United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
JAMIE ANFELDT, individually and on behalf of all those similarly situated, Plaintiff,
UNITED PARCEL SERVICE, INC., Defendant.
MEMORANDUM OPINION ORDER
L. ALONSO United States District Judge
Jamie Anfeldt has filed a two-count amended complaint 
against United Parcel Service, Inc. (“UPS”) for
its alleged violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of
1964, as amended, 42 U.S.C §2000e et seq.
(“Title VII”). Before the Court is
defendant's motion to dismiss  pursuant to Federal
Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). For the reasons set out
below, UPS's motion is granted.
challenges a pre-2015 UPS policy that allegedly denied
pregnant women light-duty accommodations in violation of
Title VII. On April 1, 2014, plaintiff began working for UPS.
(Am. Compl. ¶ 16.) After becoming pregnant in August
2014, plaintiff's doctor gave her a twenty-five-pound to
thirty-pound lifting restriction. (Id. ¶¶
19, 22.) At the time, UPS's policy was to approve
“light duty accommodations . . . [only] when
restrictions were imposed (1) as a result of on-the-job
injuries, (2) for employees as a result of their
ADA-qualifying disabilities, and (3) for drivers who, for a
variety of reasons, could not continue to drive for
UPS.” (Id. ¶ 27.) Because plaintiff's
pregnancy was not a work-related injury, her supervisor was
unable to provide her with a light-duty assignment and her
employment was terminated in September 2014. (Id.
¶¶ 24-26.) In January 2015, UPS amended its
nationwide light-duty policies to add a provision affording
light duty to pregnant workers. (Id. ¶ 33.) UPS
reinstated plaintiff to light-duty work in January 2015.
(Id. ¶ 35.) UPS has not provided plaintiff with
back pay for the few months she was out of work.
(Id. ¶ 36.)
November 2015, plaintiff filed a one-count complaint 
alleging that UPS's pre-2015 policy had a disparate
impact on employees with pregnancy-related work restrictions.
(Compl. ¶ 42.) UPS filed a motion to dismiss , which
the Court granted , holding that plaintiff's
complaint lacked factual allegations showing a causal link
between the challenged practice and a statistically
significant imbalance in the number of employees denied
light-duty accommodations because of pregnancy rather than
another condition as required by Adams v. City of
Indianapolis, 742 F.3d 720 (7th Cir. 2014). Plaintiff
was given leave to file an amended complaint, which she has
done. She now alleges disparate impact and disparate
treatment because of pregnancy discrimination, and seeks to
proceed as a nationwide class action.
motion under Rule12 (b)(6) tests whether the complaint states
a claim on which relief may be granted.” Richards
v. Mitcheff, 696 F.3d 635, 637 (7th Cir. 2012). Under
Rule 8(a)(2), a compliant must include “a short and
plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is
entitled to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). The short
and plain statement under Rule 8(a)(2) must “give the
defendant fair notice of what the claim is and the grounds
upon which it rests.” Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (ellipsis omitted).
Under federal notice-pleading standards, a plaintiff's
“[f]actual allegations must be enough to raise a right
to relief above the speculative level.” Id.
Stated differently, “a complaint must contain
sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to ‘state
a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'”
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570). “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.”
Id. (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556).
“In reviewing the sufficiency of a complaint under the
plausibility standard, [courts must] accept the well-pleaded
facts in the complaint as true, but [they] ‘need not
accept as true legal conclusions, or threadbare recitals of
the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere
conclusory statements.'” Alam v. Miller Brewing
Co., 709 F.3d 662, 665-66 (7th Cir. 2013) (quoting
Brooks v. Ross, 578 F.3d 574, 581 (7th Cir. 2009)).
When ruling on a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, the court considers
“the complaint itself, documents attached to the
complaint, documents that are critical to the complaint and
referred to in it, and information that is subject to proper
judicial notice.” Cohen v. Am. Sec. Ins. Co.,
735 F.3d 601, 604 (7th Cir. 2013) (citing Geinosky v.
City of Chi., 675 F.3d 743, 745-46 n.1 (7th Cir. 2012)).
I - DISPARATE IMPACT
alleges disparate impact based on UPS's pre-2015
policies, which she has attached to the amended complaint.
(Am. Compl. Exs. D-H.) In addition, plaintiff cites Young
v. United States Parcel Service, Inc., 135 S.Ct. 1338
(2015) and argues that the facts and evidence therein
establish that UPS applied its pre-2015 policy and denied
pregnancy-related accommodations at least one other time.
