United States District Court, Middle District of Louisiana
MAG. JUDGE RICHARD L. BOURGEOIS, JR.
RULING AND ORDER
JOHN W. deGRAVELLES, JUDGE
This matter comes before the Court on the Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss Pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) (R.Doc. 8). Plaintiff opposes the motion (R.Doc 12). Oral argument is not necessary.
Considering the law and facts pled, the Court denies as moot the Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss with respect to Plaintiff’s Title VII claim, the Louisiana Employment Discrimination Law claim, and the claim for punitive damages under § 1981a. The Court denies Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff’s claim for abuse of right. Finally, Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff’s claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress is granted. Plaintiff shall have twenty-one (21) days from the signing of this order to amend the First Supplemental and Amending Complaint (R.Doc. 20) to assert any state law claims. If the Plaintiff fails to do so, then these claims shall be dismissed with prejudice.
A. Allegations of the Complaint
Plaintiff Elydia Poydras brought this suit against her former employer Defendant Circle K Stores, Inc. (“Circle K”) alleging federal and state law causes of action. Plaintiff alleges that, after she accepted a promotion to be a “Market Manager Trainee, ” she went on non-work related, approved FMLA leave. (Complaint, R.Doc. 1, p. 2). A little over a week later, on February 10, 2014, Plaintiff received a letter from the Human Resources department of Circle K saying she “must be reinstated to the same or equivalent job with the same pay, benefits, and terms and conditions of employment on [her] return from leave.” (Id.).
On April 28, 2014, after Plaintiff supposedly returned to work, Craig Stevens, the Regional Operations Director for the Gulf Coast Business Unit of Circle K Stores, Inc., allegedly presented Petitioner with the option of being terminated or being demoted to an inferior position with a significant pay cut. ( Id. at p. 3). Stevens allegedly demanded that Plaintiff give an answer the next day as to whether she wanted to resign or face demotion. (Id.). Stevens mentioned a “restructuring” which caused the termination/demotion, but Plaintiff claims that took place at the beginning of the fiscal year, 2013.
Plaintiff had several exchanges with Human Resources, requesting documentation of the offer, which Plaintiff eventually received in writing on April 30, 2014. ( Id. at p. 3-4). The offer was for a position as “Store Manager, ” which paid less yearly and did not offer Plaintiff a company car. ( Id. at p. 4).
Plaintiff claims that Circle K “harassed and bullied” her into taking a demotion “due to her exercising her right to take approved FMLA leave” and that, on May 1, 2014, Circle K forced Plaintiff into being constructively discharged. (Id.).
In her original Complaint (R.Doc. 1), Plaintiff asserted several causes of action, including (1) “discrimination ... because ... she took FMLA leave to which she was rightfully entitled, all in violation of Federal and Louisiana law”, (2) “retaliation and reprisal in violation of Federal and Louisiana law, ” (3) intentional infliction of emotional distress, (4) abuse of rights, (5) violations of the Louisiana Employment Discrimination Law, (6) violations of Title VII, (7) punitive damages pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §1981a, and (8) “all such other relief to which she is entitled at law or in equity.” ( Id. at p. 4-6).
B. Procedural History
On October 7, 2014, Defendant filed its Motion to Dismiss Pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). (R.Doc. 8). Defendant objects to the following of Plaintiff’s claims: (1) Title VII, (2) Punitive damages under 42 U.S.C. § 1981a, (3) abuse of rights, (4) the Louisiana Employment Discrimination Law (“LEDL”), La. R.S. 23:301, et seq., and (5) general tort liability under Louisiana law. (R.Doc. 8, p. 1).
On October 28, 2014, Plaintiff filed an Opposition, conceding that the “Complaint inadvertently referenced Title VII, Louisiana’s anti-discrimination law, and 42 U.S.C. §1981a.” (R.Doc. 12, p. 1). Plaintiff explained how she intended to amend her Complaint to remove these claims. Plaintiff went on to argue that she stated a valid cause of action for liquidated damaged pursuant to the FMLA, for abuse of rights, and for intentional infliction of emotional distress.
Additionally, Plaintiff filed her First Supplemental and Amending Complaint (R.Doc. 20). Defendant opposed the Plaintiff’s motion to file the amended Complaint. (R.Doc. 16). Defendant argued “unnecessary multiple amendments can be avoided by waiting until the Motion to Dismiss is ruled upon, so that all amendments can be made at one time.” (R.Doc. 16, p. 1).
The Magistrate Judge granted Plaintiff’s Motion for Leave to File Supplemental and Amending Complaint. (R.Doc. 19). In the amended complaint, Plaintiff removed “all references to claims arising under Title VII and Louisiana’s anti-discrimination law, La. R.S. 23:301, et seq., ” and removed “all references to claims arising under 42 U.S.C. §1981[sic].” (R.Doc. 20). Presumably, Plaintiff intended to dismiss all of her §1981a claims.
A. Rule 12(b)(6) Standard