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Anthony Marchioli v. Garland Company

May 20, 2011

ANTHONY MARCHIOLI, PLAINTIFF,
v.
GARLAND COMPANY, INC., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Mae A. D'Agostino, U.S. District Judge:

MEMORANDUM-DECISION AND ORDER

I. INTRODUCTION

Plaintiff commenced this action on February 3, 2011, pursuant to the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 ("PDA"), Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 ("ADA"), Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 ("Title VII"), and Title I of the Civil Rights Act of 1991, "to correct unlawful employment practices on the basis of disability and to correct unlawful employment practices on the basis of pregnancy, and to correct unlawful employment practices on the basis of a hostile work environment; and to provide appropriate relief to an employee who was adversely affected by such practices." See Dkt. No. 1 at 1.

Currently before the Court is defendant's motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

II. BACKGROUND

In July of 2009, plaintiff was hired by defendant as a sales representative and moved to Liverpool, New York in order to be closer to his sales territory that spanned from Watertown to Utica. See Dkt. No. 1 at ¶¶ 20-21. During his first six weeks on the job, plaintiff quickly learned the business and developed strong customer relationships and received very positive evaluations. See id. at ¶¶ 22-26.

Over the weekend of October 4, 2009, plaintiff discovered that his girlfriend was pregnant and informed his manager the next day. See id. at ¶ 27. That same day, plaintiff asked for and received permission to assist his girlfriend in finding a doctor in her hometown of Buffalo, New York, on the following Friday afternoon. See id. at ¶ 28. Immediately after relaying the news of the pregnancy, plaintiff alleges that defendant began to find fault with his performance and subjected him to a hostile work environment. See id. at ¶¶ 30-36, 39-40. In a negative evaluation following the news of plaintiff's girlfriend's pregnancy, plaintiff alleges that defendant's sales manager, Joe Phillips, wrote the following:

"Lastly, I'm not here to tell you how to live your life but the situation with your girlfriend spells big trouble to me. The distractions you are going to have over the next 10 months are going to be too much if you're constantly being pulled back to Buffalo. It's already started. I set aside October 8th and 9th for you and let you know last month we would be working together. You guys had to make a Dr's appointment in Buffalo on Friday afternoon so you let me know you'd have to leave by lunch time! You need to decide if you want to totally commit yourself to this endeavor. If you don't want to "buy in" and put a maximum effort into developing your career, do me and Josh a favor and quit now. Don't waste our time or yours. I always give guys who maybe do not have tons of talent the benefit of a doubt because they always work hard to overcome that lack of talent. You have lots of talent but based on what I see so far, you do the bare minimum. If you do not meet first quarter objectives of 10 accounts and 15 orders, your employment with Garland will be immediately terminated. I'm not going to tolerate working with a guy who does not give it his all. The party is over Anthony. You need to decide what you want to do. I intend to monitor very closely your progress from here on out. If you do not want to work under that kind of scrutiny, leave now."

See id. at ¶ 34 (emphasis omitted). Plaintiff claims that these negative evaluations continued, despite the fact that, by the end of October 2009, he "was one of only two people in his training class to obtain 100% of their [sales] quota." See id. at ¶ 38.

Finally, on November 16, 2009, through Mr. Phillips, defendant fired plaintiff. See id. at ¶ 40.

III. DISCUSSION

A. Motion to dismiss standard

A motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure tests the legal sufficiency of the party's claim for relief. See Patane v. Clark, 508 F.3d 106, 111-12 (2d Cir. 2007). In considering the legal sufficiency, a court must accept as true all well-pleaded facts in the pleading and draw all reasonable inferences in the pleader's favor. See ATSI Commc'ns, Inc. v. Shaar Fund, Ltd., 493 F.3d 87, 98 (2d Cir. 2007) (citation omitted). This presumption of truth, however, does not extend to legal conclusions. See Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. 1937, 1949-50 (2009) (citation omitted). Although a court's review of a motion to dismiss is generally limited to the facts presented in the pleading, the court may consider documents that are "integral" to that pleading, even if they are neither physically attached to, nor incorporated by reference into, the pleading. See Mangiafico v. Blumenthal, 471 F.3d 391, 398 (2d Cir. 2006) (quoting Chambers v. Time Warner, Inc., 282 F.3d 147, 152-53 (2d Cir. 2002)).

To survive a motion to dismiss, a party need only plead "a short and plain statement of the claim," see Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2), with sufficient factual "heft to 'sho[w] that the pleader is entitled to relief[,]'" Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 557 (2007) (quotation omitted). Under this standard, the pleading's "[f]actual allegations must be enough to raise a right of relief above the speculative level," see id. at 555 (citation omitted), and present claims that are "plausible on [their] face," id. at 570. "The plausibility standard is not akin to a 'probability requirement,' but it asks for more than a sheer possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully." Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. at 1949 (citation omitted). "Where a complaint pleads facts that are 'merely consistent with' a defendant's liability, it 'stops short of the line between possibility and plausibility of "entitlement to relief."'" Id. (quoting [Twombly, 550 U.S.] at 557, 127 S. Ct. 1955). Ultimately, "when the allegations in a complaint, however true, could not raise a claim of ...


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