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Love v. First Transit, Inc.

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

March 16, 2017

TOMISHA LOVE, Plaintiff,
v.
FIRST TRANSIT, INC., Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          Robert M. Dow, Jr. United States District Judge.

         Before the Court is Defendant First Transit, Inc.'s motion to dismiss [9]. For the reasons set forth below, Defendant's motion to dismiss [9] is granted. Plaintiff is given until April 17, 2017, to file an amended complaint consistent with this opinion.

         I. Background

         Defendant First Transit, Inc. operates a customer service call center for the Regional Transit Authority, which helps to administer and oversee public transit in Northeastern Illinois. On September 22, 2014, Defendant hired Plaintiff Tomisha Love to work as a customer service representative. By December 2014, Plaintiff was pregnant.

         Plaintiff noticed that she was experiencing some bleeding while at work on December 8, 2014. She alleges that she had “a serious medical condition associated with her then pregnancy, miscarriage” and “[a]t the time that Plaintiff was experiencing these symptoms her pregnancy was substantially limiting the major life activities of working, concentrating, and interacting with others.” [1, ¶ 11.] Plaintiff asked her supervisor if she could leave work early and her supervisor agreed but requested that Plaintiff provide a doctor's note to excuse her absence. It is not clear if Plaintiff simply suffered from an increased risk of miscarriage or if she, in fact, miscarried on December 8 (or some other date). It is also not clear what Plaintiff told her supervisor when asking to leave work on December 8 (e.g., that she was bleeding, that she had a higher risk of miscarriage, that she had just miscarried, some combination of these events, or something else).

         Plaintiff returned to work on December 9, but did not have a doctor's note. Her supervisor then sent her home from work. Sometime later, Plaintiff tried to provide Defendant with “documentation of her condition and hospital visit but was denied the opportunity to do so.” [1, ¶ 15.] On December 11, Plaintiff was terminated over the phone, allegedly because of her unexcused absence. Id. ¶ 16. She received a letter three days later confirming her termination.

         On April 20, 2015, Plaintiff filed a charge of discrimination against Defendant with the Illinois Department of Human Rights and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”), which states:

I began my employment with [Defendant] on September 22, 2014 as a customer service representative. In November 2014, I became pregnant and informed [Defendant]. On or about December 8, 2014 I had to leave work because of a miscarriage. The next day, on December 9, 2014, [Defendant] informed me that I was terminated. I believe I was discriminated against based on my disability in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended. I believe I was discriminated against based on my pregnancy in violation of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978, as amended.

[10-1.]

         On February 12, 2016, Plaintiff filed a complaint against Defendant, asserting claims under the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008, 42 U.S.C. § 12101, et seq. (“ADAAA”) and the Family and Medical Leave Act, 29 U.S.C. § 2601, et seq. (“FMLA”). [See 1.] She did not pursue a claim under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act as amended by Pregnancy Discrimination Act, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e(k). Defendant filed a motion to dismiss the complaint in its entirety. [See 9.]

         II. Legal Standard

         To survive a Federal Rule of Civil Procedure (“Rule”) 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, the complaint first must comply with Rule 8(a) by providing “a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief, ” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2), such that the defendant is given “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) (quoting Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 47 (1957)) (alteration in original). Second, the factual allegations in the complaint must be sufficient to raise the possibility of relief above the “speculative level.” E.E.O.C. v. Concentra Health Servs., Inc., 496 F.3d 773, 776 (7th Cir. 2007) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). “A pleading that offers ‘labels and conclusions' or a ‘formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do.'” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). Dismissal for failure to state a claim under Rule 12(b)(6) is proper “when the allegations in a complaint, however true, could not raise a claim of entitlement to relief.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 558. In reviewing a motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6), the Court accepts as true all of Plaintiff's well-pleaded factual allegations and draws all reasonable inferences in Plaintiff's favor. Killingsworth v. HSBC Bank Nevada, N.A., 507 F.3d 614, 618 (7th Cir. 2007). The Court reads the complaint and assesses its plausibility as a whole. See Atkins v. City of Chi., 631 F.3d 823, 832 (7th Cir. 2011).

         III. Analysis

         Plaintiff's complaint raises three claims, styled as two counts. Count I asserts claims under the under the ADAAA for both disability discrimination and failure to accommodate her disability. Count II asserts a claim under the FMLA. As a threshold matter, Plaintiff concedes in her response that she cannot state a claim under the FMLA. [See 13, at ...


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