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Foy v. Resolute Acquisition Corporation Inc.

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

August 16, 2019

CRYSTALLE FOY, Plaintiff,
v.
RESOLUTE ACQUISITION CORPORATION, INC., Defendant.

          ORDER ON DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO DISMISS

          James Patrick Hanlon United States District Judge

         Crystalle Foy alleges that her former employer, Resolute Acquisition Corporation, discriminated against her based on her sex, race, national origin, and sexual orientation. Resolute has filed a motion to dismiss these claims. Dkt. [20]. For the reasons that follow, that motion is GRANTED in part and DENIED in part. Ms. Foy's national-origin discrimination claim is DISMISSED but all other claims shall proceed.

         I. Facts and Background

         Because Resolute has moved for dismissal under Rule 12(b)(6), the Court accepts and recites “the well-pleaded facts in the complaint as true.” McCauley v. City of Chicago, 671 F.3d 611, 616 (7th Cir. 2011).

         Ms. Foy began working for Resolute in March 2017 as a direct-care staff member. Dkt. 16 at 2. That July, a supervisor told staff that he needed more supervisors. Id. Ms. Foy told him that she wanted to be a supervisor, but he responded that he wanted to hire a male. Id. Ms. Foy was not promoted. Id. at 3.

         Then, in August 2017, Ms. Foy and five other employees tried to break up a fight between two residents. Id. at 3. All six employees touched the residents at some point, and two employees tried to hold a resident's legs down. Id. The employees succeeded in deescalating the situation. Id.

         The next day, Ms. Foy was terminated for using an illegal hold, even though she did not do so. Id. Non-American and heterosexual staff were not terminated even though they were equally involved in the scuffle, but Ms. Foy- an African-American lesbian-was terminated. Id. at 2, 4.

         Ms. Foy filed a charge of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Dkt. 22-1. She identified herself as “a lesbian African American female” and recounted the incident with the supervisor and the altercation that preceded her termination. Id. She concluded: “I believe that I was discriminated against due to my national origin, American, and my sexual orientation and sex, all in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.” Ms. Foy's amended complaint alleges that Resolute violated Title VII and 42 U.S.C. section 1981 by (1) not hiring her as a supervisor because of her sex and (2) terminating her because of her race, national origin, and sexual orientation.[1] Dkt. 16. Resolute has moved to dismiss these claims.

         II. Applicable Law

         Defendants may move under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) to dismiss claims for “failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted.” Fed. R. Civ. Pro. 12(b)(6). To survive a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, a complaint must “contain 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 Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). A facially plausible claim is one that allows “the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Id.

         Under that standard, a plaintiff must provide “some specific facts” that “raise a right to relief above the speculative level.” McCauley, 671 F.3d at 616 (quoting Brooks v. Ross, 578 F.3d 574, 581 (7th Cir. 2009)). “The degree of specificity required is not easily quantified, but ‘the plaintiff must give enough details about the subject-matter of the case to present a story that holds together.'” Id. (quoting Swanson v. Citibank, N.A., 614 F.3d 400, 404 (7th Cir. 2010)). Applying the procedural pleading requirements to the applicable substantive law is “a context-specific task that requires the reviewing court to draw on its judicial experience and common sense.” Id. at 616.

         When ruling on a 12(b)(6) motion, the Court will “accept the well-pleaded facts in the complaint as true, ” but will not defer to “legal conclusions and conclusory allegations merely reciting the elements of the claim.” Id.

         III. Analysis

         A. Allegations of sex, race, and ...


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