Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

James Carr v. Avon Products

January 6, 2011

JAMES CARR, PLAINTIFF,
v.
AVON PRODUCTS, INC., HARBOR ) QUEST, INC. AND MARIO MOLINA, DEFENDANTS.



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

1

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Plaintiff has sued defendants for their alleged violations of Title VII and the Illinois Human Rights Act, assault and battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Defendants have filed motions to dismiss plaintiff's claims pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure ("Rule") 12(b)(1) and (6). For the reasons set forth below, the Court denies Harbor Quest's motion and grants Avon's motion.

Facts

On March 1, 2008, plaintiff started to work for defendant Harbor Quest, which is a staffing agency. (Compl. ¶ 24.) On March 3, 2008, Harbor Quest placed plaintiff with Avon as an assembly line worker. (Id. ¶ 25.) In April 2008, plaintiff became eligible for permanent employment with Avon. (Id. ¶¶ 31, 33.)

In August 2008, plaintiff met defendant Molina, who was a mechanic at the Avon facility. (Id. ¶¶ 18, 34.) On various occasions between August 2008 and January 2009, Molina touched plaintiff inappropriately. (Id. ¶¶ 35-43.)

On January 8, 2009, plaintiff reported Molina's conduct to his Harbor Quest supervisor Haywood Jones, who told plaintiff's Avon supervisor, Sean Liao, about plaintiff's complaint. (Id. ¶¶ 19-20, 22-23, 43-48.) A few hours later, Molina confronted plaintiff about the complaint and tried to goad him into a fight. (Id. ¶¶ 49-50.) Before plaintiff could report Molina's conduct, he was told by Liao that Molina had complained that plaintiff had physically threatened him. (Id. ¶ 53.) Though plaintiff denied Molina's claim, Liao recommended that Jones suspend plaintiff, and he did. (Id. ¶¶ 54-56.)

The next day, Harbor Quest employee Bill Schwartz called plaintiff and told him that he could no longer work at Avon and Harbor Quest had no other positions for him. (Id. ¶¶ 58-62.)

Discussion

In this case, the Rule 12(b)(1) and (6) motions are subject to the same standard; that is, 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); United Phosphorus, Ltd. v. Angus Chem. Co., 322 F.3d 942, 946 (7th Cir. 2002). "[A] complaint attacked by a Rule 12[] 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).

Harbor Quest contends that the Court lacks jurisdiction over the Illinois Human Rights Act ("IHRA") claims because the statute, as amended in 2008, gives exclusive original jurisdiction to the Human Rights Commission ("Commission") and the state circuit courts. See 775 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/7A-102(C)(4) ("[T]he complainant . . . [has a] right to seek review of the dismissal before the Human Rights Commission or commence a civil action in the appropriate circuit court."); id. 5/71-102(D)(3) (same); id. 5/71-102(F)(2) ("If the complainant chooses to commence a civil action in a circuit court, he or she must do so in the circuit court in the county wherein the civil rights violation was allegedly committed."); id. 5/71-102(G)(2) ("[T]he complainant shall have 90 days to either file his or her own complaint with the Human Rights Commission or commence a civil action in the appropriate circuit court."); id. 5/8-111(D) (2008) ("Except as otherwise provided by law, no court of this state shall have jurisdiction over the subject of an alleged civil rights violation other than as set forth in this Act."). In other words, Harbor Quest argues that the statute precludes the Court from exercising supplemental jurisdiction over plaintiff's IHRA claims.

The Seventh Circuit has not addressed this issue, though one district court has held that supplemental jurisdiction exists and several others have assumed that it does. See Yucus v. Peoples Nat'l Bank, No. 09-609-GPM, 2010 WL 1416140, at *2 (S.D. Ill. Apr. 1, 2010) (reaching that holding); see also Metyk v. Belle-Aire Fragrances, Inc., No. 10 C 4798, 2010 WL 3521873, at *1 (N.D. Ill. Aug. 31, 2010) (assuming that jurisdiction exists but declining to exercise it); Glemser v. Sugar Creek Realty, Inc., No. 09-3321, 2010 WL 375166, at *2 (C.D. Ill. Jan. 26, 2010) (stating, without analysis that "[t]he Court has supplemental jurisdiction over Plaintiff's Human Rights Act"); Clark v. Moline Pub. Library, No. 09-4054, 2010 WL 331726, at *3 (C.D. Ill. Jan. 26, 2010) ("[The] IHRA claim would appear to be amenable to the exercise of supplemental jurisdiction."); Alexander v. Ne. Ill. Univ., 586 F. Supp. 2d 905, 910-11 (N.D. Ill. 2008) (assuming that supplemental jurisdiction exists).

Moreover, the Ninth Circuit recently rejected a similar argument in BNSF Railway Co. v. O'Dea, 572 F.3d 785 (9th Cir. 2009), cert. denied, 130 S. Ct. 1099 (2010). In that case, BNSF, which had been found liable for discriminating against O'Dea by the Montana Human Rights Commission, sought review of that decision in federal court. Id. at 787. O'Dea argued, and the district court held, that there was no diversity jurisdiction over the suit because the governing state statute required that the suit be filed in state court. Id. at 788. BNSF appealed, and the Ninth Circuit reversed, saying:

A state cannot confer rights upon private parties and require that litigation between those parties must be confined to the ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.