United States District Court, M.D. Louisiana
RULING AND ORDER
A. JACKSON, UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT CHIEF JUDGE
the Court is the Motion to Dismiss (Doc. 4)
filed by Defendant United Rentals North America, Inc.
Plaintiff Philip A. Callais filed an opposition (Doc. 9), and
Defendant filed a reply. (Doc. 17). For the following reasons
the Motion to Dismiss (Doc. 4) is
GRANTED IN PART and DENIED IN PART.
lawsuit stems from alleged discrimination, harassment, and
retaliation that he suffered because he is a veteran who
suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder
("PTSD"). (Doc. 12 at ¶ 3). He also alleges
that he has an arterial blockage in his legs. Id.
Plaintiff alleges that Defendant hired him on September 30,
2013, to serve as a truck driver. Id. Plaintiff
alleges that his PTSD causes him to suffer from sleep
deprivation and causes him to "spook" easily.
Id. at ¶ 5, 18. He also alleges that he takes
blood thinners and that it is difficult to be in the sun.
Id. at ¶ 47.
alleges that in November 2013, a non-veteran without a
disability and with less experience was allowed to drive
trucks before him, while Plaintiff had to continue
"working in the yard." Id. at ¶ 10.
It is not clear from Plaintiffs Complaint exactly what
"working in the yard" entails but the Court infers
that it involves work such as loading trucks. Plaintiff also
alleges that because the Defendant refused to allow him to
drive, while allowing a non-veteran to drive a truck, he
filed a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity
("EEOC") on February 20, 2014. Id. at
¶ 10-11. He alleges that he was then subjected to
"retaliatory scrutiny of his job performance."
Id. at ¶ 10-11. Plaintiff alleges that other
non-veterans were better trained, given more time off and
their orders were "respected" while his were
overlooked. Id. at ¶ 16, 41, 47. He also claims
that he told a supervisor about his PTSD but "[h]e would
not stay on subject when plaintiff talked about being
afforded a reasonable accommodation." Id. at
¶ 20. Plaintiff alleges that he was terminated on July
11, 2016, because of his disability, veteran status, and
because he engaged in protected activity. Id. at
¶ 51 and Doc. 1-4. Plaintiff then filed a charge of
discrimination on September 8, 2016 with the EEOC and the
Louisiana Commission on Human Rights ("LCHR").
(Doc. 1-4). The LCHR issued Plaintiff a right to sue letter
on April 21, 2017. (Doc. 1-3). Plaintiff filed suit on May
16, 2017. (Doc. 1).
claims that Defendant is liable under: (1) the Americans with
Disabilities Act ("ADA") by engaging in disability
discrimination; (2) the ADA by engaging in retaliation; (3)
the ADA for failure to provide reasonable accommodations; (4)
the Louisiana Employment Discrimination Law
("LEDL"), La. R.S. 23:323, by engaging in
disability discrimination; (5) the LEDL by engaging in
retaliation; (6) the LEDL for failure to provide reasonable
accommodations; (7) the LEDL for discrimination, retaliation,
and harassment, on the basis of veteran status; (8)
Louisiana's Whistleblower Act, La. R.S. 23:967; and (9)
Louisiana's Civil Rights Act for Handicapped Persons, La.
R.S. 46:2251. (Doc. 12 at ¶ 50).
19, 2017, Defendant filed a motion to dismiss. (Doc. 4).
Plaintiff then filed an Amended Complaint on September 17,
2017. (Doc. 12). Plaintiffs added two allegations in his
Amended Complaint. First, he alleges that "[t]he
entirety of facts and circumstances to which the defendant
subjected the plaintiff constituted a hostile work
environment." Id. at ¶ 48. Second, he
alleges that Defendant terminated him because of his
disability, veteran status, and because he engaged in
protected activity. Id. at ¶ 51. Defendant
asserts that the Amended Complaint is substantially similar
to the original Complaint, and therefore its Motion to
Dismiss applies equally to the Amended Complaint. (Doc. 17).
motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6) tests the sufficiency
of the complaint against the legal standard set forth in Rule
8, which requires "a short and plain statement of the
claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief."
Rule 8(a)(2). "To survive a motion to dismiss, a
complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as
true, to 'state a claim to relief that is plausible on
its face.'" Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S.
662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Ail. Corp. v. Twombly,
550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). "Determining whether a
complaint states a plausible claim for relief [is] . . . a
context-specific task that requires the reviewing court to
draw on its judicial experience and common sense."
Ashcroft, 556 U.S. at 679.
plausibility" exists "when the plaintiff pleads
factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable
inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct
alleged." Id. at 678 (citing Twombly,
550 U.S. at 556). Hence, the complaint need not set out
"detailed factual allegations, " but something
"more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic
recitation of the elements of a cause of action" is
required. Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555. When conducting
its inquiry, the Court "accepts all well-pleaded facts
as true and views those facts in the light most favorable to
the plaintiff." Bustos v. Martini Club Inc.,
599 F.3d 458, 461 (5th Cir. 2010) (quotation marks omitted).
ADA and LEDL Claims
claims that Defendant violated the ADA and the LEDL by
engaging in unlawful discrimination. (Doc. 12 at ¶ 50).
Discrimination claims brought under the LEDL are analyzed
under the same framework as ADA claims. Baker v. FedEx
Ground Package Sys. Inc.,278 Fed.Appx. 322, 327 (5th
Cir. 2008) (citing Smith v. Amedisys, Inc., 298 F.3d
434, 448 (5th Cir. 2002). "To establish a prima facie
discrimination claim under the ADA, a plaintiff must prove:
(1) that he has a disability; (2) that he was qualified for
the job; [and] (3) that he was subject to an adverse
employment decision on account of his ...