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Vega v. Teamsters Local Union No. 102

United States District Court, D. New Jersey

August 7, 2014

ROBERTO VEGA, CARMEN FERNANDEZ, LUPE GARCIA, ZARAIDA ZEVALLOS, CATALINA MARIN, ADRIANA VIZCAINO, CLARA FERNANDEZ, MANUEL E. ASCOTS-GARCIA, and ROSANNA L. ZORRILLA, Plaintiffs,
v.
TEAMSTERS LOCAL UNION NO. 102, FIRST AMERICAN INC., FIRST GROUP AMERICA COMPANY, INC., FIRST STUDENT MANAGEMENT LLC, and FIRST STUDENT INC., Defendants.

OPINION

KEVIN MCNULTY, District Judge.

Defendant Teamsters Local Union No. 102 (the "Teamsters" or the "Union") has moved to dismiss the Complaint ("Compl., " Docket No. 1) filed by the plaintiffs, Roberto Vega, Carmen Fernandez, Lupe Garcia, Zaraida Zevallos, Catalina Marin, Adriana Vizcaino, Clara Fernandez, Manuel E. Ascots-Garcia, and Rosanna L. Zorrilla. (Docket No. 10).

For the reasons set forth below, the Complaint is dismissed as to the Union. Dismissal is without prejudice to the filing of a properly supported motion for leave to file an amended complaint within 30 days.

I. BACKGROUND

According to the Complaint[1] (Docket No. 1-2), Defendant Teamsters Local Union No. 102 has unionized certain employees, including Plaintiff Vega, at the First Student, Inc. site in Lincoln Park, New Jersey. Defendant First Student, Inc., also employs other Plaintiffs as bus drivers at the site in Rochelle Park, New Jersey. Compl. ΒΆΒΆ 1, 2.

On November 6, 2013, Plaintiffs filed this action in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Bergen County (Docket No. BER-L-8622-13). On December 17, 2013, the Defendants removed the action to this Court. Docket No. 1.

The Complaint comprises three claims: (Count 1) failure to utilize the grievance procedure pursuant to the collective bargaining agreement;[2] (Count 2) hostile work environment under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination ("NJLAD") based on actions committed by a supervisor, Joanne Lazzari; and (Count 3) unpaid wages.

Three of the four defendants-First Student, Inc., FirstGroup America, Inc., [3] and First Student Management LLC-have filed an Answer to the Complaint. Docket No. 8. On January 7, 2014, the remaining defendant, Teamsters Local Union No. 102, moved to dismiss the Complaint as to itself. Docket No. 10. That motion is now before the Court.

II. DISCUSSION

A. Standard of Review

Rule 12(b)(6) provides for the dismissal of a complaint, in whole or in part, if it fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. The defendant, as the moving party, bears the burden of showing that no claim has been stated. Hedges v. United States, 404 F.3d 744, 750 (3d Cir. 2005). In deciding a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, a court must take the allegations of the complaint as true and draw reasonable inferences in the light most favorable to the plaintiff. Phillips v. County of Allegheny, 515 F.3d 224, 231 (3d Cir. 2008) (traditional "reasonable inferences" principle not undermined by Twombly, see infra ).

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a) does not require that a complaint contain detailed factual allegations. Nevertheless, "a plaintiff's obligation to provide the grounds' of his entitlement to relief' requires more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do." Bell All. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). Thus, the complaint's factual allegations must be sufficient to raise a plaintiff's right to relief above a speculative level, so that a claim is "plausible on its face." Id. at 570; see also Umland v. PLANCO Fin. Serv., Inc., 542 F.3d 59, 64 (3d Cir. 2008). That facial-plausibility standard is met "when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556). While "Nile plausibility standard is not akin to a probability requirement'... it asks for more than a sheer possibility." Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678.

B. Analysis

The Union moves to dismiss each claim brought by Plaintiffs for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P 12(b)(6). For the reasons set forth ...


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