(Pl.'s Resp. at 4-5; Am. Compl. ¶¶ 37-40, Exs.
I-J.) While plaintiff concedes that she does not possess
enough factual information to perform any statistical
analysis on the alleged disparate impact, she nevertheless
maintains that she has pleaded sufficient facts to allow this
Court to conclude that it is plausible that defendant denied
accommodations to pregnant women at a statically
significantly higher rate than other non- pregnant employees.
(Pl.'s Resp. at 6.) UPS argues that the amended complaint
is still defective because there is a complete lack of
factual content to support plaintiff's assertion that the
pre-2015 policies caused pregnant employees to be denied
light-duty accommodations at a significantly higher rate than
other non-pregnant employees. (Def.'s Mem. at 1, 4, 7.)
Plaintiff responds by arguing if no pregnant applicants were
entitled to light-work restrictions, then it is plausible to
conclude that non-pregnant employees were provided with the
accommodation at a rate statically higher than 0%. (Pl.'s
Resp. at 6.)
appears to be arguing that the lack of a promulgated policy
permitting light-duty accommodations for pregnant women and
the fact that she and the plaintiff in Young (who
worked for UPS in a different location in 2006) were not so
accommodated is sufficient to state a disparate impact claim.
It is not. A disparate impact theory of discrimination
requires the plaintiff to put forth evidence (facts or
statistics) demonstrating that the challenged employment
practice has a disproportionately negative effect upon
members of the protected class-here, pregnant women. See
Tex. Dep't Hous. Cmty. Affairs v. Inclusive Cmtys.
Project, Inc., 135 S.Ct. 2507, 2523 (2015) (“A
plaintiff who fails to allege facts at the pleading stage or
produce statistical evidence demonstrating a causal
connection cannot make out a prima facie case of disparate
impact.”); Adams, 742 F.3d at 733 (affirming
the dismissal of disparate impact claim and stating that the
amended complaint lacked “factual material to move the
disparate-impact claims over the plausibility
threshold”); Vitug v. Multistate Tax
Comm'n, 88 F.3d 506, 513 (7th Cir. 1996) (“In
order to establish a prima facie case of disparate impact, a
plaintiff must first isolate and identify ‘the specific
employment practices that are allegedly responsible for any
observed statistical disparities.'”)
(quoting Watson v. Fort Worth Bank & Trust, 487
U.S. 977, 994 (1988) (emphasis added)). Plaintiff has not
offered any facts or statistical evidence to support her
contention that zero pregnant employees were accommodated in
2014 or that non-pregnant employees were accommoDated: a
higher rate. The conclusion that pre-2015 policies caused
pregnant employees to be denied light-duty accommodations at
a statically significant higher rate than non-pregnant
employees is stated as just that; an outcome that is
conceivable, rather than plausible. Speculative
conclusions do not equate to facial plausibility.
Alam, 709 F.3d at 665-66.
has not alleged any specific facts that show a causal link
between UPS's pre-2015 policies and a
“statistically significant . . . imbalance” in
the number of employees denied light-duty work because of
pregnancy rather than another condition. Adams, 742
F.3d at 733. Her reliance on a district court decision that
pre-dates Adams is not persuasive. Because plaintiff
has not pleaded factual or statistical content to support the
allegation that she and other pregnant women were denied
light-duty accommodations at a statistically higher rate than
non-pregnant employees, her disparate impact claim fails.
Accordingly, Count I of plaintiff's amended complaint is
dismissed. The Court notes that the parties have engaged in
class discovery subsequent to the filing of the amended
complaint. Plaintiff is given a final opportunity to replead
this count in the event that the class-based discovery has
provided her with additional facts on which to
II - DISPARATE TREATMENT
alleges that because her disparate impact and disparate
treatment claims both originate from, and are based on, the
same operative facts contained in the EEOC charge, she has
therefore successfully exhausted the prerequisite
administrative remedies before filing suit. (Pl.'s Resp.
at 8; Am. Compl. ¶¶ 67-89.) UPS counters by arguing
that the disparate impact and disparate treatment claims are
fundamentally different theories of recovery, and pleading
disparate impact does not satisfy the administrative
exhaustion requirement for the disparate treatment claim.
(Def.'s Mem. at 9.) Plaintiff responds that the facts