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Jarvis v. Circle K Stores

United States District Court, M.D. Louisiana

April 21, 2015

JACQUELINE Y. JARVIS
v.
CIRCLE K STORES, et al.

RULING AND ORDER

JOHN W. deGRAVELLES, District Judge.

This matter is before the Court on Defendant Craig Stevens' Partial Motion to Dismiss Pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) (Doc. 38) and Defendant Elydia Poydras' Partial Motion to Dismiss Pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) (Doc. 39). Both motions are opposed (Doc. 44 and 45), and Defendant Stevens has filed a reply (Doc. 47). After careful review of the submissions of the parties and the relevant law, the Court grants the Defendants' motions.

I. Relevant Factual Allegations and Background

Plaintiff, Jacqueline Y. Jarvis, filed suit against Defendants, Circle K Stores, Inc. ("Circle K"), Elydia Poydras ("Poydras"), and Craig Stevens ("Stevens"), after obtaining a Right to Sue Letter (Doc. 1-1) from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Plaintiff filed an Amended and Supplemental Complaint (Doc. 3) on April 4, 2014. On October 16, 2014, Plaintiff filed a second Amended and Supplemental Complaint (Doc. 36). For purposes of these motions, the allegations in Plaintiff's second Amended and Supplemental Complaint will be taken as true.

Plaintiff was employed as a store manager by Exxon/Mobil when Defendant, Circle K, purchased the area Exxon/Mobil stores in November of 2011. (Doc. 36, ¶5). Following the purchase, Plaintiff was kept on as the store manager for the Zachary, Louisiana, store location. (Id.). In March of 2013, Defendant, Elydia Poydras, became the Circle K marketing manager in charge of the region in which Plaintiff's store was located. (Id. at ¶8). Plaintiff alleges that, following her appointment, Poydras began a campaign of professional and personal criticism designed to humiliate and intimidate Plaintiff. (Id. at ¶8-9). Poydras accused Plaintiff of padding the books and threatened to fire her. (Id. at ¶10). Poydras also made disparaging remarks about Plaintiff to other Circle K employees including telling these employees that Plaintiff had taken money from credit card tallies at the store. (Id. at ¶23). In June of 2013, Plaintiff reported Poydras' harassment to Circle K Regional Manager, Defendant, Craig Stevens. (Id. at ¶11). Plaintiff also attempted to report the harassment to two members of Circle K's human resources department. (Id. at ¶14).

In mid-August of 2013, Plaintiff had a meeting with Poydras and Stevens to discuss the alleged harassment. (Id. at ¶12). During this meeting, Stevens promised Plaintiff that, should a transfer become necessary, there would be no negative changes to Plaintiff's wages or benefits. (Id.). Shortly thereafter, Plaintiff was transferred from the Zachary store to a less profitable store. (Id. at ¶15). Because Plaintiff's wages are determined by the volume of sales of the store she manages, Plaintiff asserts that this relocation resulted in a wage decrease of approximately $100 per week. (Id. at ¶10).

Plaintiff alleges that she continued to experience harassment and intimidation at the new store. (Id. at ¶15). Poydras encouraged the assistant manager and employees to oppose Plaintiff and her efforts to manage the store. (Id. at ¶20). This resulted in Plaintiff experiencing problems with the staff including insubordination. (Id.). Plaintiff alleges that Stevens and Circle K supported Poydras' actions. (Id. at ¶26).

After filing her original complaint, Plaintiff was again relocated to another Circle K store in January or February of 2014. (Id. at ¶27). Plaintiff continues to manage this location and alleges that her income remains reduced because the volume of sales at her current store is less than that of the Zachary store. (Id.). Plaintiff further alleges that Circle K has forced her to manage this new location with an insufficient staff, thus requiring her to work more hours for less pay. (Id. at ¶¶28-29, 34).

Plaintiff contends that Poydras sought to create a hostile work environment in an effort to encourage Plaintiff to resign from her position. (Id. at ¶25). Plaintiff further argues that Poydras sought to have Plaintiff transferred to a less profitable store to force Plaintiff to accept a decrease in wages. (Id.). Plaintiff alleges that Poydras, Stevens, and Circle K have harassed and discriminated against her because of her age and her gender. (Id. at ¶34).

Plaintiff also asserts that Poydras defamed her while under the supervision of Circle K and Stevens. (Id. at ¶21). Plaintiff alleges, inter alia , claims under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1968 (ADEA) against Circle K and against Poydras and Stevens in their individual capacities. (Id. at Counts 1 and 2).

II. Discussion

A. Relevant Standards

In their Rule 12(b)(6) Partial Motions to Dismiss, Defendants, Poydras and Stevens, assert that the Title VII and ADEA claims against them should be dismissed for failure to state a claim because neither of them qualifies as ...


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