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Eiler v. Kelly

United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division

March 14, 2017

ERIN EILER, Plaintiff,
v.
JOHN F. KELLY, [1] et al, Defendants.

          ENTRY ON MOTION TO DISMISS AND FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

          HON. WILLIAM T. LAWRENCE, JUDGE

         This cause is before the Court on the Defendants' Motion to Dismiss and for Summary Judgment (Dkt. No. 85). Plaintiff Erin Eiler filed a brief response to the motion (Dkt. No. 88). In light of the unusual procedural history of this case, the Court sua sponte gave Eiler a second opportunity to respond. See Dkt. No. 101.[2] She did not avail herself of the opportunity to file a more thorough response. The Court now, being duly advised, GRANTS IN PART AND DENIES IN PART the Defendants' motion to the extent and for the reasons set forth below.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Eiler filed this case on March 20, 2015, in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois utilizing a form Complaint of Employment Discrimination. Dkt. No. 1. By checking boxes on the form Complaint, she alleged the following claims: age discrimination under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (“ADEA”); claims under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 for discrimination based on color, national origin, race, religion, sex/gender; discrimination based on disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) and/or the Rehabilitation Act; race discrimination under 42 U.S.C. § 1981; and sex/gender discrimination under the Equal Pay Act. Under “other” on the form, Eiler asserted a claim for discrimination based on “social class/financial status.” Eiler indicated on the form that she had filed an EEOC charge and received a Notice of Right to Sue; however, although the form instructed her to attach a copy of both documents to the Complaint, it does not appear that she did so.

         In her Complaint, Eiler asserted that the Defendants discriminated against her: by terminating her employment in August 2009; by failing to accommodate her disabilities in August 2009; by failing to hire her in August 2012; by interfering with her exercise or enjoyment of rights; and with respect to the compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment. Under “other” she wrote:

Defendant terminated Plaintiff's employment August 2009 for issue of “liability.” Defendant issued letter of discrimination received on or about August 28, 2012, for background check/consumer reports (attached).[3]

         Where the form requested “the essential facts of your claim, ” she wrote:

Defendant and TSA discriminated against the Plaintiff-employee August 2009, when her employment as a Transportation Security Officer at Sioux Falls Regional Airport was terminated by TSA employees-Defendant. Plaintiff was again discriminated against on or about August 28, 2012, when she was refused employment by TSA or Defendant due to Financial Credit Report-Consumer Reports. Plaintiff received instrumentation of discrimination by attached letter she received describing non-hiring status. This was “unconstitutional” means to disqualify an applicant or employee based upon status-social class, disability, sex, religion, race, color, age, sexual orientation, parental status and those of which a Democratic Nation is founded to protect.

         Eiler later was granted leave to file an Amended Complaint, which was docketed on June 18, 2015. Dkt. No. 16. The Amended Complaint consisted of the original Complaint, but added additional Defendants.

         II. DISCUSSION

         The remaining Defendants[4] in this case move to dismiss all but one of the claims asserted in the Amended Complaint; they move for summary judgment on the remaining claim.

         A. Disability Discrimination

         The Defendants correctly argue that Eiler cannot bring an action for disability discrimination under the Rehabilitation Act because such claims are preempted by the Aviation and Transportation Security Act (“ATSA”) as they relate to TSA security screeners. Joren v. Napolitano, 633 F.3d 1144, 1146 (7th Cir. 2011) (“We now join every other circuit to have considered the question and conclude that the plain language of the ATSA preempts application of the Rehabilitation Act to security screeners.”) (citing Castro v. Sec'y of Homeland Sec.,472 F.3d 1334, 1337 (11th Cir. 2006); Conyers v. Merit Sys. Prot. Bd.,388 F.3d 1380, 1383 (Fed. Cir. 2004); see also Conyers v. Rossides, 558 F.3d 137, 144 (2nd Cir. 2009)). Eiler also cannot bring an ...


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