United States District Court, W.D. Missouri.
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO
Roseann A. Ketchmark, Judge
the Court is Defendant Heartland Regional Medical Center
(“Defendant”)'s Motion to Dismiss. (Doc. 7.)
The Motion to Dismiss is fully briefed. After careful
consideration and for the reasons below, the Motion to
Dismiss is GRANTED.
October 4, 2018, Plaintiff MartheI Parsons
(“Plaintiff”) filed her Petition in the Circuit
Court of Buchanan County. On November 8, 2018, Defendant
removed the Petition to this Court. (Doc. 1.) Plaintiff's
Complaint alleges the following claims: (I) failure to
accommodate in violation of the Missouri Human Rights Act
(“MHRA”); (II) disability discrimination and
hostile work environment in violation of the MHRA; (III)
retaliation in violation of the MHRA; (IV) common law claims
of breach of contract and misrepresentation; (V) violation of
the Missouri Service Letter Act, § 290.140; (VI) sexual
discrimination in violation of the MHRA and Title VII of the
Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”); and (VII)
race discrimination in violation of the MHRA and Title VII.
(Doc. 1-1.) All claims arise from Plaintiff's employment
with the Defendant. (Doc. 1.) Plaintiff was employed by
Defendant beginning on or about September 26, 2013, through
April 24, 2014. (Id.)
20, 2019, the Court held a status conference with the
parties. (Doc. 21.) The Court granted the parties an
opportunity to make supplemental filings on the issue of
whether Plaintiff's claims were time-barred by the
applicable statute of limitations. On June 3, 2019, Plaintiff
and Defendant filed supplemental suggestions on the issue
(docs. 23, 24). On June 18, 2019, Defendant filed a
supplemental reply (doc. 25).
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 At!.
Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). 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. US. Postal Service, 297
F.3d Appx. 863, 864 (8th Cir. 2008). “A Court may
dismiss a claim under Rule 12(b)(6) as barred by the statute
of limitations if the complaint itself establishes that the
claim is time-barred.” Illig v. Union Elec.
Co., 652 F.3d 971, 976 (8th Cir. 2011). See also
Varner v. Peterson Farms, 371 F.3d 1011, 1016 (8th Cir.
2004) (“when it appears from the face of the complaint
itself that the limitation period has run, a limitations
defense may be properly asserted through a Rule 12(b)(6)
motion to dismiss”) (internal quotation marks and
argues dismissal is appropriate for three reasons: (1)
Plaintiff's Title VII and MHRA claims are time-barred by
their applicable statutes of limitations; (2) Plaintiff's
state common law claims of breach of contract and
misrepresentation are preempted by the MHRA; and (3)
Plaintiff fails to allege facts which could support that
Defendant violated the Missouri Service Letter Act. Plaintiff
has responded in opposition to the Motion to Dismiss as to
issues one (1) and three (3) but failed to respond as to
issue two (2).
Plaintiff's Title VII and MHRA claims are time-barred by
the applicable statutes of limitations.
argues that the applicable statutes of limitations bar
Plaintiff's Title VII and MHRA claims. Defendant argues
that Plaintiff's MHRA claims are governed by the
limitations period set forth in Mo. Rev. Stat. §
213.111.1, and Plaintiff's Title VII claims are governed
by the limitations period set forth in 42 U.S.C. §
2000e-5(f)(1). Defendant argues that the limitations periods
set forth in these two statutes expired prior to Plaintiff
filing this case. Defendant argues that Mo. Rev. Stat.§
516.230, the Missouri Savings Statute, is not applicable to
Plaintiff's MHRA claims or Title VII claims.
argues that her Title VII and MHRA are not time barred and
should not be dismissed because these claims were timely
filed in accord with the applicable statute of limitations.
Plaintiff argues the statute of limitations applicable to her
Title VII and MHRA claims is Missouri Revised Statute §
516.230, and that she filed her claims within the time period
required by this statute.
statute of limitations applicable to Title VII claims,
concerning Plaintiff's claims alleging sexual
discrimination (Count VI) and race discrimination (Count
VII), is set forth in 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-5(f)(1). This
statute provides that a complainant may file a private cause
of action in court under Title VII once she has received a
right to sue letter from the Equal Employment Opportunity
Commission (EEOC), and that any such action must be filed
within ninety days of the complainant's receipt of this
letter. See Fort Bend County, Texas v. Davis, 139
S.Ct. 1843, 1847 (2019) (discussing the process of filing a
complaint with the EEOC and option thereafter “ within
90 days following [“right to sue”] notice, the
complainant may commence a civil action against the allegedly
offending employer”) (citing§ 2000e-5(f)(1)).
“This ninety-day period constitutes a limitations
period that bars a suit that is not filed within that
time.” Hales v. Casey's Marketing Co., 886
F.3d 730, 736 (8th Cir. 2018).
statute of limitations applicable to MHRA claims, such as
those made by Plaintiff in this case (Counts I-III, VI-VII),
is set forth in Mo. Rev. Stat.§ 213.111.1. This statute
states in relevant part that “the commission [Missouri
Commission on Human Rights] shall issue to the person
claiming to be aggrieved a letter indicating his or her right
to bring a civil action ....” and that “[a]ny
action brought in court under this section shall be filed
within ninety days from the date the commission's
notification letter to the individual but no ...