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Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. SSM & RC Inc.

February 15, 2007

EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY COMMISSION,PLAINTIFF, MR. JUAN M. RODRIGUEZ-PEREZ, PLAINTIFF-INTERVENOR,
v.
SSM & RC INCORPORATED, A/K/A SSM & RC., INC., D/B/A SPRING SHEET METAL & ROOFING, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Charles J. Siragusa United States District Judge

DECISION AND ORDER

INTRODUCTION

Siragusa, J. This employment discrimination case is before the Court on defendant's motion to dismiss, pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), both the plaintiff's complaint and the plaintiff-intervenor's complaint for failure to state a cause of action. Defendant contends that the complaints allege only that plaintiff-intervenor was discharged because he failed to speak English, which, defendant argues, does not support plaintiffs' contention that defendant discriminated against him on the basis of his national origin. For the reasons stated below, the defendants' motion is denied.

BACKGROUND

Plaintiff is the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and plaintiff-intervener is Juan Rodriguez-Perez. Defendant is variously identified by its corporate identity, SSM & RC Incorporated, or SSM & RC Inc., and its "doing business as" identity, Spring Sheet Metal and Roofing Co. Plaintiff's complaint alleges the following:

13. Since approximately December 2003, Defendant SSM & RC Incorporated has engaged in unlawful employment practices in violation of Section 703 of Title VII, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-2. These practices include, but are not limited to, the following:

a. Defendant discriminated against Juan M. Rodriguez-Perez on the basis of his national origin (Hispanic/Cuban) when its Foreman fired Mr. Rodriguez-Perez because Mr. Rodriguez-Perez spoke Spanish in the workplace and was not fluent in speaking or understanding English, and Defendant failed to recall Mr. Rodriguez-Perez.

Plaintiff-intevenor's complaint makes the following factual allegations:

8. Mr. Rodriguez Perez is an Hispanic male whose nation of origin is Cuba.

9. Mr. Rodriguez-Perez*fn1 began employment with the defendants in October 2003 as an Apprentice Roofer. Plaintiff believes he has always been more than a satisfactory employee.

10. While Mr. Rodriguez-Perez is not proficient in the English language, it did not prevent him from successfully performing the duties of his position.

11. On or about December 6, 2003, Mr. Rodriguez-Perez was told by a foreman of the defendants that the defendants needed employees who could speak English and he [Mr. Rodriguez-Perez] should go home.

12. Mr. Rodriguez-Perez understood the statements by the foreman to mean that his employment with the defendants had been terminated. (Pl.-Intervenor Compl. ¶¶ 8-12.) The same allegations are made against defendant Spring Sheet Metal and Roofing Co. Inc. (Id. ¶ 14.) Plaintiff, EEOC, raises one cause of action for intentional discrimination "done with malice or with reckless indifference to the federally protected rights of Mr. Rodriguez-Perez." Plaintiff-intervenor, Juan Rodriguez-Perez, raises four causes of action: (1) willful and intentional discrimination on the basis of Mr. Rodriguez-Perez's national origin in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, 42 U.S.C. § 2000(e)*fn2 [sic] et seq.; (2) intentional retaliation based on plaintiff- intevenor's opposition to defendant's discriminatory practices in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 2000(e)(3)(a)*fn3 [sic] and the Civil Rights Act of 1991; (3) national origin discrimination against ...


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