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Firrello v. MacY's Inc.

United States District Court, Third Circuit

October 23, 2013



JOEL A. PISANO, District Judge.

Presently before the Court is Defendant, Macy's Inc.'s ("Defendant") motion to dismiss pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) [docket #7]. Plaintiff, Terri Firrello ("Plaintiff"), opposes this motion [docket #8]. The Court considered the papers filed by the parties and rules on the written submissions without oral argument pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 78.

For the reasons that follow, this Court GRANTS Defendant's motion to dismiss in its entirety [docket #7].


Plaintiff's Complaint, received by the Court on April 10, 2013, consists of five (5) causes of action[1] pursuant to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Civil Rights Act of 1991, Sections 1981 through 1988 of Title 42 of the United States Code, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 ("ERISA"), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 ("ADEA"), the Family and Medical Leave Act ("FMLA"), the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA"), the Equal Pay Act ("EPA"), the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination ("NJLAD"), or "any public policy, contract, tort, or common law." Compl., Count Six ¶ 2. The following allegations are taken from Plaintiff's Complaint and are accepted as true for purposes of this Court's review only.

Plaintiff was hired by Defendant on or about November 15, 1992, as a part-time night sales associate in Defendant's Bridgewater, New Jersey location. Compl., Count One ¶ 3. Throughout her employment, Plaintiff was promoted and ultimately became sales manager of cosmetics. Compl., Count One ¶ 3. On or about February 5, 2012, Plaintiff resigned from her employment with Defendant. Compl., Count One ¶ 4. Plaintiff alleges that she was treated unfairly in relation to other similarly situated employees, such as having to work more nights and weekends than others. Plaintiff further states that she was forced to resign due in part to her age[2] and as retaliation for expressing concerns over Defendant's business practices[3]. Compl., Count One ¶¶ 4 and 8. Plaintiff claims that the State of New Jersey Unemployment Agency's decision, which entitled Plaintiff to unemployment benefits, is proof of forced termination. Compl., Count One ¶ 5.

Counts One, Two, Four and Five of Plaintiff's Complaint contain similar factual allegations relating to Defendant's alleged adverse employment action, retaliation, defamation, and intent to defraud Plaintiff. None of these Counts contain citations to any law or statute. Conversely, Count Six contains no additional factual allegations but states that Defendant's actions constitute a violation of the statutes and law(s) referenced above.


a. Legal Standard

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) provides for the dismissal of a complaint if the plaintiff fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2), a pleading must contain "a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief." This pleading standard does not require "detailed factual allegations, " but it does require "more than labels and conclusions"; a "formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action" will not suffice. Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombley, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). Therefore, in order to withstand a motion to dismiss pursuant to 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).

The plausibility standard is satisfied "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. The plausibility standard is not a "probability requirement, " but "it asks for more than a sheer possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully." Id. To decide if a complaint meets this plausibility standard and therefore, survives a motion to dismiss, the Third Circuit has required a three step analysis: (1) the Court must "outline the elements a plaintiff must plead to... state a claim for relief"; (2) the Court must identify "those allegations that are no more than conclusions and thus not entitled to the assumption of truth"; and (3) "where there are well-pleaded factual allegations, [the Court] should assume their veracity and then determine whether they plausibly give rise to an entitlement for relief." Bistrian v. Levi, 696 F.3d 352, 365 (3d Cir. 2012); Santiago v. Warminster Twp., 629 F.3d 121, 130 (3d Cir. 2010).

b. Analysis

As stated above, Counts One through Five of Plaintiff's Complaint state facts without identifying any statute or law to support Plaintiff's grounds for relief. Count Six of Plaintiff's Complaint repeats and realleges all of the facts from Counts One through Five, and then lists ten (10) possible grounds for relief. This Court assumes that Plaintiff intended the grounds for relief listed in Count Six to support the factual allegations of Counts One through Five. For the sake of ...

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