United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana
ORDER AND REASONS
WELLS ROBY CHIEF UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
the Court is a Partial Motion to Dismiss (R. Doc.
6) filed by the Defendant, Monsanto Company, seeking
dismissal of the Plaintiff's claims for sex
discrimination pursuant to Title VII, violation of The Equal
Pay Act, and negligence. The Plaintiff then filed an Amended
Complaint. R. Doc. 11. Thereafter, Monsanto filed a reply
addressing the amended complaint. R. Doc. 16. The motion was
heard on the briefs.
Factual and Procedural Background
plaintiff, Dwayne Lumar, (“Lumar”) an
African-American male, began working as a production
technician for Monsanto Company (“Monsanto”) in
April of 2013. Rec. Doc. 1, p. 3. The training tests and
requirements for the production technician position included
climbing steel ladders, tank ladders, harnesses, and
scaffolds. Id. At the time of hiring, Plaintiff
weighed 465 pounds and was able to pass all physicals and
complete the position requirements successfully. Id.
four months into his job, Plaintiff alleges that Monsanto
advised him that he could no longer qualify for a production
technician position as his weight prevented him from climbing
the steel ladders. Id. According to Lumar, Monsanto
advised him that he must get his weight under 400 pounds in
order to maintain employment. Id.
the Plaintiff alleges that he was able to successfully
complete all tasks involving the climbing of the steel
ladders from April 2013 through August 2013. Id.
Plaintiff alleges that Monsanto created a hostile work
environment by holding meetings every two weeks critiquing
his weight, assigning a nurse to him, and not permitting him
to complete the work duties that he was successfully
completing previously. Id. In addition, Plaintiff
alleges that he was advised that he could not discuss the
situation with other employees. Id. at p. 4.
October of 2013, the Plaintiff contends that Monsanto placed
him on medical leave and allegedly required that he have
surgery to address his weight of 443 pounds. Id.
During his medical leave Plaintiff states he underwent the
surgery and was allegedly prohibited from qualifying for a
wage raise during this time. Id.
around April of 2014, Plaintiff states he reached a weight of
399.5 pounds, but Monsanto continued to require meetings with
the plant nurse. Id. Plaintiff alleged that at all
pertinent times, Monsanto employed “his counterpart,
” Ron Schexnayder, a Caucasian male, who also held the
position of production technician who weighed over 400
pounds. Id.; See also Rec. Doc. 6-2, p. 2.
Plaintiff alleged that Schexnayder was never required to
undergo the same treatment regarding his weight as Plaintiff.
Rec. Doc. 1, p. 4.
November 25, 2017, Plaintiff filed this lawsuit alleging that
he suffered losses in compensation, earning capacity,
humiliation, family issues, mental anguish, and emotional
distress as a result of Defendant's actions. He alleges
four claims in the original complaint: (1) unlawful
discrimination and harassment on the basis of race in
violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; (2)
discrimination based on disability under the Americans with
Disabilities Act (ADA); (3) discrimination due to his
disability of morbid obesity and race in violation of The
Equal Pay Act, 29 U.S.C. §206, et seq.; and (4)
the infliction emotional distress upon him by allegedly
requiring him to undergo unnecessary surgery. R. Doc. 1.
thereafter filed a Motion for Partial Dismissal pursuant to
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) on February 14,
2018. R. Doc. 6 It argues that several of Plaintiff's
claims must be dismissed as a matter of law for the failure
to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. The
Defendant contends the following claims should be dismissed:
(1) any claim for discrimination based on sex for failure to
exhaust administrative remedies; (2) alleged violations of
the Equal Pay Act for failing to state a claim; and (3)
claims for negligent infliction of emotional distress are
barred by the Louisiana Worker's Compensation Act. Rec.
response, the Plaintiff filed a First Amended Complaint
asserting claims for: (1) race discrimination in violation of
Title VII; (2) discrimination based on a disability pursuant
to the Americans with Disabilities Act; and (3) negligent
infliction of emotional distress. The amended complaint,
however, no longer asserts any claims for sex discrimination
and violations of the Equal Pay Act. As a result, the motion
to dismiss is moot with respect to the claims that have been
withdrawn and abandoned by the Plaintiff.
same time as filing the Amended Complaint, the Plaintiff
filed his opposition to the motion to dismiss and for the
first time suggest that the alleged infliction of emotional
distress was intentional. Rec. Doc. 12, p. 2. Further, the
Plaintiff requested that the Court permit him to amend the
complaint as opposed to dismissing the claims. Id.
Defendant, in reply to the Amended Complaint and opposition
contend that Plaintiff fails to re-assert the sex
discrimination claim and violation of the Equal Pay Act claim
and that Plaintiff's claim for intentional infliction of
emotional distress should be dismissed because the
allegations are insufficient as a matter of law, and that any
claim for negligent infliction of emotional distress is
barred by the Louisiana Workers Compensation Act. R. Doc. 16.
The Defendant also contends that any additional amendment
would be futile, the Plaintiff has already had the
opportunity to amend, and has done so in order to address the
motion to dismiss. Id.