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Nguyen v. Quick Check

United States District Court, Third Circuit

December 16, 2013

JACQUELINE NGUYEN, Plaintiff,
v.
QUICK CHECK, STORE #129, Defendant.

OPINION

JOEL A. PISANO, District Judge.

Presently before the Court is Defendant's Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's Amended Complaint [docket # 21]. Pro se Plaintiff Jacqueline Nguyen initially commenced this action against defendant Quick Chek Corporation[1] ("Quick Chek") on or around May 31, 2012. Ms. Nguyen filed an Amended Complaint on September 17, 2012 [docket # 3]. Plaintiff's allegations arise from discrimination she claims to have suffered during her employment with Quick Chek. Although the Amended Complaint is difficult to decipher and contains very few factual allegations, Plaintiff seemingly alleges discrimination and failure to accommodate under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 ("ADA"), sexual harassment under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, violations of the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination, N.J.S.A. 10:5-1 et seq. ("NJLAD"), and tortious interference with Plaintiff's prospective economic benefit.

For the reasons set forth below, Defendant's Motion to Dismiss is GRANTED. Plaintiff's Amended Complaint is DISMISSED with prejudice.

I. BACKGROUND

Upon review of Plaintiff's Amended Complaint, it is not entirely clear what claims are being asserted. Plaintiff makes bald assertions in her Amended Complaint with virtually no support or specifics. For the purpose of disposition of the instant motion to dismiss, the following factual allegations asserted in the complaint will be accepted as true and viewed in a light most favorable to Plaintiff.[2]

It appears that for some unspecified period, Plaintiff was employed by Defendant Quick Chek at "Store #129" in Somerset County, New Jersey. Plaintiff does not identify which position she held at Quick Chek, but states that part of her duties included cooking and cleaning. In sum and substance, Plaintiff claims that she was discriminated against by her employer because of her alleged disability and suffered sexual harassment while employed by Quick Chek. Additionally, Plaintiff claims that Defendant made false allegations about her to prospective employers.

A. Disability Discrimination

Plaintiff claims that she was discriminated against because she suffers from a disability which causes pain in her hands and back and limits her ability to perform "hard duty" such as "cleaning constantly, " putting her "hands in hot water, " and cooking.[3] Plaintiff alleges that as a result of her disability, she could no longer perform the cooking and cleaning duties required by her original position. Plaintiff contends that she requested to be transferred to a cashier position to accommodate her disability. According to Plaintiff, her request "to work in the cashier" was refused.[4] Plaintiff further alleges that as a result of her request for an accommodation, she suffered retaliatory "abuses and neglects, " which caused "injuries."

B. Sexual Harassment

Plaintiff alleges that at some point during her employment she was sexually harassed by "men brushing on to abuse [her]."[5] According to Plaintiff, she reported the alleged sexual abuse to her supervisor at Quick Chek, identified by Plaintiff as Liz Ferraro, and that Ms. Ferraro failed to report the harassment. Plaintiff further claims that Ms. Ferraro "used her power over [P]laintiff to cause fear" and possibly encouraged others to sexually harass Plaintiff.[6]

C. Tortious Interference

Finally, Plaintiff claims that Defendant made "wrongful allegations" against her "as to being a trouble making and ineffective employee" to prospective employers. According to Plaintiff, the allegations made by Defendant "are not true and are made without substance." Plaintiff contends that the "the wrongful making of allegations against [her]... precluded [her] from finding alternate employment" and "effectively deprived [her] of other employment opportunit[ies]."[7]

II. LEGAL STANDARD

"Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2) requires that a complaint contain a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief, ' in order to give the defendants fair notice of what the... claim is and the grounds on which it rests." Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) provides for the dismissal of a complaint, in whole or in part, if the plaintiff fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. In deciding a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), a court must "accept as true all of the allegations in the complaint and all reasonable inferences that can be drawn therefrom, and view them in the light most favorable to the plaintiff." Morse v. Lower Merion Sch. Dist., 132 F.3d ...


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