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Louis A. Plata v. Eureka Locker

April 2, 2013

LOUIS A. PLATA, PLAINTIFF,
v.
EUREKA LOCKER, INC., DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Michael M. Mihm United States District Judge

E-FILED

Wednesday, 03 April, 2013 11:35:39 AM Clerk, U.S. District Court, ILCD

ORDER

This matter is before the Court on Magistrate Judge Byron Cudmore's Report and Recommendation (ECF No. 16). Therein, the Magistrate Judge recommends that Defendant Eureka Locker, Inc.'s ("Eureka" or "Defendant") Motion to Dismiss (ECF No. 11) be allowed in part and denied in part. Specifically, the Magistrate Judge recommends that Plaintiff Louis A. Plata's ("Plata" or "Plaintiff") hostile work environment claim should be dismissed as beyond the scope of Plaintiff's EEOC charge. The Magistrate Judge recommends the remainder of the motion should be denied. Eureka filed an objection to the Magistrate Judge's recommendation to allow the disparate treatment claim to go forward. (ECF No. 17). Plaintiff has filed his Response to the Objection. (ECF No. 18). For reasons stated herein, the Court ADOPTS IN PART and REJECTS IN PART the Report and Recommendation. Defendant Eureka Locker, Inc.'s Motion to Dismiss (ECF No. 11) is GRANTED IN PART and DENIED IN PART. Plaintiff's hostile work environment claim contained in Count I is DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE. The portion of Plaintiff's claim that he was "tak[en] [ ] from employment on January 19, 2011 after being injured on the job in 2009, 2010 and 2011, while non-Hispanic employees who were injured were still retained [ ]" is also DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE. The Motion to Dismiss is DENIED in all other respect.

Background

On January 23, 2013, Plaintiff filed his first Amended Complaint alleging claims of disparate treatment and a hostile environment under Title VVI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-5 ("Title VII"). The factual allegations supporting Plaintiff's disparate treatment claim are contained in Paragraph 8 of the First Amended Complaint and repeated herein as follows:

This action brought against the Defendant, EUREKA having subjected PLATA to National Origin Discrimination by failure to treat him the same as non-Hispanic employees despite PLATA'S repeated (sic) about same to wit:

a) not providing him and other Hispanics first aid kits or gloves on the "kill floor" to protect him and other Hispanics from infection;

b) taking him from employment on January 19, 2011 after being injured on the job in 2009, 2010 and 2011, while non-Hispanic employees who were injured were still retained namely; Everett Doe (Caucasian); Erika Doe (Caucasian);.Terry Doe (Caucasian); Josh Lane (Caucasian); Kenny Doe (Caucasian); Joe Doe (Caucasian); Jeff Rogers (Caucasian);Stephanie Doe (Caucasian); Scott Neltner (Caucasian); Kate Troyer (Caucasian); Rodney Koch ( Caucasian); Tony Doe (Caucasian).

c) Being denied medical treatment after being injured on the job while non-Hispanics if injured received medical assistance.

(ECF 9 at ¶ 8).

Plaintiff's hostile work environment is premised on the following allegations: Defendant by its action or actions of its agents, caused and created a hostile work environment which unreasonably interfered with the terms and conditions of PLATA's employment by not treating him the same as others not in his protected group in discipline, overall company benefits and conditions of employment as compared to other employees at EUREKA not in Plaintiff's protected class. (ECF No. 9 at ¶ 9).

On March 5, 2013, the Magistrate Judge issued his Report and Recommendation finding that Defendant's motion to Dismiss should be allowed in part and denied in part. With respect to Plaintiff's disparate treatment claim, the Magistrate Judge determined that:

The Charge alleges a denial of medical assistance, and the Complaint alleges disparate treatment in connection with medical assistance. Paragraph 8, quoted above, alleges disparate treatment with respect to the availability of first aid kits and gloves to avoid infections on the job, the availability of medical treatment for injuries on the job, and the loss of work due to such injuries. These allegations are all reasonably related to the claim in the Charge that Eureka discriminated against Plata in the provision of medical assistance, or could reasonably be expected to grow out of an EEOC investigation of the Charge. These allegations, therefore, are within the scope of the charge. At a minimum, an issue of fact exists regarding whether the allegations are within the ...


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