United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Virginia M. Kendall, U.S. District Judge
Kenneth Motley brings this action for damages and injunctive
relief against his former employer, Defendant, United
Airlines, Inc., (“United”) for violations of
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended 42
U.S.C. § 200e, et seq. (“Title
VII”); 42 U.S.C. § 1981 (“Section
1981”); and the Family Medical Leave Act
(“FMLA”). (Dkt. 34 at ¶ 1.) Motley also
seeks redress for the intentional infliction of emotional
distress (“IIED”) by United and its agents.
moves to dismiss two counts in Motley's Second Amended
Complaint. (Dkt. 42.) First, United moves to dismiss the IIED
claim because the Illinois Human Rights Act
(“IHRA”) preempts the claim and United asserts
that even if the claim is not preempted, dismissal is
appropriate because Motley fails to plausibly state a claim
for relief. (Dkt. 42 at 2.) Second, United moves to dismiss
the racial harassment claim brought under Title VII because
Motley did not provide notice of a harassment claim in his
Charge of Discrimination filed with the U.S. Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”). (Dkt. 42 at 2.)
United's motion is denied; both counts may proceed.
Court accepts as true all well-pleaded allegations in the
Complaint and draws all reasonable inferences in the
non-movant's favor. See Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556
U.S. 662, 678 (2009); Killingsworth v. HSBC Bank,
507 F.3d 614, 618 (7th Cir. 2007); Yeftich v. Navistar,
Inc., 722 F.3d 911, 915 (7th Cir. 2013).
worked for United from the time he was hired in May 1999,
until he was terminated on June 25, 2015. (Dkt. 34 at ¶
4.) At the time of termination, he worked as a fulltime Ramp
Service Employee at Chicago O'Hare International Airport.
(Id. at ¶ 4.) Motley alleges that beginning in
February 2015, United began a series of investigations into
his alleged misconduct at work. However, United's
investigations were not in good faith because Motley's
alleged misconduct was not behavior ordinarily subject to
investigation; similarly-situated white employees were not
subject to investigation when engaging in
substantially-similar conduct; United's employees
intended to harass Motley; and United's actions were
motivated by racial animus. (Id. at ¶¶
26-29, 37-40, 48-51, 70-71.)
during February 2015, Motley's area supervisor and
general manager notified Motley that he was under
investigation for leaving his work area early. (Id.
at ¶ 18.) Under United's policies, procedures,
and/or common practices, an employee may leave his work area
fifteen minutes prior to the end of a work shift.
(Id. at ¶ 19.) On the day at issue, Motley left
work at 12:45 p.m. and his shift ended at 1:00 p.m.
(Id. at ¶ 15.) His area supervisor and general
manager claimed that Motley's work shift ended at 1:15
p.m. and therefore he should not have left until 1:00 p.m.
(Id. at ¶ 20.) However, Ramp Services Employees
work standard shifts: 4:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. to
2:30 p.m. (Id. ¶¶ 21-22.) Therefore, under
no circumstances could an employee leave work
“early” at 1:00 p.m., because there is no
standard shift that ends at 1:15 p.m. Motley's 12:45 p.m.
departure was not early. (Id. at ¶¶
another day in February 2015, Motley was wearing headphones
during his lunch break when he was approached by his area
supervisor. (Id. at ¶¶ 30, 32.) Under
United's policies, procedures, and/or common practices,
employees are permitted to wear headphones during lunch
breaks. (Id. at ¶ 33.) Motley's supervisor
approached Motley and instructed him to remove his
headphones. Despite Motley's explanation to his
supervisor that he was on his lunch break, United still
followed-up with an investigation into Motley's alleged
failure to comply with his supervisor's instruction.
(Id. at ¶¶ 34-36.)
about February 22, 2015, Motley's Product Sort Belt
Supervisor instructed Motley to throw a number of “hot
bags” into the “sorter.” (Id. at
41.) Motley complied with this direction, but United still
investigated the incident and issued a verbal/written warning
as discipline. (Id. at ¶¶ 43-47.)
requested FMLA “in order to address his fatigue and
mental and emotional stress, ” caused in part by
United's “pattern of harassment.”
(Id. at ¶¶ 97-98.) Motley's request
was approved and he took leave from February 25, 2015 through
March 11, 2015. (Id. at ¶¶ 98-99.) ...