United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Tampa Division
VIRGINIA M. HERNANDEZ COVINGTON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter comes before the Court upon consideration of Defendant
Hillsborough County Civil Service Board's Motion to
Strike the Third Amended Complaint (Doc. # 40) and Motion to
Dismiss Counts III and IV of the Third Amended Complaint
(Doc. # 41), both filed on May 23, 2019. Plaintiff Jacquelyn
Bouazizi responded on June 5 and June 21, 2019, respectively.
(Doc. ## 47, 49).
reasons that follow, the Motion to Dismiss Counts III and IV
is granted and the claims against the Civil Service Board are
dismissed with prejudice. In light of the dismissal of Counts
III and IV, the Motion to Strike is denied as moot.
November 18, 2015, Bouazizi initiated this action in state
court. Bouazizi subsequently filed the Second Amended
Complaint, asserting claims under Section 1983, the Equal Pay
Act, and Title VII against the Civil Service Board and
Defendant Hillsborough County on February 20, 2019. (Doc. #
1-1). Because the Second Amended Complaint raised federal
claims for the first time, the County then removed the case
to this Court on March 18, 2019. (Doc. # 1). After the case
was removed, the County and the Civil Service Board moved to
dismiss the Second Amended Complaint. (Doc. ## 4, 10).
Bouazizi failed to respond to the motions to dismiss, so the
Court granted the motions as unopposed and closed the case on
April 11, 2019. (Doc. # 19).
Bouazizi moved for reconsideration of the Court's
dismissal order and asked for permission to file a Third
Amended Complaint to assert Section 1983 claims against the
County and the Civil Service Board. (Doc. # 22). The Court
granted the motion to the extent the Court “reopen[ed]
the case and permit[ted] Bouazizi to file a third amended
complaint solely asserting Section 1983 claims by May 10,
2019.” (Doc. # 32).
then filed her Third Amended Complaint on May 9, 2019,
asserting claims under both Section 1983 and the Equal Pay
Act against the County and the Civil Service Board. (Doc. #
33). In the Third Amended Complaint, Bouazizi alleges she
began working for the Hillsborough County Board of County
Commissioners in 1990 and was “promoted from a Senior
Customer Service Representative to the position of Solid
Waste Coordinator/Franchise Activity Coordinator in June
2004.” (Id. at 2). Although Bouazizi remained
a Franchise Activity Coordinator until 2014, her pay grade
did not increase. (Id.). She first filed an EEOC
complaint in 2003 and “continued to file EEOC
complaints against [the County and the Civil Service Board]
until 2014.” (Id. at 3).
alleges the Civil Service Board “discriminated against
[her] because of her race, gender, and age.”
(Id. at 9). Bouazizi “requested that her
position as a Franchise Activity Coordinator in the
Hillsborough County Solid Waste Administration Section . . .
be reclassified because she was managing contracts as the
General Manager I position required.” (Id.).
But the Civil Service Board allegedly “refused to
reclassify [Bouazizi's] position because of her age,
race, gender, and retaliation although it reclassified
positions of white men and white females that worked as
Franchise Activity Coordinators.” (Id. at 10).
Bouazizi alleges the Civil Service Board hired a younger,
less experienced man with a criminal record for the position
of Special Projects Coordinator, even though she was better
qualified and “had the highest interviewing
score.” (Id.). She further alleges the Civil
Service Board hired two men to perform the same work as
Bouazizi, yet paid those men six grades higher than her and
refused to increase her pay. (Id. at 10-11). She
insists that the lower pay she received compared to male
employees was “not due to a seniority system, a merit
system or a system that measures the difference in pay
employee[s] earn by the quality and quantity of
work.” (Id. at 12).
“ended employment with Defendant in 2014 and was 62
years old when she resigned.” (Id. at 2).
Although she resigned in 2014, Bouazizi claims her
“permanent psychological and physical injuries from the
discrimination by [the County and Civil Service Board] became
apparent in 2015.” (Id. at 3).
County moved to dismiss the Section 1983 and Equal Pay Act
claims against it on May 15, 2019. (Doc. # 36). After
briefing, the Court granted that motion and dismissed the
claims against the County as time-barred on May 24, 2019.
(Doc. # 43).
Civil Service Board moves to strike the Third Amended
Complaint or dismiss the two claims asserted against it.
(Doc. ## 40, 41). Bouazizi has responded (Doc. ## 47, 49),
and the Motions are ripe for review.
motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6), this Court
accepts as true all the allegations in the complaint and
construes them in the light most favorable to the plaintiff.
Jackson v. Bellsouth Telecomms., 372 F.3d 1250, 1262
(11th Cir. 2004). Further, the Court favors the plaintiff
with all reasonable inferences from the allegations in the
complaint. Stephens v. Dep't of Health & Human
Servs., 901 F.2d 1571, 1573 (11th Cir. 1990). But,
[w]hile a complaint attacked by a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to
dismiss does not need detailed factual allegations, a
plaintiff's obligation to provide the grounds of his
entitlement to relief requires more than labels and
conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a
cause of action will not do. Factual ...