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Johnson v. Central Management Services

United States District Court, C.D. Illinois, Springfield Division

October 29, 2014

CHERYL L. JOHNSON, Plaintiff,
v.
CENTRAL MANAGEMENT SERVICES, Defendant.

OPINION

RICHARD MILLS, District Judge.

Plaintiff Cheryl L. Johnson filed a Complaint wherein she has asserted a number of employment discrimination claims. Pending before the Court is the Defendant's Motion to Dismiss.

I.

Plaintiff Cheryl L. Johnson filed a Pro Se Complaint. Subsequently, the Court appointed Counsel for the Plaintiff.

In her Complaint, the Plaintiff alleges she began her employment with the Department of Central Management Services (CMS), the Defendant, on November 1, 2006. The Plaintiff claims she experienced discrimination based on her race and gender. Therefore, she filed a charge of discrimination with the Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR) and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) on April 11, 2012. The Plaintiff further asserts that on August 7, 2012, her employment with CMS was terminated.

On October 17, 2012, she filed a charge of retaliation with IDHR and EEOC. The Plaintiff claims that after filing the retaliation charge, she was coerced into withdrawing her first EEOC charge when she was promised a job at the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH). Despite her withdrawal of the charge, the Plaintiff did not receive the promised job. The Plaintiff alleges she would not have withdrawn the charge had she known CMS would prevent her from obtaining a job with the IDPH.

The Plaintiff asserts claims pursuant to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, alleging she was discriminated against based on her sex and race and, further, that she was retaliated against for engaging in protected activity.

The Defendant contends the Plaintiff's Complaint should be dismissed under Rule 12(b)(6) for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Additionally, the Defendant alleges the Plaintiff has waived her claims by signing an express agreement, which is attached to the Complaint as a Resolution Prior to Arbitration.

The Defendant further asserts that any claim based on a contract should be dismissed pursuant to Rule 12(b)(1) because such matters should be brought in the Illinois Court of Claims. However, the Plaintiff states she is not asserting a breach of contract claim.

II.

At this stage, the Court accepts as true all of the facts alleged in the Complaint and draws all reasonable inferences therefrom. See Virnich v. Vorwald, 664 F.3d 206, 212 (7th Cir. 2011). "[A] complaint must provide a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief, which is sufficient to provide the defendant with fair notice of the claim and its basis." Maddox v. Love, 655 F.3d 709, 718 (7th Cir. 2011) (internal quotation marks omitted). Courts must consider whether the complaint states a "plausible" claim for relief. See id. The complaint must do more than assert a right to relief that is "speculative." See id. However, the claim need not be probable: "a well-pleaded complaint may proceed even if it strikes a savvy judge that actual proof of those facts is improbable, and that a recovery is very remote and unlikely." See Independent Trust Corp. v. Stewart Information Services Corp., 665 F.3d 930, 935 (7th Cir. 2012) (quoting Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 556 (2007)). "To meet this plausibility standard, the complaint must supply enough fact to raise a reasonable expectation that discovery will reveal evidence' supporting the plaintiff's allegations." Id.

A. Sufficiency of facts

The Defendant first contends that the Complaint must be dismissed because it consists entirely of conclusory allegations. She alleges no facts linking an adverse employment action to her race or gender.

In her response, the Plaintiff notes that Defendant's argument does not address the documents which are attached to and are central to the complaint. Specifically, the charge of discrimination she filed with the EEOC states that Plaintiff was the only black female among her peers and she received disparate negative treatment and was denied ...


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