United States District Court, D. New Jersey
OPINION & ORDER
MICHAEL VAZQUEZ U.S.D.J.
matter comes before the Court on Defendants Rahway Board of
Education and Patricia Camp's (collectively
"Defendants") renewed motion to
dismiss the Complaint pursuant to Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). D.E. 9. Defendants supplemented this
motion. D.E. 18. Plaintiff Jane Small ("Plaintiff) filed
a brief in opposition, D.E. 10, and then also supplemented
that opposition. D.E. 19. Defendants replied to Plaintiffs
opposition. D.E. 20. The Court reviewed the
submissions in support and in opposition, and considered the
motion without oral argument pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 78(b)
and L. Civ. R. 78.1(b). For the reasons stated below,
Defendants' motion to dismiss and supplemental motion to
dismiss are GRANTED.
is an African-American woman of over sixty years of age who,
prior to 2016, had worked as a substitute custodian for the
Rahway Board of Education. D.E. 1 at 3. Defendants are the
Rahway Board of Education and the Superintendent of the
Rahway Public School District, Patricia Camp. Id.
alleges that the Rahway Board of Education hired her in
August 2016 as a full-time custodian to begin in September
2016. Id. at 7. However, on August 31, 2016, the
principal of one of the Rahway schools, Mr. Johnson, called
Plaintiff to inform her that she could not start her new job
due to a positive drug test result. Id. The drug
test was conducted by an outside testing facility, Care
Station Medical Group. D.E. 10 at PG. ID 105. The drug test
states that Plaintiff tested positive for cocaine on August
22, 2016. Id. Plaintiff maintains that
Defendants refused to consider a note from her doctor
explaining that she has a medical condition that caused a
false positive test result. D.E. 1-1 at 6-8. Plaintiffs
doctors' notes list medications prescribed to Plaintiff.
D.E. 10 at PG. ID 102-03. The notes, however, do not explain
or support Plaintiffs claim of a "false positive"
states that Defendants refused to consider her doctors'
notes and hired a younger, white male for the custodial
position instead of her. D.E. 1-1. Defendants argue that they
adhered to the Rahway Public School District Policy 4119.23
in not hiring Plaintiff after she failed the pre-employment
drug screening. Def. Sup. Brf. at 5; D.E. 18. The Policy, in
relevant part, reads, "[p]re-employment testing shall be
administered to an applicant offered a position in the
district prior to the first time the employee performs any
safety-sensitivity function for the district. An applicant
who tests positive will not be hired for any safety-sensitive
position." Id., File 4119.23 Employee Substance
Abuse; D.E. 18-3.
March 24, 2017, Plaintiff filed an application to proceed
in forma pauperis and included her Complaint. D.E.
1. The Complaint alleges claims for employment discrimination
under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 ("Title
VII"), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act
("ADEA"), and the Americans with Disabilities Act
("ADA"). The Court granted Plaintiffs application
to proceed in forma pauperis. D.E. 2. After
screening the Complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2)(B), the Court also allowed Plaintiffs ADEA claim
to go forward. Id. However, the Court dismissed
Plaintiffs claims under the ADA and Title VII without
prejudice for failure to state a claim. Id.
Specifically, the Court noted that Plaintiff had not attached
a right to sue letter from the Equal Employment Opportunity
Commission ("EEOC") as required to bring an ADA or
Title VII claim. Id. The Court, nevertheless,
granted Plaintiff leave to file an amended complaint
correcting the noted deficiencies in the ADA and Title VII
claims within thirty (30) days. Id.
September 13, 2017, Defendants filed a motion to dismiss the
Complaint. D.E. 9. On October 26, 2017, Plaintiff filed a
letter, attaching a right to sue letter from the EEOC. D.E.
11. The following day, Plaintiff filed a brief in opposition
to Defendants' motion to dismiss. D.E. 10. Defendants
then filed a letter with the Court objecting to Plaintiffs
late submission of opposition and her failure to respond to
the Court's instructions in its April 6th
Opinion and Order. D.E. 12.
the Court ordered Plaintiff to show cause why she had not
filed a timely opposition or an Amended Complaint. D.E. 13.
On November 29, 2017, the Court heard oral argument from both
parties on the order to show cause. Afterwards, the Court
ordered that Plaintiffs October 26, 2017 letter, which
included a right to sue letter from the EEOC (D.E. 11),
sufficiently addressed the deficiencies noted in the
Court's April 6, 2017 Opinion and Order, D.E. 2, so that
the ADA and Title VII claims could also go forward. D.E. 17.
Because Plaintiff is proceeding pro se, the Court
excused Plaintiffs tardiness. Further, the Court
administratively terminated Defendants' motion to dismiss
but stated that Defendants could later reinstate and
supplement their motion. Id.
December 14, 2017, Defendants renewed their motion to dismiss
and filed supplemental briefing. D.E. 18. Plaintiff,
belatedly, filed a supplemental brief in opposition. D.E. 19.
Defendants replied to this opposition. D.E. 20. Plaintiff
then filed a letter with the Court, attaching a drug test
dated November 3, 2018 for employment with Gem Limousine.
12(b)(6) governs motions to dismiss for "failure to
state a claim upon which relief can be granted." For a
complaint to survive dismissal under the rule, it must
contain sufficient factual matter to state a claim that is
plausible on its face. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S.
662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl Corp. v. Twombly,550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). A claim is facially plausible
"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.
Although the plausibility standard "does not impose a
probability requirement, it does require a pleading to show
more than a sheer possibility that a defendant has acted
unlawfully." Connelly v. Lane Const. Corp., 809
F.3d 780, 786 (3d Cir. 2016) (internal quotation marks and