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Diaz v. Legion Personnel

September 15, 2010

GUADALUPE DIAZ, PLAINTIFF,
v.
LEGION PERSONNEL, INC. AND MATHEW RUBINO, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Judge Ronald A. Guzmán

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Guadalupe Diaz has sued defendants Legion Personnel, Inc. and Mathew Rubino*fn1 for their alleged violations of the Family and Medical Leave Act ("FMLA"), 29 U.S.C. § 2615. Defendants have moved to dismiss the claims asserted against them pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure ("Rule") 12(b)(6). For the reasons set forth below, the Court denies the motion.

Facts

Legion is an employment agency. (Compl. ¶ 6.) In September 2003, plaintiff was hired by Legion's predecessor, Patriot Staffing Management, and worked for the company until she was terminated on January 15, 2010. (Id. ¶ 4; see Pl.'s Resp. Mot. Dismiss 7 n.2.) Legion assigned her to work at Hub One Logistics, but plaintiff was paid by and received benefits from Legion. (Compl. ¶¶ 4, 10.)

On October 27, 2009, plaintiff gave her Hub One supervisor a doctor's note explaining that plaintiff was due to give birth on December 2, 2009 and would need six weeks maternity leave thereafter. (Id. ¶ 17.) Her supervisor did not tell her about FMLA leave or instruct her to tell Legion about her situation. (Id. ¶¶ 18-19.) On October 31, 2009, Hub One put plaintiff on involuntary leave because of the impending birth. (Id.¶ 20.)

Plaintiff gave birth on November 26, 2009. (Id. ¶ 23.) Because of subsequent health complications, on January 11, 2010, she asked Hub One for additional time off. (Id. ¶¶ 23-24.) Hub One told plaintiff to obtain paperwork from her doctor, who told her about the FMLA. (Id. ¶¶ 24, 26.)

On January 11, 2010, plaintiff asked Hortensia Amaraz, a Legion employee, for FMLA forms. (Id. ¶ 27.) Amaraz said she did not know what the FMLA was. (Id.) On January 15, 2010, plaintiff renewed her request and Amaraz said she would speak to Rubino about it. (Id. ¶ 28.) She also told plaintiff to speak to Hub One about her request. (Id. ¶ 29.)

Plaintiff then asked Hub One for time off but was told she had been terminated and replaced by another temporary employee. (Id. ¶¶ 30-32.)

On January 21, 2010, plaintiff asked Amaraz about the status of her leave request and was told that Amaraz had asked Rubino about it, but he had not given her a response. (Id. ¶¶ 34.)

Plaintiff alleges that Legion and Hub One never told her about her FMLA rights or gave her FMLA and refused to reinstate her after her maternity leave in retaliation for her FMLA leave request.

Discussion

On a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, the Court accepts as true all well-pleaded factual allegations of the complaint, drawing all reasonable inferences in plaintiff's favor. Hecker v. Deere & Co., 556 F.3d 575, 580 (7th Cir. 2009). "[A] complaint attacked by a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss does not need detailed factual allegations" but must contain "enough facts to state a claim for relief that is plausible on its face." Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007).

Plaintiff alleges that Legion is the primary employer in a joint-employer relationship between it and Hub One. See 29 C.F.R. § 825.106(b)(1) (noting that "joint employment . . . ordinarily . . . exist[s] when a temporary placement agency supplies employees to a second employer" and the agency is the primary employer); Grace v. USCAR, 521 F.3d 655, 667-68 (6th Cir. 2008) (finding that an employment agency and the company with which it placed employees were joint employers and the agency was the primary employer); (Compl. ¶ 10 (alleging that Legion is an employment agency that placed plaintiff with Hub One and hired, paid, and provided benefits to her)); see also Moldenhauer v. Tazewell-Pekin Consol. Commc'ns Ctr., 536 F.3d 640, 644 (7th Cir. 2008) (citing Grace with approval).

As the primary employer, Legion is responsible for providing its eligible employees with FMLA leave to care for a newborn child. 29 U.S.C. § 2612(a)(1)(A). The FMLA defines "eligible employee" as one who has worked for the employer for at least twelve months and performed 1,250 hours of service in the twelve-month period preceding her leave request. 29 U.S.C. § 2611(2)(A). Plaintiff alleges that she started working for Legion's predecessor in September 2003 and worked more than 1,700 hours in the year before she asked for leave. (Compl. ¶¶ 4, 10, 12; Pl.'s ...


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