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Holmes v. General Dynamics Information Technology, Inc.

United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana

February 1, 2018

TIFFANY L. HOLMES
v.
GENERAL DYNAMICS INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY, INC.

         SECTION "S"(1)

          ORDER AND REASONS

          MARY ANN VIAL LEMMON, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Defendant's Motion to Strike Plaintiff's First Supplemental Restated and Amended Complaint (Doc. #17) is DENIED.

         IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Defendant's Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings (Doc. #12) is DENIED.

         BACKGROUND

         This matter is before the court on defendant's Motion to Strike Plaintiff's First Supplemental Restated and Amended Complaint and defendant's Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings.

         On November 10, 2017, plaintiff, Tiffany L. Holmes, filed this suit against her former employer, defendant General Dynamics Information Technology, Inc., alleging that General Dynamics violated the Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”), 29 U.S.C. § 2611, et. seq., and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (“ADA”), 42 U.S.C. § 12101, et. seq. Holmes alleges that she began working at General Dynamics' telephonic call center in Bogalusa, Louisiana on September 6, 2016, and that during her employment, her mental and physical health required medical and psychiatric attention. Holmes alleges that in May 2017, [1] she gave General Dynamics notes from her medical providers stating that she was unable to work because of her psychiatric conditions, and inquired about applying for short-term disability benefits. Holmes' last day of work was May 24, 2017. On June 6, 2017, General Dynamics notified Holmes that her employment was terminated due to “unsatisfactory attendance.” Holmes alleges that she remains unable to work due to her psychiatric conditions. Holmes claims that General Dynamics violated the FMLA by not applying it to her situation, and that General Dynamics violated the ADA by failing to make a reasonable accommodation for her physical or mental limitations.

         On December 22, 2017, General Dynamics filed an Answer and a Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings under Rule 12(c) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. In its Rule 12(c) motion, General Dynamics argues that Holmes did not properly allege a FMLA claim because she failed to plead essential elements of the claim that she worked 1, 250 hours at General Dynamics in the preceding 12 calendar months, and that she was employed at a location with 50 or more employees within 75 miles. In support of its contention, General Dynamics filed the affidavit of Jamie Hill, General Dynamics' Director of Benefits, in which Hill declares that Holmes worked 1, 113.80 hours in the 12 months preceding May 24, 2017. General Dynamics argues that it would be futile to allow Holmes to amend her complaint to state that she met the requisite hours to claim FMLA coverage. General Dynamics also argues that Holmes failed to state an ADA claim because she alleges that she is unable to work, and the ADA requires that a qualified individual with a disability be able to work with a reasonable accommodation.

         On January 9, 2018, Holmes filed an opposition to General Dynamics' Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings and an Amended Complaint. Holmes argues that her Amended Complaint cures the pleading deficiencies on which General Dynamics' Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings is based. Holmes argues that in the Amended Complaint she properly pleaded a FMLA claim by alleging that she was employed by General Dynamics for at least 1, 250 hours of service in the immediately preceding 12-month period and that General Dynamics had had 50 or more employees within 75 miles of her worksite. Holmes also argues that she properly pleaded an ADA claim in the Amended Complaint by alleging that she was qualified to do the work, and that she would have been able to continue to perform the essential functions of her job with medical treatment and a reasonable accommodation had she not been fired. Holmes argues that her Amended Complaint renders moot General Dynamics' Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings and that the court must take all allegations in her Amended Complaint as true without reference to Hill's affidavit.

         General Dynamics filed a Motion to Strike Holmes' Amended Complaint arguing that it was improperly filed because Holmes did not have General Dynamics' consent or leave of court to file the Amended Complaint. General Dynamics argues that once the Amended Complaint is stricken, its Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings should be granted due to the deficiencies in the original Complaint. Alternative, General Dynamics argues that if the Amended Complaint is not stricken, this court should treat its Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings as a motion for summary judgment and consider matters outside of the pleadings. General Dynamics argues that Hill's affidavit proves that Holmes cannot maintain a FMLA claim. General Dynamics also argues that Holmes' Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Charge of Discrimination (“EEOC Charge”) proves that Holmes cannot prevail on her ADA claim because she states in it that she was offered an accommodation but did not return to work. General Dynamics argues that this is proof that it did not violate the ADA.

         Holmes argues that her Amended Complaint should not be stricken because she filed it as a matter of right under Rule 15(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Holmes contends that under Rule 15(a) she was not required to obtain General Dynamics' consent or leave of court to file her Amended Complaint. Thus, it was properly filed and should not be stricken.

         ANALYSIS

         I. General Dynamics' Motion to Strike Holmes' Amended Complaint (Doc. #17)

         General Dynamics argues that Holmes' Amended Complaint should be stricken because Holmes did not have its consent or leave ...


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