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WILKES v. HARRAH'S CASINO JOLIET

May 14, 2003

DOREEN WILKES, PLAINTIFF,
v.
HARRAH'S CASINO JOLIET, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: John W. Darrah, United States District Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Plaintiff, Doreen Wilkes ("Plaintiff"), filed a five-count complaint against Defendant, Harrah's Casino Joliet ("Defendant"), alleging sex discrimination (Count I), constructive discharge (Count II), breach of contract (Count III), retaliatory practices (Count IV), and emotional distress (Count V). Defendant moves, pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) and (6), to dismiss. In response to the Motion to Dismiss, Plaintiff withdraws Counts IV and V. For the reasons that follow, Defendant's Motion to Dismiss is granted as to the remaining counts.

LEGAL STANDARD

When considering a motion to dismiss, well-pleaded allegations in the complaint are accepted as true. Turner/Ozanne v. Hyman/Power, 111 F.3d 1312, 1319 (7th Cir. 1997). Any ambiguities in the complaint are construed in favor of the plaintiff Kelly v. Crosfield Catalysts, 135 F.3d 1202, 1205 (7th Cir. 1998). Dismissal is proper only when it appears beyond doubt that plaintiff can prove no set of facts to support the allegations in his or her claim. Strasburger v. Board of Education, 143 F.3d 351, 359 (7th Cir. 1998).

"Although the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure do not require a plaintiff `to set out in detail the facts upon which he bases his claim,' . . . he must `set out sufficient factual matter to outline the elements of his cause of action or claim, proof of which is essential to his recovery.'" Benson v. Cady, 761 F.2d 335, 338 (7th Cir. 1985) (internal citation omitted). A complaint will not avoid dismissal if it contains "bare legal conclusions" absent facts outlining the basis of the claims. Perkins v. Silverstein, 939 F.2d 463, 467 (7th Cir. 1991).

BACKGROUND

For purposes of this Motion to Dismiss, the following allegations are taken as true.

Plaintiff, an African-American woman, was hired by Defendant on or about December 26, 2000, as a Senior Secretary for Guest Safety. On or about June 18, 2001, Craig Love ("Love") was hired as the manager of the Guest Safety Department. As manager of the Guest Safety Department Love was Plaintiff's immediate supervisor.

Beginning on or about June 19, 2001, and continuing through August 30, 2001, Love made the following lewd and inappropriate comments to and around Plaintiff during the work day: (1) asking her whether she had a boyfriend; (2) asking her out on dates; (3) complimenting her on her appearance; (4) giving her his telephone numbers and asking her to call him; (5) telling Plaintiff that she needed to be "laid" by him when she attempted to discuss a medical problem with him; (6) telling Plaintiff, when she attempted to discuss a medical problem with him, that she was probably pregnant and, if she was not, that she should be impregnated by him,; (7) asking Plaintiff about her weekend plans; and (8) asking Plaintiff if she "had any friends like her". Plaintiff repeatedly told Love that his comments were inappropriate and unwelcome.

Additionally, on August 31, 2001, when Plaintiff punched the time clock after working a full eight-hour day, Love stopped her and told her that it was not time to go. The following day, Love told Plaintiff that the time clock was wrong, that she had left too early the previous day, and that her early departure made him look bad. Plaintiff told Love that she believed that he was harassing her in a different way. When Love asked what he could do for her, Plaintiff replied that she would speak to Human Resources.

Yvette, a Human Resources employee, called Plaintiff at home to discuss the incident. After attempting to contact her boss for a telephone conference with Plaintiff Yvette asked Plaintiff to submit a written statement regarding Love's conduct. On or about September 2001, Yvette contacted Plaintiff regarding the statement and was told that Plaintiff was obtaining advice and would contact her later. Shortly after this conversation, Plaintiff received her final paycheck in the mail from Defendant and assumed she had been terminated. Plaintiff had no intentions of quitting her job.

On April 12, 2002, Plaintiff filed a charge of discrimination for sexual harassment with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC"). Plaintiff received a "Notice of Right to Sue" on or about October 15, 2002. Plaintiff's Notice of Right to Sue from the EEOC was dated July 22, 2002. Plaintiff filed this action on November 13, 2002.

DISCUSSION

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