United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
A. ROSS, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court on Defendant The Judge Group's
Motion to Dismiss. (Doc. 3). Plaintiff has responded (Doc.
7), and Defendant replied (Doc. 9).
is an international staffing and training organization that
places employees with clients on a temporary contract basis.
Plaintiff was hired by Defendant and places as a business
analyst in the IT Finance & Investment Solutions group at
RGA Reinsurance Company. (See Doc. 1-5.) In his
complaint, Plaintiff alleges that Defendant discriminated
against him by failing to give him adequate notice that his
contract would not be renewed. (Doc. 1.) He attaches a
February 22, 2017, email that he wrote to RGA's Director
of IT Development and Application Support, in which he says
that he was notified that day by Defendant that his
employment would end two days later, on February 24. (Doc.
1-5 at 2.) RGA responded that it had told Defendant about the
termination nearly two weeks before. (Id. at 1.)
Plaintiff believes that Defendant's delay in informing
him that the contract would not be renewed amounted to
race-based discrimination in violation of Title VII of the
Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. §§ 2OOOe,
et seq., and Missouri Law. (Doc. 1-4.) He filed
suit, asserting that the late notice resulted in five months
of lost pay, a gap in employment that could negatively affect
his future prospects, and a loss of health insurance. (Doc. 1
complaint, Plaintiff represents that he filed charges of
discrimination with both the Equal Employment Opportunity
Commission ("EEOC") (Doc. 1-3), and the Missouri
Commission on Human Rights ("MCHR"), on August 22,
2017-179 days after his contract was terminated. (Doc. 1 at
3; Doc. 1-4.) However, he also attaches a copy of his MCHR
charge, which is date-stamped January 9, 2018-319 days after
his contract was terminated. (Doc. 1-4.) He did not attach a
copy of his EEOC charge to his complaint. (See Doc.
moved to dismiss the complaint, arguing that Plaintiffs
date-stamped MCHR complaint proves that his claims are
unambiguously time-barred by the 180-day time limit on EEOC
and MHRC filings. (Doc. 3.) In response, Plaintiff submitted
a computer screenshot of his record on the EEOC's public
web portal. (Doc. 7-1.) Under the My Charge heading, it
reads: "The charge of employment discrimination filed on
08/25/2017 with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity
Commission (EEOC) by Venkata L. Chowdada against THE JUDGE
GROUP is available for you to view online."
(Id.) Below, under the My Documents heading, it
lists "CP's Affidavit, Form 283, Charge
Questionnaire, and documents submitted," noting that
those were added by the EEOC on August 29, 2017.
(Id.) Plaintiff asserts that the portal supports his
assertion that his claims are not time-barred. (Id.)
first argues that the Court cannot consider the screenshot of
the EEOC portal because it was not attached to Plaintiffs
complaint. (Doc. 9.) It asserts that the Court must rule on
its Motion to Dismiss based solely on the complaint and the
attachments thereto. (Id.) In addition, Defendant
argues that the portal only proves that Plaintiff filed a
Form 283 questionnaire, not a Form 5 formal charge of
discrimination. (Doc. 9.) Asserting that an EEOC charge is
not filed for timeliness purposes until the plaintiff submits
a Form 5, Defendant points to a December 28, 2017 letter from
the EEOC, in which Plaintiff is directed to fill out and
return a Form 5, as evidence that Plaintiff had not yet done
so. (See Doc. 7-1.)
survive a motion to dismiss under 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, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly,
550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). A claim is facially plausible
"when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows
the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant
is liable for the misconduct alleged." Id.
(citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556). "While a
complaint attacked by a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss does
not need detailed factual allegations, a plaintiffs
obligation to provide the 'grounds' of his
'entitle[ment] to relief requires more than labels and
conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a
cause of action will not do." Twombly, 550 U.S.
at 555, 127 S.Ct. 1955 (alteration in original) (citations
omitted). "When ruling on a motion to dismiss [under
Rule 12(b)(6)], the district court must accept the
allegations contained in the complaint as true and all
reasonable inferences from the complaint must be drawn in
favor of the nonmoving party." Young v. City of St.
Charles, 244 F.3d 623, 627 (8th Cir. 2001).
failure to timely file a complaint with the commission may be
raised as a complete defense by a respondent or defendant at
any time, either during the administrative proceedings before
the commission, or in subsequent litigation." Mo. Rev.
Stat. § 213.075. Under Missouri law, a complaint to the
MHRC must be filed within 180 days of the alleged act of
discrimination. Id. EEOC complaints are similarly
subject to a 180-day deadline "unless the complainant
also files a charge with an appropriate state agency."
Arnold v. St. Louis Metro. Police Dep 't Bd. of
Police Comm'rs, No. 4.T1-CV-01155 CDP, 2013 WL
147843, at *10 n.6 (E.D. Mo. Jan. 14, 2013). When a Missouri
plaintiff files a charge of discrimination with the EEOC, the
applicable limitations period extends to 300 days.
last day on the contract at issue was February 24, 2017.
(Doc.1-4.) He asserts that he filed a charge of
discrimination with the EEOC well within the time period for
doing so. (Doc. 1 at 3.) He attaches the screenshot of the
EEOC portal as proof. (Doc. 7-l.) Defendant argues that the
screenshot does not support Plaintiffs claim that he filed a
Form 5 charge with the EEOC on August 22, 2017-only that he
submitted a Form 283 questionnaire. (Doc. 9.) The Court notes
that the documentation Plaintiff submits may raise questions
as to the timing of his filing. Specifically, the portal
lists August 25, 2017, as the date the charge of
discrimination was filed, which contradicts Plaintiffs
asserted filing date of August 22. (See Doc. 1 at 3;
Doc. 7-1 at 1.)
there is no dispute that Plaintiffs EEOC filing extended the
statute of limitations for his claim to 300 days and set
December 21, 2017, as the deadline for filing. 42 U.S.C.
§ 2OOOe-5(e)(1); Mo. Rev. Stat. § 213.075.2.
Accepting as true Plaintiffs assertion that he filed his
charge of discrimination on August 22, Iqbal, 556
U.S. at 678, Plaintiffs EEOC charge of discrimination was
filed within 300 days of the alleged discrimination. The
Court notes that additional timeliness issues may be
developed through discovery and addressed in a later motion,
but at this juncture, if the Court accepts Plaintiffs
asserted filing date as true and finds that his Title VII
claim is timely.
analysis surrounding the timing of Plaintiffs MHRC charge of
discrimination is different. First of all, the Supreme Court
has held that the limitations period begins to run "when
the plaintiff receives notice of a termination
decision," Hernton v. Aarons, Inc., No.
4:17-CV-01441-AGF, 2018 WL 2364284, at *2 (E.D. Mo. May 23,
2018) (citing Chardon v. Fernandez,454 U.S. 6, 8
(1981)), meaning the appropriate start date is February 22,
2017, when Plaintiff sent an email complaining about the lack
of notice, (Doc. 1-5). While the change in start date does
not affect the timeliness of Plaintiffs EEOC charge-which is
subject to a 300-day period-it does mean his asserted filing
date of August 22, 2017, was 181 days after he was notified
of his impending termination. (See Doc. 1 at 3.)
Importantly, the 180-day deadline for filing MHRC claims does