United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana
ORDER AND REASONS
M. AFRICK, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Ganheart works in the library system for the City of New
Orleans (“City”). According to Ganheart, over the
past several years library personnel have taken certain
actions against her that have violated her rights under both
the U.S. Constitution and Title VII.
Court previously dismissed Ganheart's complaint for failure to
state a claim, but invited Ganheart to amend her complaint.
Ganheart accepted the Court's invitation, and timely
filed an amended complaint and supplementary materials
(“amended complaint”). The City now moves to
dismiss that amended complaint. Ganheart did not
respond to or oppose the City's motion.
Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) permits a defendant to seek
dismissal of a complaint for “failure to state a claim
upon which relief can be granted.” The Court accepts
all well-pleaded factual allegations in the complaint as true
and construes them in the light most favorable to the
plaintiff. Calhoun v. Hargrove, 312 F.3d 730, 733
(5th Cir. 2002).
complaint to survive a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, the
facts taken as true must state a claim that is plausible on
its face. Brand Coupon Network, L.L.C. v. Catalina
Marketing Corp., 748 F.3d 631, 634 (5th Cir. 2014). A
claim is facially plausible “when the plaintiff pleads
factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable
inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct
alleged.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678
plausibility standard is not akin to a probability
requirement, but it asks for more than a sheer possibility
that a defendant has acted unlawfully.” Culbertson
v. Lykos, 790 F.3d 608, 616 (5th Cir. 2015) (internal
quotation marks omitted). “It is well-established that
pro se complaints are held to less stringent standards than
formal pleadings drafted by lawyers.” Clark,
312 F.3d at 733 (internal quotation marks omitted). However,
even a pro se complaint is insufficient where it contains
“only labels and conclusions, or a formulaic recitation
of the elements of a cause of action.” Whitley v.
Hanna, 726 F.3d 631, 638 (5th Cir. 2013) (citation
omitted) (internal quotation marks omitted).
previous Order and Reasons, the Court identified five claims
in Ganheart's complaint. The Court dismissed one claim-a
retaliation claim relating to a 2014 reprimand and
demotion-with prejudice. That left Ganheart with four claims
that the Court dismissed without prejudice: a retaliation
claim related to a 2016 demotion; a retaliation claim related
to a 2015 performance evaluation; a hostile workplace claim;
and a constitutional due process claim. The Court
discerns no additional claims in Ganheart's amended
reviewing the amended complaint, the Court concludes that
dismissal of Ganheart's remaining claims is warranted.
Ganheart continues to assert a claim related to her 2016
demotion.However, as the Court informed Ganheart in
its previous Order and Reasons, “[e]mployment
discrimination plaintiffs must exhaust
administrative remedies before pursuing claims in federal
court.” Taylor v. Books A Million, Inc., 296
F.3d 376, 378-79 (5th Cir. 2002) (emphasis added).
“Exhaustion occurs when the plaintiff files a timely
charge with the EEOC and receives a statutory notice of right
to sue.” Id. at 379. Ganheart has not
demonstrated that she has exhausted her administrative
remedies with respect to this claim and so the Court must
dismiss this claim again.
Ganheart has still failed to plead sufficient facts to
support a hostile work environment claim. “A plaintiff
may establish a Title VII violation based on race
discrimination creating a hostile work environment.”
Ramsey v. Henderson, 286 F.3d 264, 268 (5th Cir.
2002). To do so, a plaintiff must show:
(1) she belongs to a protected group; (2) she was subjected
to unwelcome harassment; (3) the harassment complained of was
based on race; (4) the harassment complained of
affected a term, condition, or privilege of
employment; (5) the employer knew or should have
known of the harassment in question and failed to take prompt
Id. (emphasis added)
alleges that she was “micro-manage[d]” by her
supervisors and “harassed and bullied by a co-worker
who was previously a subordinate.” With respect
to the alleged harassment, Ganheart contends that her
colleague “constantly interfered with my instructions
to the staff regarding duties” and “constantly
[told Ganheart] and other staff members that [she] could not
tell them what to do because [she] was not their
supervisor.” Ganheart also contends that, on at least
one occasion, her colleague “yelled at [her] several
times and ordered [her] to the service
liberally construed, these allegations are ultimately
“job-related criticisms” that have nothing to do
with Ganheart's race. Id. As such, Ganheart has
fallen short of stating a viable hostile workplace
environment claim. Cf. Kang v. Bd. of Supervisors of La.
St. Univ., 75 Fed. App'x 974, 976 (5th Cir. 2003)
(per curiam) (concluding that receiving a “poor
performance evaluation, ” being “written up,
” and being publicly criticized in front of colleagues,
id. at 975-76, does not rise to the level of showing
a hostile work environment); Ramsey, 286 F.3d at 269
(“[The plaintiff] alleges that she ‘suffered
ongoing racial harassment from black females, ' but
points to no concrete examples.”).
also fails to adequately plead a
constitutional-i.e., procedural-due process claim.
The Court's previous Order and Reasons explained that
this claim appears based on Ganheart's alleged denial of
access to certain documents during an administrative
appeal. In her amended complaint, Ganheart
renews her objection to the denial of access to these
documents. Ganheart also alleges that
“defendant's policy [for addressing employee
harassment claims] required that I utilize their manipulative
and fraudulently communicated administrative
process.” These “threadbare allegations do
not establish that [Ganheart's] constitutional rights
were violated.” See Meza v. Livingston, 607
F.3d 392, 402 (5th Cir. 2010) (discussing Mathews v.
Eldridge, 424 U.S. 319, 334-35 (1976)). This claim is
subject to dismissal.
Ganheart alleges a retaliation claim related to her 2015
performance evaluation,  which-despite Ganheart's
reference to the year 2015-allegedly reflected her 2014
performance. The Court previously dismissed this claim for