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Campbell v. Correctional Medical Care, Inc.

United States District Court, W.D. New York

June 11, 2014

WENDY A. CAMPBELL, Plaintiff,
v.
CORRECTIONAL MEDICAL CARE, INC., CHRISTINE ROSS, LISA CAPOCCIA, KIM WILSON, MICHELLE O'BRIEN, and JEANNIE O'DELL Defendants.

DECISION and ORDER

MICHAEL A. TELESCA, District Judge.

INTRODUCTION

Plaintiff Wendy A. Campbell ("Campbell") proceeding pro se, a former employee of defendant Correctional Medical Care, Inc. ("CMC"), a private company which provides health care services to inmates of correctional facilities pursuant to contracts with municipalities, brings this action pursuant to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Equal Pay Act of 1963 claiming that she was unlawfully discriminated against on the basis of her race. Specifically, plaintiff, who is black, alleges that she was treated differently than similarly situated white employees; was subjected to a hostile work environment, and was ultimately fired from her job because of her race.

Defendants deny plaintiff's allegations, and individual defendants Christine Ross, Lisa Capoccia, Kim Wilson, Michelle O'Brien, and Jeannie O'dell move to dismiss plaintiff's claims pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure on grounds that plaintiff's claims against them fail to state a cause of action. Specifically, the individual defendants contend that because Title VII does not allow for individual liability in employment discrimination cases, plaintiff's claims against them must be dismissed. Defendant CMC moves to dismiss plaintiffs claims on grounds that plaintiff has failed to state a cause of action under the Equal Pay Act, and has failed to allege a plausible claim of racial discrimination pursuant to Title VII. Plaintiff has not opposed defendants' motion, and instead has moved the court for appointment of counsel.

For the reasons set forth below, I grant defendants' motion to dismiss, and deny plaintiff's motion for appointment of counsel.

BACKGROUND

The following facts are taken from the plaintiff's complaint, and documents filed in support of the defendants' unopposed motion to dismiss[1]. Plaintiff Wendy Campbell is a registered nurse who began working for CMC on October 1, 2012. Plaintiff alleges that she was a satisfactory employee with no verbal or written disciplinary actions taken against her, and good attendance. According to CMC, plaintiff engaged in disruptive and uncooperative with her fellow employees and supervisors throughout her employment.

Plaintiff's employment was terminated on August 21, 2013, less than one year after she was hired. Plaintiff was fired one day after she was sent home early from work for allegedly refusing to comply with a supervisor's order regarding scheduling. According to the defendant, on August 20, 2013, defendant Erin Presley ("Presley"), a supervising nurse employed by CMC, instructed defendant nurse Lisa Capoccia ("Capoccia") to relieve plaintiff for lunch at 11:30 a.m. Plaintiff allegedly refused to be relieved, claiming that she wanted to take her lunch at noon. After Capoccia made a second request to relieve Campbell, plaintiff allegedly slammed a book down and asked Capoccia "what part of what I just said do you not understand."

Thereafter, according to Campbell, Presley aggressively confronted her regarding her request to take lunch at a later time. Plaintiff claims that Presley raised her voice to her and gesticulated, which plaintiff considered to be humiliating and harassing. Presley relieved Campbell of her duties for the day, and sent her home. Defendant Ross reviewed plaintiff's conduct, and determined that plaintiff had violated CMC's conduct policy, and terminated her employment.

In September, 2013, plaintiff filed a discrimination charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC"). After plaintiff's allegations, the EEOC dismissed her complaint, and issued plaintiff a right-to-sue letter. Thereafter, plaintiff filed the instant Complaint.

DISCUSSION

I. Standard for Motion to Dismiss

In reviewing a motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the Court must "accept...all factual allegations in the complaint and draw...all reasonable inferences in the plaintiff's favor." See Ruotolo v. City of New York , 514 F.3d 184, 188 (2d Cir.2008) (internal quotation marks omitted). In order to withstand dismissal, the complaint must plead "enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face." See Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly , 550 U.S. 544, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 1974 (2007) (disavowing the oft-quoted statement from Conley v. Gibson , 355 U.S. 41 (1957), that "a complaint should not be dismissed for failure to state a claim unless it appears beyond doubt that the plaintiff can prove no set of facts in support of his claim which would entitle him to relief").

"While a complaint attacked by a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss does not need detailed factual allegations, a plaintiff's obligation to provide the grounds of his entitlement to relief requires more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do." Id. at 1965 (internal quotation marks omitted). Moreover, conclusory are not entitled to any assumption of truth, and therefore, will not support a finding that the plaintiff has stated a valid claim. Hayden v. Patterson , 594 F.3d 150, 161 (2nd Circ., 2010). Thus, "at a bare minimum, the operative standard requires the plaintiff [to] provide the grounds upon which his claim rests through factual ...


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