United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
STEPHEN R. CLARK UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter comes before the Court on Defendants' Jason
Iannantuoni, Helen Bidol, Adam Levy, U.S. Vision, Inc., and
Nationwide Vision Center, Inc.'s Motion to Dismiss
Plaintiff's Complaint  and Plaintiff's Motion for
Extension of Time to File a Response . The Court grants
Defendants' Motion and dismisses Plaintiff's claims.
21, 2019, Plaintiff Karen Burrow-Threlkeld filed a complaint
in the Circuit Court of St. Louis County asserting Defendants
discriminated against her due to her religion and they
retaliated against her in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 2000e
et seq. (“Title VII”). On July 17, 2019,
Defendants removed the case to this Court. On August 15,
2019, Defendants filed the pending Motion to Dismiss. On
September 11, 2019, the Court issued an order to Plaintiff to
show cause, by September 26, 2019, as to why Defendants'
Motion should not be granted. Plaintiff filed a response on
September 18, 2019. Her response made it clear to the Court
that she did not understand the Court's order. On
September 30, 2019, the Court issued a second order that
granted Plaintiff additional time to file a response to
Defendants' Motion, referred her to the Court's Legal
Advice Clinic for self-represented litigants, and sent her a
civil complaint form should she seek to amend her complaint.
Plaintiff filed additional responses on October 16, 2019, and
December 16, 2019. Plaintiff includes the following
allegations in her Complaint.
alleges that for three years, Plaintiff's work caused her
stress requiring her to take medication and causing her to
have panic attacks upon entering the building. As she
contacted the human resources department about the problems,
the situation worsened. Plaintiff alleges she sometimes
worked 18, 21, or 25 days in a row. In July 2018, she
reported to the EEOC.
claims she began working in September 2002, and that
Iannantuoni's dislike of Plaintiff began as soon as he
started with U.S. Vision. He first tried to write her up in
2016 for not servicing a customer while Plaintiff was on her
lunch break. In 2018, the company held a town hall meeting
with the CEO Adam Levy. Employees were permitted to ask
questions and Plaintiff asked how often employees were to
receive an annual review. Levy responded once a year.
Plaintiff stated she had not received a review from
Iannantuoni since 2015 and he would not give her a copy of
the review. She had only had five reviews during her
employment from 2002 to 2018. Levy promised to check on it
and get back to her, but he did not.
to Plaintiff, in February 2018, Iannantuoni came in to do a
business review, which Plaintiff had not seen him do from
2015 to 2018. He reported sales were down in 2016 and up in
2017. Iannantunoi came in to give Plaintiff her 2016 review,
in 2018, and indicated Plaintiff had poor customer service
issues. When Plaintiff questioned it, Iannantuoni crossed it
out but did not change her rating, leaving her with an
overall rating of less than one. This meant Plaintiff did not
meet company standards. In 2018, Plaintiff claims she
received a “good commission” and received awards
from Iannantuoni and Ted Brown, the regional manager.
However, she still received a rating of less than one.
alleges that in response to her review, Plaintiff emailed
human resources “to find out if maybe Janson
Iannantuoni just signed my name to the reviews.” Bidol
responded that it was against company policy and apologized
for not “releasing” Iannantuoni to give Plaintiff
her reviews, “[b]ut all of those who did receive them
did get their raises.” During her employment, Plaintiff
had an “Optec” working under her and she would
receive a 90-day review to complete and annual reviews to
complete, which she would return to human resources.
alleges, on May 8, 2018, Iannantuoni wrote up Plaintiff when
a customer called the “optical help line” to
report defective merchandise or lab error. Iannantuoni wrote
Plaintiff up for not agreeing to lie about her Optec.
Iannantuoni picked-on her from the beginning of her
employment. Plaintiff believes it was because Plaintiff went
to the regional manager to hire the Optec because she needed
help. Hiring this Optec allowed Plaintiff a day off but
Iannantuoni made it hard for the Optec to stay. He initially
hired her to work full-time with benefits but after 45 days,
he cut her to 18 hours per week and she quit.
to Plaintiff, from 2016 until 2018, Plaintiff reported to
human resources but feels this only hurt her. She would ask
Iannantuoni for help but he would not send anyone to assist
her. Iannantuoni hired someone to help Friday through Sunday
but this did not help on the days a doctor was in the office,
Mondays and Wednesdays. Plaintiff would work from 9:30 a.m.
to 6:30 p.m. without time to eat lunch and she had to stay
late to catch up. Iannantuoni hired someone to work on
Saturdays but, as a manager, Plaintiff could not take every
Saturday off so she was still required to work seven days a
week. Another manager had every Friday and Saturday off but
Iannantuoni did not write her up even though he tried to
write up Plaintiff for this.
waited for her 2017 review to see how Iannantuoni rated her.
She did not receive anything so on July 6, 2018, she emailed
human resources and received a response on July 12, 2018. On
July 17, 2018, Iannantuoni came to do her review for 2018,
but Plaintiff refused to sign it because she never received a
2017 review. Plaintiff received a rating of less than 1. In
2016 and 2017, sales were up but Plaintiff did not receive a
raise. They were up again in July 2018, but her rating was
still poor. Plaintiff states, “Helen claim to add 2017
and 2018 together. Very, Very wrong.” Plaintiff
believes this was a way to try to get her to quit.
claims that from July 4, 2018 until late November 2018, she
worked open to close by herself. On July 11, 2018, Plaintiff
sent an email asking for help and to get coverage for
Plaintiff's week-long vacation. Iannantuoni did not
respond. Plaintiff receives five weeks of vacation a year,
and if she does not use them, she loses them. Another manager
requested time off to go on vacation a week before Plaintiff.
This manager called Plaintiff and told her Iannantuoni found
help for his vacation and Iannantuoni did not know of
Plaintiff's request. Plaintiff again contacted human
resources. They did not believe her and asked her to forward
the email in which she asked for help. Even after sending it,
Michelle Hawkins, in human resources, did not believe
concluding her Complaint, Plaintiff states, “I have
been with this company for over 16 years and sales have
always been great within U.S. Vision. I have received less
than $2.00 in raises overall within this company. I have
worked hard for them, doing everything that they as (sic) me
to do as long as it does not go against the Word of