United States District Court, M.D. Louisiana
RULING AND ORDER
A. JACKSON, CHIEF JUDGE
the Court is the Motion to Dismiss (Doc. 67)
filed by Defendants Louisiana Workforce Commission, Wes
Hataway, Bryce Tomlin, Corey Gaines, and Nakesla Blount.
Plaintiff Lakeisha Hall filed an opposition (Doc. 80), and
Defendants filed a reply. (Doc. 81). For the following
reasons the Motion to Dismiss (Doc. 67) is
GRANTED IN PART and DENIED IN PART.
an employment discrimination lawsuit arising from Plaintiffs
termination from the Louisiana Workforce Commission
("LWC") on July 14, 2014. (Doc. 60). Plaintiff
alleges that she began working as a full-time employee for
LWC in January 2012, where she worked in the Office of
Workers Compensation Administration. Id. at
¶¶ 12-14. Plaintiff alleges that Bryce Tomlin was
her direct supervisor, and that Corey Gaines, Larry White,
and Wes Hataway also supervised her. Id. at 15. She
also alleges that Nakelsa Blount was the Human Resources
manager and Blount was charged with managing and enforcing
LWC's leave policy. Id.
claims that she informed Tomlin that she was pregnant around
June 23, 2014. Id. at ¶ 26. Shortly thereafter,
Plaintiff alleges that she suffered morning sickness, and
therefore she missed work or arrived late to work.
Id. at ¶¶ 29-30A. Plaintiff alleges that
Tomlin informed her that her absences would be considered
unexcused, and failed to advise her that she may be eligible
for leave under the Family Medical Leave Act
("FMLA"). Id. at 30-30A. According to
Plaintiff, on July 10, 2014, Tomlin provided her a letter
titled 'Supervisory Plan, " which stated that
Plaintiff would not receive approval for annual and
compensatory leave requests until she significantly improved
her attendance, but she was permitted to use annual leave for
medical appointments if it was qualified leave under the
FMLA. Id. at ¶ 31-32.
alleges that later that day Tomlin sent an email to Blount,
White and Gaines about this meeting with Plaintiff.
Id. at 33B. White asked whether Plaintiff was on
probation and Blount responded to the group email that
Petitioner was on probation and that she "recommend[ed]
separating her from probation." Id. at 33C.
White replied "I concur." Id. at 33D.
Gaines then replied to the group that he agreed and Tomlin
had his "backing." Id. at 33E. Blount
replied to the group stating that Plaintiffs "reaction
to being giving [sic] a written warning is evidence that she
is not a fit for the agency. Her immediate respon[se] was
discrimination and she was being mistreated. Additionally,
she is pregnant and will have a reason to also claim this as
a disability/discrimination if she is dissatisfied."
White then instructed Tomlin and Gaines, to prepare a letter
of termination to fire Petitioner. Id. at 33G.
next day, Friday, July 11, 2014, Plaintiff alleges that she
used previously approved leave to attend her first prenatal
appointment. Id. at ¶ 35. When she returned to
work on Monday, July 14, 2014, Plaintiff alleges that Tomlin
gave her a notice of separation. Id. at ¶ 36.
Plaintiff sued LWC, Blount, Hataway, Gaines, and Tomlin and
brought claims under Title VII, the Louisiana Employment
Discrimination Law, La. R.S. 23:301, the Louisiana
Whistleblower Statute, La. R.S. 23:967, the FMLA, the
Louisiana Fair Employment Practices Act, La. R.S. 23:341, the
Americans with Disabilities Act, and 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
(Doc. 60 at p. 19-33).
filed suit on August 12, 2015. (Doc. 1). Plaintiff filed an
Amended Complaint on September 23, 2015. (Doc. 4). Defendants
moved to dismiss Plaintiffs claims, and on April 29, 2016,
the Court granted the motion in part and denied it in part.
(Doc. 29). The Court dismissed all of Plaintiffs claims
except for her:
• Title VII Discrimination Claim against LWC (First
Cause of Action)
• Title VII Retaliation Claim Against LWC (Third Cause
• FMLA Claim Against Hataway and Tomlin (Seventh Cause
• Section 1983 Employment Discrimination Claim Against
Tomlin (Tenth Cause of Action)
(See Doc. 29).
October 2, 2017, the Court granted Plaintiffs Motion for
Leave to file a Second Amended Complaint. (Doc. 59).
Defendants then filed the pending Motion to Dismiss. (Doc.
67). On November 9, 2017, the Court ordered supplemental
briefing on whether Plaintiffs § 1983 claims are
time-barred. (Doc. 82). Plaintiff and Defendants timely filed
supplemental briefs. (Docs. 83-84).
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