United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Z. LEE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Esmeralda Radek (“Radek”) has sued Defendant
Target Corporation (“Target”) for national origin
discrimination in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights
Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq. (Count
I), and national origin and race discrimination under 42
U.S.C. § 1981 (Count II). Radek also asserts a state law
negligence claim (Count III). Target moves to dismiss
Radek's amended complaint pursuant to Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure (“Rule”) 12(b)(6). For the
reasons set forth below, Target's motion to dismiss is
granted in part and denied in part.
January 2012, Radek, who is Hispanic, started working as a
Logistics Team Member at a Target store located in Hodgkins,
Illinois. Am. Compl. ¶¶ 10, 11, 18, ECF No. 27.
Prior to being hired, Radek passed a background check, and
Target's hiring representative did not mention that
anything was amiss with her social security number.
Id. ¶¶ 14, 15, 17. In December 2012, Radek
received a promotion to a trainer position, and in January
2013 she received a “great” performance review.
Id. ¶¶ 25-29.
her employment, Radek received biweekly paychecks that
indicated deductions for social security taxes. Id.
¶¶ 30, 34. For 2013 and 2014, Radek received W-2
forms from Target, and she filed her income taxes.
Id. ¶¶ 31, 35. Furthermore, during the
first two years of her employment, no Target representative
expressed that there were any problems with Radek's
social security number. Id. ¶¶ 30, 88, 89.
February 12, 2014, Target's store management received a
letter from a third party stating that Radek, a “large
dark haired ponytailed Hispanic woman, ” was stealing
items from the store, selling those items on eBay, and using
a fraudulent social security number for her employment with
Target. Id. ¶ 61.
one week later, on or about February 20, 2014, a Target human
resources representative at the Hodgkins store called Radek
into the human resources office and accused her of using a
fraudulent social security number. Id. ¶ 37.
The Target representative asked Radek to verify her social
security number and the state in which it was issued.
Id. ¶ 38. Radek provided her social security
number and told the representative that she was born in Texas
and believed that her mother obtained the social security
number for Radek while in Texas, before the family had moved
to Illinois. Id. ¶ 39. The next day, on
February 21, 2014, Radek was called again into the human
resources office and was terminated for using a fraudulent
social security number. Id. ¶¶ 41, 65.
to Radek, the management at the Hodgkins Target store often
targeted Hispanic employees and accused them of using
fraudulent social security numbers. Id. ¶¶
44, 45, 49, 59. This targeting resulted in the firing of
Hispanic employees. Id. ¶¶ 46, 59. For
example, a year or two prior to Radek's termination, two
other employees had been terminated for having allegedly used
fraudulent social security numbers. Id. ¶ 46.
They were rehired after it was confirmed that their social
security numbers were valid. Id. ¶ 47.
filed a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity
Commission (“EEOC”) and the Illinois Department
of Human Rights on or about April 9, 2014. Id.
¶¶ 6, 7; Ex. A, 4/9/14 EEOC
Charge, ECF No. 27. The charge claimed that Target had
terminated Radek on the basis of her national origin.
Id. Plaintiff received a right-to-sue letter from
the EEOC in June 2014, and she timely commenced this lawsuit.
Id. ¶¶ 8, 9.
motion under Rule 12(b)(6) challenges the sufficiency of the
plaintiffs complaint. Christensen v. Cty. of Boone,
483 F.3d 454, 457 (7th Cir. 2007). The federal notice
pleading standard requires a complaint to “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
Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570
(2009)). A complaint need provide only “enough detail
to give [defendants] fair notice of what the claim is and the
grounds upon which it rests, and, through his allegations,
show that it is plausible, rather than merely speculative,
that he is entitled to relief.” Tamayo v.
Blagojevich, 526 F.3d 1074, 1083 (7th Cir. 2008). In
evaluating a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, all well-pleaded
allegations in the complaint are accepted as true, and courts
must draw all reasonable inferences in the plaintiff's
favor. See Cole v. Milwaukee Area Tech. Coll.
Dist., 634 F.3d 901, 903 (7th Cir. 2011); Justice v.
Town of Cicero, 577 F.3d 768, 771 (7th Cir. 2009).
Count I: Title VII Claims
Count I, Radek alleges that Target wrongfully terminated her
on the basis of national origin. Radek also alleges that
Target created a hostile work environment and discriminated
against her in the terms ...