United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Tampa Division
ELIZABETH A. KOVACHEVICH UNITED DISTRICT JUDGE
Tammie Jones sues Defendant Lakeland Regional Medical Center
("Lakeland") under Title VII of
the Civil Rights Act ("Title VE"),
42 U.S.C. §§ 2000e etseq., the Americans
with Disabilities Act ("ADA"), 42 U.S.C.
§§ 12101 etseq., and the Age
Discrimination in Employment Act ("ADEA"), 29
U.S.C. §§ 621 et seq. (Doc. 19). Lakeland
moves to dismiss. (Doc. 20). Jones opposes. (Doc. 22). The
Court will grant-in-part and deny-in-part the motion.
is a 51-year-old African American female. She is the primary
caregiver for her disabled daughter, who was previously
diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia.
is a large medical center operating in Polk County, Florida.
Jones was previously employed by Lakeland as a customer
service representative. Ann Ragsdale, a white female, was
Jones' direct supervisor. Michelle Allen, a white female,
oversaw Lakeland's entire customer service department.
February and March of 2015, Jones requested her work schedule
be altered. Specifically, Jones requested permission to
report to work later in the morning so that she could care
for her daughter. Allen denied Jones' requests. Jones
complained to both Ragsdale and Allen that Allen's denial
was discriminatory. After Jones complained, Ragsdale and
Allen allegedly became "hypercritical" of Jones,
unfairly disciplined her for minor tardiness, and altered her
timesheets to make it appear she'd been late to work.
March of 2016, Allen promoted Christie Southerland, a white
female, to a position more senior than Jones'.
Southerland was substantially younger than Jones and had
considerably less experience, tenure, and seniority. Jones
alleges the position wasn't posted to Lakeland's
internal job board, and, despite her superior qualifications,
Jones wasn't given an opportunity to apply for the
position. Jones also alleges that, at the time Allen promoted
Southerland, Allen stated she wanted to promote someone
younger who wasn't a minority.
fired Jones on May 27, 2016, for excessive tardiness. Jones,
however, felt she'd been discriminated against, so she
submitted an intake questionnaire to the Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") on
November 25, 2016. She subsequently filed a formal charge of
discrimination with the EEOC on December 21, 2016. The EEOC
issued Jones a right to sue letter on June 6, 2017.
Proceeding pro se, Jones initiated the instant action on
September 1, 2017.
motion by Lakeland, the Court dismissed Jones' original
complaint for failure to state a plausible claim for relief.
However, the Court granted Jones leave to amend her complaint
to correct her pleading deficiencies. Jones, now represented
by counsel, filed her operative, amended complaint on January
9, 2019. Lakeland again moved to dismiss on January 23, 2019.
Jones responded in opposition to Lakeland's motion on
February 6, 2019. Lakeland's motion is ripe for the
of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure requires complaints
to contain "a short and plain statement of the claim
showing that the pleader is entitled to relief."
Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). Rule 12 allows the Court to dismiss a
complaint for "failure to state a claim upon which
relief can be granted." Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). To avoid
dismissal, a plaintiff must state a claim that is
"plausible on its face." Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl.
Corp. v. Twomblv. 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). "A
claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads
factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable
inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct
alleged." IqbaL 556 U.S. at 678. The Court must
accept all factual allegations in the complaint as true but
doesn't credit "mere conclusory statements" or
"[t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of
action." L± Additionally, dismissal is warranted
under Rule 12 if, assuming the truth of the complaint's
factual allegations, a dispositive, legal issue precludes
relief. Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319,
amended complaint asserts three separate claims:
1. "Race Discrimination in Violation of Title VIP
(predicated on a failure to ...