United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Fort Myers Division
OPINION AND ORDER 
POLSTER CHAPPELL UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter comes before the Court on Defendant City of Sanibel,
Florida's Motion to Dismiss (Doc. 14), which Plaintiff
Kerry Griner opposes (Doc. 17). For the following reasons,
the Court grants the motion with leave to amend.
case arises from Griner's former employment for the City
of Sanibel's Police Department. Sometime last year,
Griner complained to his superiors, Lieutenants Thompson and
Dalton (collectively, the “Lieutenants”), that a
fellow female officer was sexually harassed. (Doc. 10 at
¶¶ 12-14). An alleged sham investigation ensued
that resulted in the Lieutenants finding no harassment.
(Id. at ¶¶ 16-19). The Lieutenants then
met with Griner and the female officer. The Lieutenants
allegedly accused Griner of “inflaming and fabricating
the entire series of events that led to the [harassment]
complaint, ” and they questioned his “integrity,
honesty, and judgment.” (Id. at ¶¶
20-21). After the meeting, Griner worked the night shift
alongside “the female officer and the male officer
accused of the harassment.” (Id. at ¶
thereafter resigned because “[t]he disparaging verbal
discipline created a hostile work environment and began to
unreasonably interfere with [his] ability to perform within
the confines of the department.” (Id. at
¶ 28; Doc. 10-3). He also believed the Lieutenants
disliked him because he reported the alleged harassment. And
based on his prior experience, the Lieutenants “pushed
out” people they did not like. (Doc. 10 at ¶¶
25-26). To protect his professional reputation, Griner was
allegedly forced to resign. (Id. at ¶ 29).
days after his resignation, Griner filed a charge of
discrimination with the requisite federal and state agencies.
(Doc. 10-4). He thereafter timely filed this suit. (Doc. 10;
Doc. 10-2). He brings this four-count action for retaliation
and constructive discharge under Title VII of the Civil
Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”) and the Florida
Civil Rights Act of 1992 (“FCRA”). The City now
moves to dismiss the Amended Complaint.
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8, a plaintiff is
required to provide a short and plain statement of the claim
showing entitlement to relief. Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). Although
the complaint need not make detailed factual allegations, it
must provide more than labels, conclusions, and formulaic
recitations of the elements of the cause of action. See
Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555
pleading stage, Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8 is
read in conjunction with Rule 12(b)(6). When considering a
motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), the reviewing court
must accept all factual allegations in the complaint as true
and view them in a light most favorable to the plaintiff.
See Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678
(2009). But this preferential standard of review does not
permit all pleadings adorned with facts to survive to the
next stage of litigation. The Supreme Court has been clear on
this point - a district court should dismiss a claim where a
party fails to plead facts that make the claim facially
plausible. See Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570. A
claim is facially plausible when the court can draw a
reasonable inference, based on the facts pled, that the
opposing party is liable for the alleged misconduct.
See Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. This
plausibility standard requires “more than a sheer
possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully.”
Id. (internal quotation marks and citation
omitted)). Conclusory allegations do not “unlock the
doors of discovery” for a plaintiff. Id. at
678-79. “Nor does a complaint suffice if it tenders
‘naked assertion[s] devoid of ‘further factual
enhancement.'” Id. at 678 (quoting
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 557).
brings two counts of retaliation under Title VII and the FCRA
and two counts of constructive discharge under the same
statutes. The City moves to dismiss all counts for failure to
state a claim. (Doc. 14). The Court will address the
City's arguments in turn.
Counts I and II: Retaliation
VII prohibits an employer from retaliating against an
employee “because he has opposed any practice made an
unlawful employment practice . . . or because he has made a
charge, testified, assisted, or participated in any manner in
an investigation, proceeding, or hearing.” 42 U.S.C.
§ 2000e-3. A prima facie case of retaliation under
Title VII requires the plaintiff to show that (1) he engaged
in statutorily protected activity; (2) he suffered an adverse
employment action; and (3) a causal link exists between the
adverse employment action and the protected activity.
See Bryant v. Jones, 575 F.3d 1281, 1307-08
(11th Cir. 2009); see also McCullough
v. Bd. of Regents of the Univ. Sys. of Ga., 623 F.
App'x 980, 982 (11th Cir. 2015) (stating, “[e]ven
if a plaintiff need not plead a prima facie case to survive
dismissal, the complaint must satisfy Iqbal's
‘plausible on its face' standard, and the
allegations must be sufficient to ‘raise a right to
relieve above the speculative level' under Twombly”
the City argues that Griner fails to allege an adverse
employment action. “[I]n the context of a Title VII
retaliation claim, a materially adverse action ‘means
it well might have dissuaded a reasonable worker from making
or supporting a charge of discrimination.'”
Crawford v. Carroll,529 F.3d 961, 974 (11th Cir.
2008) (quoting Burlington N. & Santa Fe Ry. Co. &
White,548 U.S. 53, 68 (2006)). “[P]etty slights,
minor annoyances, and simple lack of good manners” in