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Pruitt v. Personnel Staffing Group, LLC

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

November 30, 2016

DERELL PRUITT, et al. Plaintiffs,
v.
PERSONNEL STAFFING GROUP, LLC d/b/a MVP, et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          SAMUEL DER-YEGHIAYAN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT JUDGE

         This matter is before the court on Defendants' motions to dismiss, motions to strike class allegations, and motions to sever. For the reasons stated below, Defendants' motions to dismiss are granted in part and denied in part, and Defendants' motion to strike class allegations and motion to sever are denied.

         BACKGROUND

         Plaintiffs are allegedly African-American laborers who obtained employment through Defendant Personnel Staffing Group, LLC d/b/a MVP (MVP), which is a temporary staffing agency. Plaintiffs were allegedly assigned to work at Defendant The Segerdahl Corp. (Segerdahl), Defendant Visual Pack Company (Visual), Defendant Medline Industries, Inc. (Medline), Defendant Georgia Nut Company (Georgia Nut), Defendant C&D Recycling, LLC (C&D), and Defendant Metropolitan Graphic Arts, Inc. (MGA) (collectively referred to as “Client Companies”). Plaintiffs allege that beginning in May 2012, MVP would assign Hispanic laborers to work at the Client Companies even though Plaintiffs and other African-American laborers applied for the assignments first and were qualified for the assignments. Plaintiffs allege that MVP was acting pursuant to the requests of the Client Companies to assign Hispanic laborers instead of African-American laborers. Plaintiffs also contend that on occasions when MVP assigned African-American laborers to work at the Client Companies, after being transported to work sites, supervisors of the Client Companies would select all the Hispanic laborers to work before selecting any African-American laborers.

         Plaintiffs include in their amended complaint claims brought against MVP alleging race discrimination in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1981 (Section 1981) (Count I), Section 1981 claims brought against MVP and Segerdahl (Count II), Section 1981 claims brought against MVP and Visual (Count III), Section 1981 claims brought against MVP and Medline (Count IV), Section 1981 claims brought against MVP and Georgia Nut (Count V), Section 1981 claims brought against MVP and C&D (Count VI), Section 1981 claims brought against MVP and MGA (Count VII), disparate treatment race discrimination claims brought under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII), 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq. against Segerdahl (Count VIII), Title VII adverse impact race discrimination claims brought against Segerdahl (Count IX), Title VII disparate treatment race discrimination claims brought against Visual (Count X), Title VII adverse impact race discrimination claims brought against Visual (Count XI), Title VII disparate treatment race discrimination claims brought against Georgia Nut (Count XII), Title VII adverse impact race discrimination claims brought against Georgia Nut (Count XIII), Title VII disparate treatment race discrimination claims brought against C&D (Count XIV), Title VII adverse impact race discrimination claims brought against C&D (Count XV), Title VII disparate treatment race discrimination claims brought against MGA Count XVI), and Title VII adverse impact race discrimination claims brought against MGA (Count XVII). Defendants move to dismiss certain claims brought against them. Defendants also move to dismiss or strike the class allegations and to sever their claims.

         LEGAL STANDARD

         In ruling on a motion to dismiss brought pursuant Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) (Rule 12(b)(6)), the court must draw all reasonable inferences that favor the plaintiff, construe the allegations of the complaint in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, and accept as true all well-pleaded facts and allegations in the complaint. Appert v. Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, Inc., 673 F.3d 609, 622 (7th Cir. 2012); Thompson v. Ill. Dep't of Prof'l Regulation, 300 F.3d 750, 753 (7th Cir. 2002). A plaintiff is required to include allegations in the complaint that “plausibly suggest that the plaintiff has a right to relief, raising that possibility above a ‘speculative level'” and “if they do not, the plaintiff pleads itself out of court.” E.E.O.C. v. Concentra Health Services, Inc., 496 F.3d 773, 776 (7th Cir. 2007)(quoting in part Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 1965 (2007)); see also Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, Inc., 673 F.3d at 622 (stating that “[t]o survive a motion to dismiss, the complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face, ” and that “[a] claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged”)(quoting Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662 (2009))(internal quotations omitted).

         DISCUSSION

         I. Motions To Dismiss

         Defendants argue that Plaintiffs have failed to allege sufficient facts to state a valid claim against certain Defendants, that certain Title VII claims exceed the scope of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charges, and that the Title VII claims brought by certain Plaintiffs are untimely.

         A. Sufficiency of Allegations

         Defendants contend that there are insufficient facts alleged in the amended complaint to state a valid claim against certain Defendants.

         1. Allegations Against MVP

         MVP argues that Plaintiffs have not alleged sufficient facts concerning MVP to state a valid claim against MVP. ...


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