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Weber v. Illinois Eastern Community College District 529

November 17, 2010

DEANA WEBER, PLAINTIFF,
v.
ILLINOIS EASTERN COMMUNITY COLLEGE DISTRICT 529, ILLINOIS EASTERN COMMUNITY COLLEGE DISTRICT 529 BOARD OF TRUSTEES, DR. JACK DAVIS, AND RODNEY RANES, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Herndon, Chief Judge

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

I. Introduction

On July 7, 2010, Plaintiff Deana Weber filed a Complaint against Defendants Illinois Eastern Community College District 529 ("IECC"), the Illinois Eastern Community College District 529 Board of Trustees, and Dr. Jack Davis and Rodney Ranes, as individuals. (Doc. 2). In her Complaint, Plaintiff alleges retaliatory discharge in violation of the Family and Medical Leave Act ("FMLA") in Count I and Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress in Count II. (Doc. 2).

Plaintiff first became employed at IECC in 2005. On February 25, 2010, during her employment at IECC, Plaintiff required surgery related to her cancer, a serious medical condition under the FMLA. Plaintiff notified the Defendant she need to be placed on FMLA Leave, and Defendants placed her on such leave starting the day of her surgery. In April, Plaintiff's physician authorized her return to work for limited hours before authorizing her return to full-time hours on May 3, 2010.

In her Complaint, Plaintiff alleges she was harassed by Dr. Jack Davis, the Dean and President of the school, during her recovery. Plaintiff claims Defendant Davis continuously called her with inquiries regarding her job, called her husband when she did not answer her telephone, and allowed students to call and visit the Plaintiff at her home during this time. Defendant Davis made the first of these telephone calls while Plaintiff was in surgery.

Upon her return, Plaintiff noticed certain changes regarding her employment at IECC. IECC had hired two new full-time teachers during her FMLA Leave and now required that she communicate with Dean Rodney Ranes through these two teachers. Plaintiff was no longer to communicate directly with the Dean, as she had previously. Further, Plaintiff alleges the teachers and students treated her differently and were reluctant to speak with her.

Plaintiff called Defendant Davis complaining about his telephone calls and the student calls and visits to her home during her recovery. During this phone call, Plaintiff claims Defendant Davis stated Plaintiff was "nothing." On May 10, 2010, Plaintiff was discharged from her employment at IECC with no stated cause.

Following her dismissal, Plaintiff filed her Complaint with this Court.(Doc. 2). In her Complaint, Plaintiff alleges Defendants are liable for retaliatory discharge in violation of the FMLA. Further, Plaintiff claims Defendants are liable for Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress during her recovery after the surgery and when she once again returned to work.

Now before the Court is Defendants' Motion to Dismiss, filed on September 3, 2010. (Doc. 28). In the Motion, Defendants contend Count I of the Complaint should be dismissed against the individuals Dr. Jack Davis and Rodney Ranes and that Count II should be dismissed against all defendants. (Doc. 28). On October 5, 2010, Plaintiff filed a Response to Defendant's Motion to Dismiss. (Doc. 37). Defendants then filed a Reply to Plaintiff's Response on October 11, 2010. (Doc. 40).

II. Discussion

A. Motion to Dismiss Standard

When ruling on a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim under FEDERAL RULE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE 12(b)(6), the Court must determine whether the complaint satisfies the threshold pleading requirements under FEDERAL RULE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE 8. According to Rule 8, a complaint need only contain a "short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief." FED.R. CIV. P. 8(a)(2). The Supreme Court has held that Rule 8 requires a complaint allege "enough facts to state a claim of relief that is plausible on its face" to survive a Rule 12(b)(6) motion. Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). Further, the Supreme Court explained it was "a plaintiff's obligation to provide the 'grounds' of his 'entitle[ment] to relief' by providing "more than labels and conclusions" because a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do. Id. at 555-56 (quoting Papasan v. Allain, 478 U.S.265, 286 (1986). Nor does a complaint suffice if it tenders 'naked assertion[s]' devoid of 'further factual enhancement.' Ashcroft v. Iqbal, --- U.S. ---, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 557).

The Supreme Court recently made clear that the federal pleading standard under Rule 8 as discussed in Twombly applies "for all civil actions." Id. at ---, 129 S.Ct. at 1953. Iqbal identified the "two working principles" underlying the decision in Twombly: (1) "the tenet that a court must accept as true all of the allegations contained in a complaint is inapplicable to legal conclusions. Threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice;" and (2) "only a complaint that states a plausible relief survives a motion to dismiss." Id. at ---, 129 S.Ct. at 1949 (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555-6). Thus, a court should only assume to be true a ...


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