Plaintiff Debra A. Lewis brings this action pro se against The Marmon Group, LLC alleging that it discriminated against her and ultimately terminated her on the basis of her race. Lewis's complaint also purports to state claims for "breach of contract, IL whistleblower act, [and] retaliatory discharge." (Dckt. No. 30 at 21.) Marmon has moved to dismiss, arguing that Lewis cannot state a claim under Title VII for employment discrimination because she was an independent contractor, rather than an employee. Marmon also argues that because her Title VII claim fails, the Court lacks jurisdiction over Lewis's remaining state law claims.
A motion to dismiss pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) tests the sufficiency of the complaint and not the merits of the suit. See Gibson v. City of Chicago, 910 F.2d 1510, 1520 (7th Cir. 1990). In ruling on such a motion, the Court accepts as true all of the well-pleaded facts alleged by the plaintiff, as well as any reasonable inferences that can be drawn from those facts. See Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555-56 (2007); see also Tamayo v. Blagojevich, 526 F.3d 1074, 1082 (7th Cir. 2008). To survive a 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim, a complaint must provide "a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief," Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2), such that the defendant is given "fair notice of what the ... claim is and the grounds upon which it rests." Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555 (quoting Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 47(1957)). Complaints filed by pro se plaintiffs are to be liberally construed and "held to less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers." Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007). However, pro se "litigants are not exempt from procedural rules," Jones v. Mem'l Hosp. of South Bend, Inc., 301 Fed. Appx. 548, 548 (7th Cir. 2008). And, "at some point the factual detail in a complaint may be so sketchy that the complaint does not provide the type of notice of the claim to which the defendant is entitled under Rule 8." Airborne Beepers & Video, Inc. v. AT & T Mobility LLC, 499 F.3d 663, 667 (7th Cir. 2007).