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Equal Employment Opportunity Commmission v. Rosebud Restaurants, Inc.

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

April 7, 2015

EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY COMMISSION, Plaintiff,
v.
ROSEBUD RESTAURANTS, INC., et al., Defendants

Page 1003

For Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Plaintiff: Diane Ilene Smason, United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Chicago, IL; John C. Hendrickson, Ann M Henry, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Chicago, IL; Justin Mulaire, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Chicago, IL.

For Rosebud Restaurants Inc., Carmine's, Gama, Inc., Rose Deaborn, Inc., Rose Northwest, Inc., Rose East, Inc., Rosebud Italian Country House and Pizzeria, Rosette's, Inc., Rose North, Inc., Rose West, Inc., Rosebud Burger & Comfort Foods, Illinois Dearborn, LLC, Rose Hubbard, LLC, Rose Rush, Inc., Defendants: Jennifer Anne Naber, LEAD ATTORNEY, Joseph Michael Gagliardo, Laner Muchin, Ltd., Chicago, IL; Antonio Caldarone, Laner, Mutchin, Dombrow, Becker, Levin, and Tominberg, Ltd., Chicago, IL.

Page 1004

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Andrea R. Wood, United States District Judge.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (" EEOC" ) alleges that Defendant Rosebud Restaurants Inc. and thirteen of its related corporate entities (collectively, " Defendants" )[1] had a practice of refusing to hire African-Americans because of their race in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (" Title VII" ), 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq. Before the Court is Defendants' motion to dismiss the complaint pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) for failure to state a claim. (Dkt. No. 17.) For the reasons stated below, Defendants' motion is denied.

BACKGROUND

The EEOC's complaint alleges that Rosebud Restaurants Inc. manages the operations of the other Defendants, and that together Defendants are joint employers or, collectively, a single employer of the individuals working at each Defendant restaurant. (Compl. ¶ ¶ 24-25, Dkt. No. 1.) The complaint further alleges that from November 2009 to the present, Defendants have failed or refused to hire African-Americans because of their race. ( Id. ¶ 27.) According to the complaint, Alex Dana, the individual who owns or controls Defendants, " has expressed a preference not to hire black job applicants." ( Id. ) As a result of this preference, few African-Americans are employed at Defendants' restaurants and most of the restaurants had no African-American employees at the time of the filing of the administrative charge that preceded this action. ( Id. ) The EEOC claims that Defendants' discrimination was intentional and done with malice or with reckless indifference to the federally-protected rights of a class of African-Americans in violation of § 703(a)(1) of Title VII, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-2(a).

In addition to the discrimination claim, the EEOC also alleges that from November 2009 to the present, Defendants have failed to make and preserve records relevant to the determination of whether unlawful employment practices have been committed in a violation of § 709(c) of Title VII, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-8(c). The complaint specifies that Defendants failed to preserve employment applications for one year and failed to file required EEO-1 employer information reports before 2009.

With the present motion, Defendants contend that the complaint fails to state a claim for relief and seek its dismissal. Specifically, Defendants argue that § 706 of Title VII, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-5, the provision cited by the EEOC as authority for its claims, requires a complaint to name an individual aggrieved by the alleged discrimination and that no such individual has been named here. Defendants also argue that the complaint, in specifying that they failed to file EEO-1 reports before 2009, concedes Defendants' current compliance with their record-keeping obligations and forecloses any claim for further relief.

DISCUSSION

For purposes of a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, all well-pleaded allegations in the complaint are taken as true and all inferences are drawn in favor of the non-moving party. In re marchFIRST Inc., 589 F.3d 901, 904 (7th Cir. 2009). To survive a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, a complaint must provide enough detail to give the

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defendant fair notice of what the claim is and the grounds upon which it rests, and to show that it is plausible, rather than merely speculative, that the plaintiff is entitled to relief. Tamayo v. Blagojevich, 526 F.3d 1074, 1083 (7th Cir. 2008). The amount of detail required to meet this threshold varies with the complexity of the issues raised by the complaint. Id. In the Title VII context, ...


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