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Arce v. Bank of America

United States District Court, Third Circuit

November 15, 2013

JUAN CARLOS ARCE, Plaintiff,
v.
BANK OF AMERICA, JARED STEUBING, ERIC JOHNSON and COURTNEY KILEY, Defendants.

OPINION

JOEL A. PISANO, District Judge.

Presently before the Court is Defendant, Bank of America, N.A.'s ("Defendant") motion to dismiss pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) [docket #5]. Plaintiff, Juan Carlos Arce ("Plaintiff"), opposes this motion by filing a "motion to strike Defendant's motion to dismiss" [docket #6]. Defendant opposes Plaintiff's motion to strike [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 #5] and DENIES Plaintiff's motion to strike [docket #6].

I. BACKGROUND

Plaintiff's Complaint, received by the Court on April 30, 2013, essentially consists of ten (10) causes of action pursuant to: (1) the New Jersey Conscientious Employee Protection Act ("CEPA"), N.J.S.A. 34:19-5 and 34:19-8; (2) false claims in violation of N.J.S.A. 2A:32C-10; (3) sexual harassment in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:33-4; (4) Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e; (5) slander and libel in violation of N.J.S.A. 2A:14-3; (6) the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act ("USERRA"), 38 U.S.C. §§ 4301-4335; (7) the Americans with Disabilities Act 42 U.S.C. §§ 12102, et seq. ; (8) the Right to Financial Privacy Act, 12 U.S.C. § 3401; (9) the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, 15 U.S.C. §§ 6801, et seq. ; and (10) Obstruction of Criminal Investigation in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1510. For the sake of clarity, the Court will address Plaintiff's factual allegations specific to each cause of action in separate paragraphs.

(1) In support of his CEPA claim, Plaintiff alleges that Defendant(s) violated N.J.S.A. 34:19-5 by wrongfully terminating him on March 14, 2013. Compl., p. 4. Plaintiff claims that Defendant(s) used tardiness as the reason for terminating him and that such action constitutes wrongful termination. Compl., p. 3. Further, Plaintiff claims that Defendant used tardiness as a pretext for termination, but that he was terminated for reporting claims of sexual harassment to the human resources department. Compl., p. 3.

(2) Plaintiff makes no factual allegations, other than listing the statute in his complaint, regarding false claims in violation of N.J.S.A. 2A:32C-10. Compl., p. 3.

(3) Plaintiff asserts that Defendant Eric Johnson sexually harassed him by discussing the possibility of "opening a strip club and how profitable it would be with the consumption of alcohol" in front of Plaintiff and two female associates, Adrienne Murphy and Shanee Abbott. Compl., p. 3. Plaintiff further alleges that Defendant Eric Johnson stated to an individual named Nation Price that a customer "needed a relationship review" while gyrating and making inappropriate body motions. Compl., p. 3. Plaintiff claims that he was sexually harassed when Defendants Eric Johnson and Jared Steubing discussed how to court females, and when Defendant Jared Steubing told Plaintiff he should use a bucket at his workstation for a bathroom. Compl., pp. 3-4.

(4) Plaintiff states that Defendant(s) violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act by denying his constitutional right to practice his religious beliefs. Compl., p. 3. Plaintiff further alleges that Defendant(s) showed preference to non-minority clients, treated minority clients with bias, and further gave minority employees (such as Plaintiff, Shanee Abbott and Adrienne Murphy) fabricated warnings to prevent them from advancing within the company. Compl., pp. 3-4. Moreover, Plaintiff claims that Defendant failed to discipline Pooja Jajal for stating "I love the way you people' have the ability to do anything with your hair" and that she intended "you people" to mean black people; therefore, Defendant(s) allowed Adrienne Murphy and Shanee Abbott to be racially discriminated against. Compl., p. 4.

(5) In support of his slander and libel claims, Plaintiff alleges that he was in a meeting with individual Defendants Courtney Kiley, Jared Steubing and Eric Johnson, where he was accused in writing of running through the lobby in a loud and angry manner. Compl., p. 4. Plaintiff further claims that Defendant Jared Steubing told Plaintiff he was perceived as violent and other employees feared him[1]. Compl., p. 4.

(6) Moreover, Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Eric Johnson violated USERRA by stating that Plaintiff was not eligible for military pay while on duty. Compl., p. 3. Plaintiff further states that on October 12, 2012, Defendant(s) required Plaintiff to work until 1 p.m. despite his mandatory obligation to report to the Army National Guard at such time. Compl., p. 3.

(7) Plaintiff asserts that Defendant Eric Johnson violated the ADA on January 31, 2013, by telling Plaintiff he had to stand despite being aware of Plaintiff's medical restrictions. Compl., p. 4. Plaintiff further alleges that Defendant Jared Steubing told Plaintiff he would be fired if he attempted to seek any medical accommodations. Compl., p. 4.

(8) Plaintiff makes no factual allegations, other than listing the statute in his complaint, regarding a violation of the Right to Financial Privacy Act, 12 U.S.C. § 3401. Compl., p. 3.

(9) Plaintiff alleges that Defendant(s) violated the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act by illegally asking Plaintiff to disclose account information surrounding the business of Augustus Brown. Compl., p. 4.

(10) Last, Plaintiff alleges that on March 13, 2013, Defendant(s) obstructed a criminal investigation in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1510 by denying Plaintiff the ability to report suspicious activities, which were endangering public safety, to the authorities. Compl., p. 3.

II. DISCUSSION

a. Legal ...


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