United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
G. FLEISSIG UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court on Defendant Team Select Home Care
of Missouri, Inc.'s (“Team Select”) motion to
dismiss (ECF No. 23) and Defendant Algonquin Nurses Home
Health Care I, LLC's (“Algonquin”) motion for
summary judgment (ECF No. 29). Plaintiff opposes both
motions. For the reasons set forth below, Team Select's
motion to dismiss will be granted in part and denied in part,
and Algonquin's motion for summary judgment will be
30, 2018, Plaintiff filed her lawsuit in state court,
asserting claims of discrimination on the basis of sex and
pregnancy, in violation Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of
1964, 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000e, et seq., the Missouri
Human Rights Act (“MHRA”), Mo. Rev. Stat. §
213.055, and outrageous conduct and negligent infliction of
emotional distress under Missouri law. Specifically,
Plaintiff claims that she was employed as an office clerk
with Defendants until she was terminated on August 16, 2017,
for “excessive absenteeism due to her pregnancy.”
Complaint (“Compl.”), ECF No. 5 at ¶ 14. She
alleges that during her employment with Defendants, Plaintiff
was “subjected to discriminatory treatment” and
suffered “intolerable working conditions and a hostile
environment in which to work.” Id. at
¶¶ 9-10. Plaintiff contends that her manager,
Heather Sessions, exhibited a discriminatory attitude after
being informed that Plaintiff was pregnant and had to go on
medically-ordered bedrest. Plaintiff further claims that Ms.
Sessions “specifically expressed discontent about being
required to do any work because of any employee's
maternity leave.” Id. at ¶ 17.
about September 25, 2017, Plaintiff filed a charge of
discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity
Commission (“EEOC”) and the Missouri Commission
on Human Rights (“MCHR”), alleging that she was
terminated after she missed work due to medically-necessary
pregnancy-related restrictions. ECF No. 5-2. She alleged that
she was treated differently and more harshly than other
employees with serious medical conditions.
MCHR issued a notice of right to sue on April 18, 2018, and
the EEOC issued a notice of right to sue on May 2, 2018.
Plaintiff filed her complaint on July 30, 2018, and she
alleges in her complaint that her lawsuit was “being
filed within ninety (90) days of receipt of the two
letters.” Compl. at ¶ 7. On September 27, 2018,
Team Select timely removed this action to federal court, and
on December 10, 2018, the Court denied Plaintiff's
request to remand this action to state court.
OF THE PARTIES
motion to dismiss, Team Select argues that Plaintiff's
MHRA claim is untimely because Plaintiff filed suit more than
90 days after the right to sue letter was issued by the MCHR.
It also argues that Plaintiff fails to state a claim of sex
and pregnancy discrimination under the MHRA and Title VII
because her complaint only contains conclusory allegations
rather than specific facts establishing a prima facie case.
Lastly, Team Select argues that Plaintiff fails to state a
claim of outrageous conduct or negligent infliction of
emotional distress under Missouri law.
responds that she did not receive a copy of the MCHR right to
sue letter until Plaintiff's counsel requested a copy on
the date this lawsuit was filed in state court, and further
that there is no proof that Plaintiff ever requested a right
to sue letter from the MCHR. She next argues that she
sufficiently pled facts to support her sex and pregnancy
discrimination claim, as well as outrageous conduct and
negligent infliction of emotional distress under Missouri
reply, Team Select argues that whether Plaintiff expressly
requested a right to sue letter from the MCHR is irrelevant.
It contends that Plaintiff admits that her lawsuit was filed
more than 90 days following the issuance of the right to sue
letter and, as a result, her MHRA claims must be dismissed as
untimely. It then reiterates its arguments with respect to
Plaintiff's failure to state a claim under Title VII and
Algonquin argues in its motion for summary judgment that it
never employed Plaintiff, and thus should not be a party to
this litigation. It submits two affidavits supporting its
motion. Plaintiff responds that granting summary judgment
would be premature in light of the early stage of this
litigation. She also directs the Court to the Missouri
Secretary of State's business search page, which
indicates a relationship between Algonquin and Team Select.
Thus, Plaintiff maintains that discovery on this issue is
Select's Motion to Dismiss
Standard of Review
survive a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim, a
plaintiff's allegations 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) (quoting
Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570
(2007)). The reviewing court must accept the plaintiff's
factual allegations as true and construe them in the
plaintiff's favor, but it is not required to accept the
legal conclusions the plaintiff draws from the facts alleged.
Id. at 678; Retro Television Network, Inc. v.
Luken Commc'ns, LLC, 696 F.3d 766, 768-69 (8th Cir.
Count I - ...