United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
B. Kim United States Magistrate Judge.
the court is Defendant Yehuda Lebovits's motion to
dismiss the intentional infliction of emotion distress
(“IIED”) claim against him in the amended
complaint pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
12(b)(6). For the following reasons, the motion is granted:
Boutros brings this seven-count action against Northwest Home
for the Aged d/b/a Park Plaza (“Park Plaza”) and
Lebovits. In the original complaint, filed on May 11, 2016,
Boutros alleged violations of Title VII of the Civil Rights
Act of 1964, violations of the Illinois minimum wage laws,
tortious battery, and IIED. (R. 1.) On June 14, 2016,
Lebovits moved to dismiss several counts against him. (R.
11.) On June 21, 2016, the parties consented to this
court's jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c).
motion hearing held on September 22, 2016, the court
dismissed with prejudice all Title VII counts brought against
Lebovits individually, but allowed Boutros to file an amended
complaint to supplement the IIED claim. (R. 32.) During this
motion hearing, the court agreed with the legal standard
Boutros asserted in opposition to the motion to dismiss but
explained that her allegations fell short of the
“extreme and outrageous” standard and that other
causes of action-rather than IIED-were better suited to
address the issues raised by Boutros. The court identified
all of the allegations in the complaint that may potentially
support the IIED claim and explained why they were deficient.
October 6, 2016, Boutros filed a seven-count amended
complaint in which Lebovits is individually sued in Count VI
(battery) and Count VII (IIED). (R. 33.) Despite the
deficiencies the court detailed during the motion hearing,
the allegations in the amended complaint are nearly identical
to those asserted in the original complaint. Lebovits again
moves to dismiss the IIED claim. (R. 36.)
following facts are set forth in the amended complaint, which
the court accepts as true for purposes of a motion to
dismiss. See Lavalais v. Village of Melrose Park,
734 F.3d 629, 632 (7th Cir. 2013). Boutros is an Iraqi,
Christian woman. (R. 33, Am. Compl. ¶ 7.) In September
2014, Boutros began working as a waitress at Park Plaza, a
senior independent living retirement community in Chicago.
(Id. ¶¶ 7-8, 10.) By May 2015, she was
promoted to the position of head waitress. (Id.
¶ 11.) But three months later, in August 2015, Park
Plaza terminated her employment. (Id. ¶ 7.)
Lebovits, as Park Plaza's Executive Director, managed
Boutros during her employment. (Id. ¶ 9.)
her employment at Park Plaza, Boutros assisted her direct
supervisor, Executive Chef Sam Landman, with recruiting wait
staff and with conducting screening interviews. (Id.
¶ 20.) Lebovits made all final hiring decisions.
(Id.) Boutros alleges that Lebovits expressed
preference for certain types of employees. He instructed
Boutros to hire “young, pretty girls, ” because
he wanted “sexy” workers at Park Plaza.
(Id. ¶ 19.) He also gave instructions to
Boutros not to hire “African Americans, practicing
Muslims, or female dishwashers.” (Id.) On at
least a couple occasions, Lebovits made personnel decisions
based on a candidate's weight and his perception of the
candidate's physical attractiveness. (Id.
¶¶ 21-22.) Boutros told Chef Landman that she felt
“uncomfortable” with these hiring practices.
(Id. ¶ 23.)
was allegedly fond of the female members of the Boutros
family and hired several of them to work at Park Plaza. He
expressed interest in and hired Boutros's aunt as his
secretary. (Id. ¶ 24.) But the aunt quit
because Lebovits tried to hug her. (Id.) Lebovits
told Boutros and her sister, who also worked at Park Plaza,
that they were beautiful and that he wanted to extend his
gratitude to their mother. (Id. ¶ 25.) On one
occasion, Lebovits gestured to Boutros for a hug, but she
rebuffed him. (Id. ¶ 17.) Another time
Lifeboats bumped into Boutros and held her waist.
(Id. ¶ 18.) He remained there until she pushed
him and asked, “What's wrong with you?”
(Id.) Boutros reported Lebovits's behavior to
Chef Landman. (Id.)
2015, Lebovits told Chef Landman that he did not want the
Park Plaza's chairman of the board in the kitchen during
his visit to the facility. (Id. ¶ 26.) Chef
Landman relayed the message to Boutros to keep the chairman
away from the kitchen area. (Id. ¶¶
26-27.) As Boutros wheeled the chairman into the dining area
for dinner, Lebovits approached from behind and
“shoved” Boutros in front of her co-workers.
(Id. ¶ 27.) She left the dining area feeling
humiliated and in tears. (Id. ¶¶ 28, 68.)
That same week, the chairman asked Boutros to meet with him
to discuss the incident. (Id. ¶ 30.) After
meeting with the chairman, she also met with Lebovits and
demanded an apology from him. She also confronted him about
work-related issues, including fair wages for her and her
wait staff. (Id. ¶¶ 30-32.) The next day,
the chairman spoke with Boutros and again asked her to return
to work. (Id. ¶ 33.) She expressed concerns
about Lebovits but agreed to return. (Id.) During
the meeting, the chairman sent Boutros on an errand to the
kitchen where she encountered Lebovits staring at her.
(Id. ¶ 34.) She feared for her safety, so she
called the police and filed a complaint against Lebovits for
having shoved her earlier in the week. (Id.
¶¶ 34-35.) Shortly thereafter, Lebovits allegedly
suspended her from work without a reason. (Id.
weeks later, a Park Plaza board member (“Alan”)
contacted Boutros and informed her that she would be returned
to work because some employees allegedly threatened “to
quit in protest over what Mr. Lebovits had done to her, and
this caused too much disruption.” (Id. ¶
40.) Alan also told Boutros that she would be demoted to the
position of staff waitress. (Id.) She returned to
work despite the demotion because she needed the work.
(Id. ¶ 41.) Upon returning, Boutros alleges
that an employee loyal to Lebovits (but not Lebovits himself)
began harassing her. (Id. ¶ 42.) Boutros made
yet another complaint, this time to Alan, about feeling
uncomfortable and afraid. (Id. ¶ 44.) Alan
instructed her to leave work while he took care of things.
(Id.) On August 7, 2015, Boutros filed a charge of
discrimination with the EEOC. (Id. ¶ 45.) A
week later, on August 14, 2015, Park Plaza fired Boutros for
walking off the job. (Id. ¶ 46.)
only added a handful of allegations to supplement the
original complaint. The new allegations are primarily focused
on hiring practices encouraged by Lebovits. (See, e.g.,
Id. ¶¶ 20-23.) For example, Boutros
describes her role in recruiting wait staff. She conducted
screening interviews with Chef Landman, but Lebovits took
responsibility for hiring new employees. (Id. ¶
20.) Another new allegation recounts how Lebovits once
decided against hiring a candidate “because of her
weight.” (Id. ¶ 21.) On another occasion,
Lebovits allegedly instructed Boutros to recruit an
attractive candidate to work in his office. (Id.
¶ 22.) All of this, Boutros reports, made her feel
“uncomfortable.” (Id. ¶¶ 20,