United States District Court, S.D. Florida
P. GAYLES, UNITED STATES DISJTR4CT JUDGE.
CAUSE comes before the Court on Defendant Department
of Children and Families' Motion to Dismiss Complaint
[ECF No. 12] (“Motion”). The Court has reviewed
the Motion and the record and is otherwise fully advised. For
the reasons that follow, the Motion is
Lavoris Collins brings this action claiming retaliatory
termination from her job with Defendant Department of
Children and Families in violation of Title VII of the Civil
Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”), 42 U.S.C.
§ 2000e. Plaintiff alleges that, while employed by
Defendant, she had an unspecified medical diagnosis and
disability that compromised her safety at work and the safety
of her coworkers. She complained to her supervisors about her
safety concerns. After she complained, Defendant's staff
retaliated against her. Plaintiff then complained about the
retaliation. Plaintiff also alleges that Defendant fails to
train its employees about preventing retaliatory conduct,
creating a culture of hostility towards those who complain.
claims that Defendant retaliated against her by failing to
honor her requests to amend safety policies and procedures in
the workplace. Plaintiff further claims that Defendant
ultimately terminated her in retaliation for her repeated
complaints. Defendant filed its Motion, which is now ripe for
survive a motion to dismiss brought pursuant to Federal Rule
of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), a claim “must contain
sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to ‘state
a claim to relief that is plausible on its face, '”
meaning that it must contain “factual content that
allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the
defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.”
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting
Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570
(2007)). While a court must accept well-pleaded factual
allegations as true, “conclusory allegations . . . are
not entitled to an assumption of truth-legal conclusions must
be supported by factual allegations.” Randall v.
Scott, 610 F.3d 701, 709-10 (11th Cir. 2010).
“[T]he pleadings are construed broadly, ”
Levine v. World Fin. Network Nat'l Bank, 437
F.3d 1118, 1120 (11th Cir. 2006), and the allegations in the
complaint are viewed in the light most favorable to the
plaintiff. Bishop v. Ross Earle & Bonan, P.A.,
817 F.3d 1268, 1270 (11th Cir. 2016). At bottom, the question
is not whether the claimant “will ultimately prevail .
. . but whether his complaint [is] sufficient to cross the
federal court's threshold.” Skinner v.
Switzer, 562 U.S. 521, 530 (2011).
argues that Plaintiff fails to state a claim under Title VII.
Specifically, Defendant asserts that (1) Title VII does not
extend to claims of medical conditions or disability and (2)
Plaintiff fails to allege that she engaged in a protected
activity and that her termination was causally connected to
any protected activity. The Court agrees.
Plaintiff states that her medical condition and disability
make her part of a protected class under Title VII. [ECF No.
3, ¶ 10; ECF No. 14, at 4]. Not so. Title VII extends
only to discrimination and retaliation claims “based on
that individual's race, color, religion, sex, or national
origin.” Burlington N. & Santa Fe Ry. Co. v.
White, 548 U.S. 53, 56 (2006) (internal quotations and
citations omitted). Although other federal statutes may
protect employees with medical conditions or disabilities,
Title VII does not. Accordingly, Plaintiff cannot bring a
claim for relief under Title VII for disability
Plaintiff's Complaint does not sufficiently plead a claim
for relief under Title VII or, to the extent alleged, the
Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”). See
Standard v. A.B.E.L. Servs., Inc., 161 F.3d 1318, 1328
(11th Cir. 1998) (noting that Title VII and ADA retaliation
claims are analyzed under the same framework) (citing
Stewart v. Happy Herman's Cheshire Bridge, Inc.,
117 F.3d 1278, 1287 (11th Cir. 1997)). Plaintiff's action
alleges retaliatory termination based on her undefined
medical diagnosis or disability. But her Complaint lacks any
specificity about her medical condition or the complaints she
made. See Twombly, 550 U.S. at 561-62 (a complaint
“requires more than labels and conclusions”).
Plaintiff also fails to allege that Defendant's
retaliatory motive was the “but for” cause of her
termination. Hopkins v. Saint Lucie Cnty. Sch. Bd.,
399 Fed.Appx. 563, 567 (11th Cir. 2010) (upholding dismissal
where plaintiff alleged no facts suggesting a causal
connection between his protected activity and termination)
(citing Iqbal, 566 U.S. at 677). Simply stating that
she complained and was retaliated against does not pass
on the foregoing, it is ORDERED AND ADJUDGED
that Defendant's Motion to Dismiss Complaint
[ECF No. 12] is GRANTED. Plaintiff's
Complaint is dismissed without prejudice. Plaintiff may file
an Amended Complaint within fourteen days of this Order. This
case shall be administratively closed. Either party may move
to reopen when warranted.