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Mosley v. Young

United States District Court, Seventh Circuit

May 29, 2013



DAVID R. HERNDON, Chief District Judge.

I. Introduction and Background

Pending now before the Court is defendants Julius Young and City of East St. Louis' motion to dismiss (Doc. 14). Plaintiff opposes the motion and seeks leave to amend her complaint (Doc. 18). For the reasons stated below, the Court DENIES defendants' motion to dismiss and allows plaintiff to amend her complaint.

Plaintiff began employment as a jailer for the City of East St. Louis, Illinois ("East St. Louis") in December 2007 and remains employed by East St. Louis. Plaintiff alleged that her supervisor, Julius Young, sexually harassed her by leaving sexually explicit photos, magazines, and other materials in open view. In May 2011, plaintiff complained to various city officials about Young's continued harassment of her. Subsequently, plaintiff alleges that she was retaliated against for her complaints. Plaintiff contends that in June 2011, Young placed voodoo dolls stuck with pins in plaintiff's desk.

Following the alleged retaliatory behavior, plaintiff contends her physician took her off work to recover from stress. After more incidents of retaliation, in August 2011, plaintiff filed a complaint with the Illinois Department of Human Rights ("IDHR"). In September 2011, plaintiff filed a second complaint with the IDHR and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC"), alleging sexual harassment and retaliation.

The EEOC issued plaintiff a Right to Sue letter on May 22, 2012. On August 20, 2012, plaintiff filed her complaint against Young and East St. Louis. Plaintiff filed her first amended complaint on January 15, 2013 alleging one count of sexual harassment, one count of intentional infliction of emotional distress ("IIED") and one count of retaliation against Young and East St. Louis.

II. Standard

To survive a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, a plaintiff's complaint must contain a "short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief." Bell Atlantic v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). The complaint must give the defendant fair notice of the claim and the grounds on which it is based. Id. However, a plaintiff is obligated to provide the grounds of his or her entitlement to relief in more detail than mere "labels and conclusions;" factual allegations must be sufficient to provide a right to relief that is not merely speculative. Id.

In a motion to dismiss, the complaint is construed in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, accepting as true all facts alleged if they are well-pleaded. Tamayo v. Blagojevich, 526 F.3d 1074, 1081 (7th Cir. 2008). All possible inferences are drawn in favor of the plaintiff. Id. A complaint should be dismissed for failure to state a claim only if it appears beyond doubt that the plaintiff cannot prove any set of facts in support of the claim that would entitle him or her to relief. Bell Atlantic, 550 U.S. at 561.

III. Analysis

Plaintiff claims she was sexually harassed by her supervisor, Young, and was subjected to a pervasive and ongoing atmosphere of sexual harassment by defendants. In her complaint, plaintiff details incidents of sexually explicit materials left open in her view. When she complained to other city officials of Young's harassment, plaintiff alleges she was retaliated against for complaining, by having vacation requests denied, personal time off denied, and being written up for verbally complaining.

Counts I and III - Young as Defendant

Defendants oppose plaintiff's claims and contend that plaintiff's allegations in Count I and Count III against Young should be dismissed because Young is not a proper party. In Count I, defendants argue, Young as plaintiff's supervisor cannot be held liable in his individual capacity for sexual harassment against plaintiff under Title VII. And in Count III, Young cannot be held liable for retaliation because he does not meet the definition of "employer" under Title VII. Therefore, defendants contend that Young should be dismissed as a defendant from Counts I and III.

Plaintiff agrees that Young is not a proper defendant to be named in Counts I and III, and seeks leave to amend her complaint to eliminate Young as a defendant under those counts. Therefore, the Court ALLOWS plaintiff to amend her ...

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