United States District Court, M.D. Louisiana
RULING AND ORDER
JOHN W. DEGRAVELLES UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
before the Court is the Motion to Dismiss Pursuant to Rule
12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure filed by
Defendants Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System,
Inc. and Our Lady of the Lake Hospital, Inc. (Doc. 11).
Plaintiff Karnisha Williams opposes the motion. (Doc. 15).
The defendants have filed a reply brief in support of their
motion. (Doc. 18). Oral argument is not necessary. After
careful consideration of the parties' arguments, the
factual allegations, and the applicable law, and for the
following reasons, the defendants' motion (Doc. 11) is
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
Karnisha Williams, an African American female, filed suit on
March 21, 2018, against Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady
of Health System, Inc. (“FMOLH”) alleging that
she was discriminated against on the basis of her race and
sex during the course of her employment at Our Lady of the
Lake Hospital in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. (Doc. 1). On April
11, 2018, she filed an amended complaint, adding Our Lady of
the Lake Hospital, Inc. (“OLOL”) as a defendant.
April 2015, Williams interviewed with OLOL's Kathleen
Husain for a Heart Vascular Cardiovascular Unit
(“HVCU”) position. (Doc. 4 at 2). Williams told
Husain that she was interested in a position in the Intensive
Care Unit (“ICU”). (Id.). Husain
informed Williams that newly hired nurses typically work in
the Telemetry division for about one year and then transition
to the ICU. (Id.). In June 2015, Williams completed
her last semester of “school” with an ICU nurse
in the HVCU and subsequently began her orientation as a
registered nurse in August 2015. (Id.)
around September 2015, Williams informed Husain that she did
not feel comfortable working with Ashley Hayes, who she
“believed was behaving in a condescending manner
towards her.” (Doc. 4 at 2). Williams heard from
several individuals that Hayes would speak about how she
hated working with Williams. (Id.). In November
2015, Williams completed her orientation and began working in
the Heart Vascular Ambulatory Unit two months later.
(Id. at 2-3). In April 2016, she became a member of
the Telemetry Council. (Id. at 3). Subsequently, in
May 2016, she completed Advanced Cardiac Life Support
(“ACLS”) training and “received a positive
annual evaluation.” (Id.). In June 2016, she
became a Telemetry Council Chair. (Id.).
2016, Williams reported being “bullied” by a
white coworker to her supervisor, John Wilson. (Doc. 4 at 3).
Williams informed Husain and Wilson that the coworker,
Rebecca Musika, the charge nurse, “stated that the
family of [Williams'] patient had requested a new
nurse.” (Id.). