United States District Court, W.D. Missouri, Southern Division
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO
ROSEANN A. KETCHMARK, JUDGE.
the Court is Defendant Hyvee, Inc.
(“Defendant”)'s Motion to Dismiss for Failure
to State a Claim and for Lack of Jurisdiction (“Motion
to Dismiss”), and the Motion to Dismiss is fully
briefed. (Docs. 23, 24, 30, 33.) After careful consideration
and for the reasons below, Defendant's Motion to Dismiss
is GRANTED, and this case is
Helen Hoaglin (“Plaintiff”) has amended her
complaint once with leave of this Court. (Docs. 18.) On April
30, 2019, Plaintiff was granted leave to amend her Complaint
a second time but only as to two narrow issues as directed by
the Court's Order. (Doc. 40.) Plaintiff's Amended
Complaint was due on or before May 7, 2019. To date,
Plaintiff has not filed a second amended complaint.
Therefore, the Amended Complaint (Doc. 19) is the operative
complaint for Defendant's Motion to Dismiss.
Amended Complaint alleges a claim for sex discrimination
under the Missouri Human Rights Act (“MHRA”)
against Defendant. (Doc. 19.) The Amended Complaint provides
the following allegations. At all relevant times, Plaintiff
was employed by Defendant. Plaintiff was in a romantic
relationship with her manager Zack Robinson
(“Robinson”), who was employed by Defendant. This
relationship ended on or about January 19, 2017. Thereafter,
Robinson began to “torment” and
“abuse” Plaintiff at work. On October 19, 2017,
Plaintiff filed a charge of discrimination with the Missouri
Commission on Human Rights. The charge of discrimination
filed with the Missouri Human Rights Commission states:
Before January 20, 2017 I was in a relationship with Zack
Robinson. After we broke up he cut hours and began to torment
met when I was at work. After I broke up with Robinson, I
asked for a transfer to avoid his abuse. I was transferred
and then immediately laid off. I was not reinstated even
though Hyvee was advertising open positions. Gail Mayes told
me that I would be back on the schedule by August 14 and then
later September 4, 2017. I am not on the schedule.
(Doc. 19, ¶ 14.)
Amended Complaint alleges, “[i]n retaliation, [o]n or
about January 20, 2017 Hyvee created a sexually hostile work
environment described . . . in Plaintiff's charge of
discrimination.” (Doc. 19, ¶ 14.) The Amended
Complaint also alleges, “Plaintiff was never scheduled
for work again as retaliation by the Defendant for not
continuing her relationship with . . . Robinson” and
“Plaintiff's sex was the contributing factor in the
termination of her employment.” (Doc. 19, ¶ ¶
15, 18.) In support, the Amended Complaint alleges the
following: she “is a member of the category of persons
protected from sex;” “Plaintiff performed her job
duties in a satisfactory manner;” and “Defendant
knew or should have known of the sex discrimination and
unfair treatment against Plaintiff and failed to implement
prompt and appropriate corrective action.”
(Doc. 19, ¶ ¶ 4, 10, 20.)
survive a motion to dismiss pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P.
12(b)(6), “a complaint must contain sufficient factual
matter, accepted as true, to ‘state a claim for 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 where the plaintiff pleads
factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable
inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct
alleged.” Wilson v. Arkansas Dept. of Human
Serv., 850 F.3d 368, 371 (8th Cir. 2017) (internal
quotation marks and citation omitted). While a complaint does
not need to include detailed factual allegations, the
complaint must allege more than a sheer possibility that a
defendant acted unlawfully to survive a motion to dismiss.
Wilson, 850 F.3d at 371 (citation omitted). When
considering a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim,
the well-pled allegations in the complaint must be accepted
as true and construed in the light most favorable to the
nonmoving party. Osahar v. U.S. Postal Service, 263
Fed.Appx. 753, 864 (8th Cir. 2008).
considering a motion to dismiss in a discrimination case at
the pleading stage, the plaintiff is not required to plead
facts sufficient to establish a prima facie case.
Swierkiewicz v. Sorema N.A., 534 U.S. 506, 512
(2002). “The prima facie standard is an evidentiary
standard, not a pleading standard, and there is no need to
set forth a detailed evidentiary proffer in a
complaint.” Rodriguez-Reyes v.
Molina-Rodriguez, 711 F.3d 49, 53 (1st Cir. 2013)
(citing Swierkiewicz, 534 U.S. at 512).
“[E]lements of the prima facie case are [not]
irrelevant to a plausibility determination in a
discrimination suit, ” and these “elements are
part of the background against which a plausibility
determination should be made . . . the elements of a prima
facie case may be used as a prism to shed light upon the
plausibility of the claim.” Id. (citing
Swierkiewicz, 534 U.S. at 512).
motion to dismiss is viewed in the light most favorable to
Plaintiff; therefore, the Court will construe the Amended
Complaint liberally as to what claims are alleged. In viewing
the Amended Complaint in this light, the Court finds the
Amended Complaint alleges the following potential claims
against Defendant: (1) sexual discrimination; (2)