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Bogie v. PAWS Chicago

United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division

November 15, 2012

Robert BOGIE, Plaintiff,
v.
PAWS CHICAGO, Rochelle Michalek, Heather Newcomb, and Shannon Gillen, [1] Defendants.

Page 914

Robert Bogie, Chicago, IL, pro se.

Clifford Raymond Perry, III, Jeremy L. Edelson, Laner, Muchin, Dombrow, Becker, Chicago, IL, for Defendants.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

JAMES F. HOLDERMAN, Chief Judge:

Plaintiff Robert Bogie alleges in a five-count complaint that defendants PAWS Chicago and its employees Rochelle Michalek, Heather Newcomb, and Shannon Gillen, failed to hire him because he is a man. (Dkt. No. 1 (" Compl." ).) Bogie alleges sexual discrimination (Count I) and retaliation (Count II) under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000e to 2000e-17, " contract fraud" (Count III), intentional infliction of emotional distress (Count IV), and negligent infliction of emotional distress (Count V). Currently pending before the court is the defendants' motion to dismiss all counts against Michalek, Newcomb, and Gillen, and Counts III, IV, and V against PAWS Chicago. (Dkt. No. 9.) For the reasons explained below, that motion is granted.

BACKGROUND [2]

Defendant PAWS Chicago (" PAWS" ) is a shelter for homeless pets located in Chicago that employs defendants Rochelle Michalek, Heather Newcomb, and Shannon Gillen. (Compl. ¶¶ 3-6.) Bogie applied for a job as a Volunteer Manager at PAWS on April 1, 2011. ( Id. ¶ 18.) PAWS sent Bogie a rejection letter on April 5 stating that it chose not to hire him because of his lack of experience in volunteer management. ( Id. ¶ 19.) In August, however, Bogie learned that the person hired to be the Volunteer Manager was a woman who also did not have experience in volunteer management. ( Id. ¶¶ 20-21.) Bogie then " made the defendants aware of the situation." ( Id. ¶ 21.) PAWS did not respond, but instead told the woman it had hired to remove her resume from the internet and to " de-friend" Bogie on Facebook. ( Id. )

Bogie then filed an internal complaint of discrimination with PAWS. ( Id. ¶ 22.) In response, PAWS told Bogie that it found no discrimination, and explained that it had lowered the responsibilities of the position to which Bogie had applied so that the woman it had hired was qualified. ( Id. ) Thereafter Bogie threatened to file a charge of discrimination with the EEOC, but agreed to delay filing with the EEOC after PAWS's executive director and HR director [3] agreed to meet with him. ( Id.

Page 915

¶ 23.) During the meeting Bogie agreed to " hold off on" filing with the EEOC in return for an employment interview with PAWS for a position as a part-time animal care technician, " a position far below the stature of the position where the alleged discrimination occurred." ( Id. ¶ 24.)

Approximately one month later, Bogie received three interviews for a total of fifteen minutes with Michalek and other unspecified individuals who were part of PAWS's " management." ( See id. ¶¶ 26-28.) During the interviews, which Bogie alleges " never really became in depth," Michalek repeatedly told Bogie that he should check PAWS's website for more job listings. ( Id. ¶¶ 27-28.) In between the first and the second interview, PAWS posted a position " of similar level to the one where the alleged discrimination occurred," but refused to interview Bogie for the position. ( Id. ¶ 29.)

PAWS did not hire Bogie, and on November 1, 2011, Bogie filed a complaint with the EEOC. ( Id. ¶ 31.) Shortly thereafter, PAWS told Bogie that they would not hire him for several other " Animal Care positions" because he was not qualified, although Bogie felt he was qualified for the positions. ( Id. ¶¶ 31-32.) Bogie alleges that the defendants' attorney " outright lied" to the EEOC in its position statement. ( Id. ¶ 33.) As a result of Bogie's complaint, PAWS has forbidden him to return to PAWS as a volunteer. ( Id. ¶ 34.)

LEGAL STANDARD

Under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, a complaint need contain only " a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief." Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). The complaint must " give the defendant fair notice of what the ... claim is and the grounds upon which it rests." Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly,550 U.S. 544, 555, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 167 L.Ed.2d 929 (2007) (quoting Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 47, 78 S.Ct. 99, 2 L.Ed.2d 80 (1957)). While " detailed factual allegations" are not required, " labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do." Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555, 127 S.Ct. 1955. The complaint must " include sufficient facts ‘ to state a claim for relief that is plausible on its face.’ " Cole v. Milwaukee Area Tech. Coll. Dist., 634 F.3d 901, 903 (7th Cir.2011) (quoting Justice v. Town of Cicero, 577 F.3d 768, 771 (7th Cir.2009)). " A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 ...


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