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Payne v. CareOne, LLC

United States District Court, D. New Jersey

October 13, 2017

DENISSE PAYNE, Plaintiff,
v.
CAREONE, LLC, CAREONE AT WAYNE, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          KEVIN MCNULTY, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Before the Court is the motion (ECF no. 5) of the defendants ("CareOne") to dismiss Counts One and Two of the Complaint for failure to state a claim. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6). For the reasons stated herein, I will grant the motion, which is unopposed. Because the federal claims lack minimal substance and there have been no significant proceedings in this case, I will decline to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over the remaining state-law claims, and dismiss the Complaint in its entirety.

         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). The complaint's factual allegations must be sufficient to raise a plaintiffs right to relief above a speculative level, so that a claim is "plausible on its face." Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007); see also Ashcroft v. Iqbal. 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009).

         The Complaint alleges that defendant CareOne wrongfully terminated the employment of the plaintiff, Denisse Payne, on August 31, 2015. The termination was purportedly based on Ms. Payne's failure to observe safety precautions when transporting residents in a shuttle van. She alleges that it was really motivated by her sex and pregnancy, as well as her Ecuadorian national origin.

         The Complaint asserts four causes of action:

Count 1: Title VII, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e (wrongful termination based on national origin)
Count 2: Title VII, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e (wrongful termination based on sex and pregnancy)
Count 3: New Jersey Law Against Discrimination ("NJLAD"), N.J. Stat. Ann. § 10:5-1 (wrongful termination based on national origin)
Count 4: NJLAD, N.J. Stat. Ann. § 10:5-12(a) (discriminatory layoff or reduction in force based on pregnancy)

         CareOne has moved to dismiss the Title VII claims, Counts 1 and 2 of the Complaint, as untimely.

         A prerequisite to filing suit under Title VII is exhaustion of administrative remedies. The complainant must file a charge within 180 days of the alleged discrimination. 42 U.S.C. § 200e-5(e)(1). If the EEOC decides not to pursue the claim, it must so notify the claimant, generally through the issuance of a "right to sue letter." See Waiters v. Parson, 729 F.2d 233, 237 (3d Cir. 1984). The claimant then has 90 days to file suit. 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-5(f)(1). The ninety-day statute of limitations is "strictly enforced, " Burgh v. Borough Council of Borough of Montrose, 251 F.3d 465, 472 (3d Cir. 2001), absent a sufficient basis for tolling, Mosel v. Hills Dep't Store, Inc., 789 F.2d 251, 252-53 (3d Cir. 1986).

         The Complaint alleges that "[o]n or about September 10, 2015, Plaintiff filed a complaint with the Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC"), as required under 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-5. On or about October 26, 2015, the EEOC declined to pursue any action against CareOne Wayne or against CareOne." (Cplt. ¶ 15)[1] The Complaint in this action was filed nearly six months later, on April 19, 2017. It is untimely on its face.

         The plaintiff filed no response to the motion to dismiss. In response to a telephone query from the clerk, counsel for the plaintiff confirmed that the motion was uncontested and filed a confirming letter (ECF no. 7). No reason appears that the Court should not follow the usual course of dismissing such an untimely complaint.[2]

         In light of the foregoing, the motion to dismiss Counts 1 and 2 is granted. In light of the considered decision of plaintiffs counsel to file no opposition to the motion, I conclude that amendment would not be sought ...


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