United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
SIDNEY SHIRLEY on behalf of himself and other similarly situated laborers, Plaintiff,
STAFFING NETWORK HOLDINGS, LLC, Defendant.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
B. Zagel, United States District Judge.
proposed class action, Plaintiff Sidney Shirley alleges that
Defendant Staffing Network Holdings, LLC, an employment
agency, discriminated against African American job applicants
in favor of Latino applicants. Staffing Network moves to
dismiss all claims against it and also moves to strike and
dismiss Shirley's class action allegations. For the
reasons below, both of Staffing Network's motions are
following facts are taken from the Plaintiff's complaint
and are accepted as true for purposes of resolving these
motions. Plaintiff Sidney Shirley is an African American. At
various times from June 2012 to June 2014, Shirley visited
the branch office of Defendant Staffing Network in Hanover
Park, Illinois. Staffing Network operates as an employment
agency, providing third-party client companies with low and
moderately skilled laborers to fill jobs on a daily basis.
The company permits individuals who are seeking employment to
walk into one of its branch offices to request a referral to
an employer. When an applicant walks into a Staffing Network
branch office, the applicant provides his contact information
to a Staffing Network employee.
Shirley sought work at the Hanover Branch, he signed in on a
form that would indicate the order in which applicants had
arrived. Shirley would wait at the office in an attempt to
observed that during the two years he was seeking work
through Staffing Network, about a quarter of the applicants
seeking work were African American. While at the Hanover Park
branch office, Shirley observed that job applicants who
appeared Hispanic and spoke Spanish were assigned to jobs,
while the applicants who appeared African American were not
assigned jobs. Shirley states that on many occasions he would
seek work at the office and was not assigned work, despite
being qualified for work. Shirley alleges that the
non-African Americans who received job assignments were no
more qualified than Shirley and had not arrived at the office
before Shirley. Furthermore, Shirley alleges that when he was
not present at the office, he did not receive assignments
even though non-African American laborers were contacted
about work assignments.
point between June 2012 and June 2014, Shirley and other
African Americans were assigned by Staffing Network to work
at a company called Philips-Norelco. When this job ended,
Shirley alleges he was passed up on further assignments for
plaintiff will survive a motion to dismiss under Fed.R.Civ.P.
12(b)(6) if the complaint “(1) describes the claim in
sufficient detail to give the defendant fair notice of what
the claim is and the grounds upon which it rests and (2)
plausibly suggests that the plaintiff has a right to relief
above a speculative level.” Bravo v. Midland Credit
Mgmt., Inc., 812 F.3d 599, 601-02 (7th Cir. 2016).
making its determination, the Court will “accept all
well-pleaded factual allegations in the plaintiff's
complaint as true and draw all reasonable inferences in the
plaintiff's favor.” White v. Keely, 814
F.3d 883, 887-88 (7th Cir. 2016). A complaint “need not
contain detailed factual allegations, but it must provide
more than an unadorned the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me
accusation.” Id. (citing Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009)) (internal quotations
discrimination claims “are not subject to a heightened
pleading standard.” Carlson v. CSX Transp.,
Inc., 758 F.3d 819, 827 (7th Cir. 2014). Because
employers are familiar with discrimination claims and know
how to investigate them, “little information is
required to put the employer on notice of these
alleges that Staffing Network discriminated against him and
other African American job applicants at the Hanover Park
branch in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1981 and Title VII of
the Civil Rights Act of 1962, as amended, 42 U.S.C. §
2000e, et seq.