human resource specialist, as the sole
alleged that he was discriminated against on the basis of
race, age, and disability when he was not hired as a police
dispatcher. (Docket No. 1 at 8). He stated that he was
qualified for the job and that there were no
non-discriminatory reasons for him not to be hired. (Docket
No. 1 at 4). Plaintiff further claimed that promissory
estoppel “was broken because one of the officials
promised to send the results of the interview” to him,
but failed to do so.
requested that his name be placed on the list of people to be
hired. (Docket No. 1 at 9). He also sought $100, 000 in
compensatory damages, $100, 000 in punitive damages, and
$100, 000 for mental anguish.
January 2, 2019, the Court ordered plaintiff to show cause
why his case should not be dismissed for failure to state a
claim. The Court noted that plaintiff's complaint was
defective because it named an individual defendant, rather
than an employer, and that individuals are not liable under
Title VII, the ADEA, or the ADA.
filed his response on January 22, 2019. He states that he did
not know that he was supposed to name the employer in the
case caption, and that his error was harmless. (Docket No. 6
at 2). Furthermore, he points out that his Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission (EEOC) administrative charge names the
City of St. Louis as the party that discriminated against
him. (Docket No. 2 at 2-3; Docket No. 1-4 at 1).
to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e), the Court is required to dismiss
a complaint filed in forma pauperis if it is frivolous,
malicious, or fails to state a claim upon which relief can be
filed an administrative charge with the EEOC alleging that he
had been discriminated against on the basis of race, age, and
disability. (Docket No. 1-4 at 1). The EEOC mailed him a
right to sue letter on June 5, 2018, giving him ninety days
in which to file a lawsuit. (Docket No. 1-3 at 1). Plaintiff
filed this action within that ninety day period, on June 29,
2018. It appears, therefore, that plaintiff's lawsuit is
timely and that he has exhausted his administrative remedies.
complaint is defective to the extent that it names an
individual defendant, rather than an employer. Under Title
VII, individual employees are not personally liable.
Spencer v. Ripley Cty. State Bank, 123 F.3d 690,
691-92 (8th Cir. 1997). See also
Bonomolo-Hagen v. Clay Central-Everly Cmty. Sch. Dist.,
121 F.3d 446, 447 (8th Cir. 1997). Likewise,
individuals cannot be held liable under the ADEA. See
Kelleher v. Aerospace Community Credit Union, 927
F.Supp. 361, 363 (E.D. Mo. 1996) (“[T]he Court
reaffirms its previous decisions that individuals cannot be
held liable under the ADEA”); and Birkbeck v.
Marvel Lighting Corp., 30 F.3d 507, 511 (4th
Cir. 1994) (holding “that the ADEA limits civil
liability to the employer”). Finally, individual
defendants cannot be held personally liable for violations of
the ADA. See Alsbrook v. City of Maumelle, 184 F.3d
999, 1005 n. 8 (8th Cir. 1999); and Walsh v.
Nevada Dep't of Human Resources, 471 F.3d 1033, 1038
(9th Cir. 2006).
case, defendant Maggie Ludwig, a human resources specialist,
is an individual employee, not an employer. As such, she
cannot be held liable under Title VII, the ADEA, or the ADA.
Therefore, plaintiff's claims against her must be
plaintiff's show cause response will be construed as a
request to add the City of St. Louis as a defendant. Such
request will be granted, and the Clerk of Court will be
directed to add the City of St. Louis as a defendant. As
noted above, plaintiff's lawsuit appears timely and his
administrative remedies with the EEOC fully exhausted. Thus,
the Clerk of Court will be directed to ...