United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana
JAMES C. TATE, SR.
VALERO SERVICES, INC.
ORDER & REASONS
WELLS ROBY CHIEF UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
the Court is Defendant's Rule 12(b)(6) Motion to
Dismiss (R. Doc. 12) filed by Valero Services Inc.
(“Valero”) seeking an order from the Court to
dismiss Plaintiff's suit pursuant to Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) for a failure to state a claim upon
which relief may be granted. The motion is opposed. R. Doc.7.
C. Tate, Sr. (“Tate”) filed the subject lawsuit
alleging that he was employed at the Meraux facility of
Murphy Oil since September 1994 where he worked for
twenty-two plus years as a Production Operator. He alleges
that Murphy Oil was purchased by Valero Services on October
1, 2011 when he volunteered to serve as an Emergency Medical
Technician, on the Emergency Response Team.
alleges that while the companies were in transition he was
subjected to discrimination, wrongful termination and hostile
work environment. He alleged that his supervisor, who is
white subjected him to harassment at the new Valero site and
that the harassment began in 2009. He alleges that his
supervisor made statements such as, “I'd have all
those niggers running” and he also observed another
white employee threaten a black employee with a knife in his
hand. He alleges that although he observed this hostile
encountered by another employee, he calmed the conflict down
and was told by his supervisor to not mention the incident.
He alleges another incident occurred on the job when a
contractor was impaled with a pipe through his torso when the
chief operator left the site, even though his shift did not
end until 6 a.m. He complains that despite leaving the job
early, the chief operator who was white, was not disciplined
when the black operators were disciplined.
alleges that he tried to complain about his observations but
that the area manager refused to meet with them and the chief
operator. He alleges that he made a complaint to the union
and was not pleased by their lack of response and resigned
from the union. Tate alleges that while attending a refresher
training that the instructor who conducted the training at
Meraux discovered that they were operating one of the boilers
in an unsafe manner and that after Tate complained in the
class, he noticed that the performance reports started to
show a decline even though he outperformed.
plaintiff complains that he was wrongly disciplined for
threatening a coworker when he provided an answer to the
coworker that was unsolicited. Tate alleges that he was
terminated on September 1, 2017 allegedly because of his
behavior which cost the company money and that he was given
the option to retire under the duress of job termination.
Tate, therefore seeks monetary damages, a permanent
injunction against all forms of discrimination, the creation
of policies providing for equal employment opportunities,
back pay, loss future income, damages for emotional distress,
and punitive damages. He also seeks compensation for alleged
defamation, harassment, humiliation and retaliation. Finally,
he seeks the award of costs.
filed the subject motion contending that Tate failed to
exhaust his administrative remedies as to his gender
discrimination and hostile work environment claims. It
further contends that all of his claims are time barred. Tate
opposes the motion. He concedes that he did not file a gender
base claim. He also provided the documentation establishing
when he had had his meeting with the EEOC.
Standard of Review
Rule 12(b)(6), the Court may dismiss a complaint if it lacks
jurisdiction over the subject matter or for failure to state
a claim upon which any relief may be granted. See
Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(1). The same standard is applied for a
motion to dismiss brought under either Rule 12(b)(1) for lack
of jurisdiction or under Rule 12(b)(6) for failure to state a
claim for which relief can be granted. Benton v. United
States, 960 F.2d 19, 21 (5th Cir. 1992).
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 Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570
(2007)). The Court must accept all well-pleaded facts as
true, viewing the complaint in the light most favorable to
the plaintiff. In re Great Lakes Dredge & Dock
Co., 624 F.3d 201, 210 (5th Cir. 2010); Guidry v.
Am. Pub. Life Ins. Co., 512 F.3d 177, 180 (5th Cir.
Supreme Court, however, has declared that “[t]hreadbare
recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by
mere conclusory statements, do not suffice.”
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (internal citation omitted).
Moreover, “[f]actual allegations must be enough to
raise a right to relief above the speculative level, ”
and “[t]he plaintiff must plead enough facts to state a
claim to relief that is plausible on its face.”
Guidry v. Am. Pub. Life Ins. Co., 512 F.3d 177, 180
(5th Cir. 2007) (quotation marks omitted). The United States
Supreme Court has explained:
A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads
factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable
inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct
alleged. The plausibility standard is not akin to a
“probability requirement, ” but it asks for more
than a sheer possibility that a defendant has acted
unlawfully. Where a complaint pleads facts that are merely
consistent with a ...