United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
JANE MAGNUS-STINSON JUDGE
action arises out of the termination of Plaintiff Vicki
Vernise Williford's employment with Amazon Fulfillment
(“Amazon”). Ms. Williford, who proceeds
pro se, initiated this lawsuit on June 4, 2018
against Amazon and several other employees (collectively, the
“Individual Defendants”). She alleges
that she was discriminated against on the basis of her race
and age, and that she was retaliated against for complaining
about workplace harassment. Presently pending before the
Court is Defendants' Motion to Dismiss, pursuant to
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). For the following
reasons, the Court GRANTS IN PART and
DENIES IN PART Defendants' Motion.
Rule 12(b)(6), a party may move to dismiss a claim that does
not state a right to relief. The Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure require that a complaint provide the defendant with
“fair notice of what the . . . claim is and the grounds
upon which it rests.” Erickson v. Pardus, 551
U.S. 89, 93 (2007) (quoting Bell Atlantic v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)). In reviewing the
sufficiency of a complaint, the Court must accept all
well-pled facts as true and draw all permissible inferences
in favor of the plaintiff. See Active Disposal
Inc. v. City of Darien, 635 F.3d 883, 886 (7th Cir.
2011). A Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss asks whether the
complaint “contain[s] sufficient factual matter,
accepted as true, to ‘state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.'” Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570). The Court will not accept
legal conclusions or conclusory allegations as sufficient to
state a claim for relief. See McCauley v. City
of Chicago, 671 F.3d 611, 617 (7th Cir. 2011). Factual
allegations must plausibly state an entitlement to relief
“to a degree that rises above the speculative
level.” Munson v. Gaetz, 673 F.3d 630, 633
(7th Cir. 2012). This plausibility determination is “a
context-specific task that requires the reviewing court to
draw on its judicial experience and common sense.”
Court construes pro se complaints liberally and
holds them to a less stringent standard than formal pleadings
drafted by lawyers. See, e.g., Luevano v.
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 722 F.3d 1014, 1027-28 (7th Cir.
accordance with the standard described above, the following
facts are drawn from the allegations in Ms. Williford's
Complaint and are accepted as true for the purpose of
deciding Amazon's Motion to Dismiss.
on September 27, 2017, Ms. Williford was employed as a packer
with Amazon and reported to managers Whitney Trujillo and
Tiffany Couch. [Filing No. 1 at 2.] On November
9, 2017, while working on a “line, ” Ms.
Williford was approached by Ms. Trujillo and asked to fix a
box. [Filing No. 1 at 3.] When Ms. Williford asked a
follow-up question, Ms. Trujillo pushed Ms. Williford out of
the way and yelled at her. [Filing No. 1 at 3.] On
the following day, Ms. Williford reported that incident to
Amanda Berggren in Human Resources. [Filing No. 1 at
3.] Sometime during the following several days, Ms.
Williford made a verbal complaint to manager Aaron Butcher
that Ms. Trujillo was continuing to harass her. [Filing
No. 1 at 3.] Ms. Williford's employment with Amazon
was terminated on November 16, 2017. [Filing No. 1 at
3.] On February 6, 2018, Ms. Williford filed a charge of
discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity
Commission (“EEOC”), alleging
retaliation and discrimination on the basis of race.
[Filing No. 1-1 at 1.]
4, 2018, Ms. Williford filed the instant Complaint, alleging
that Amazon and the Individual Defendants terminated her
employment in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act
of 1964 (“Title VII”) and the Age
Discrimination in Employment Act
(“ADEA”). [Filing No. 1 at 4.]
On August 23, 2018 Amazon filed a Motion to Dismiss Ms.
Williford's Complaint, [Filing No. 18], which is
now fully briefed and ripe for the Court's review.
Defendants move to dismiss Ms. Williford's Complaint,
arguing that: (1) the five Individual Defendant employees
cannot be held liable under Title VII or the ADEA; and (2)
Ms. Williford's Complaint fails to state ...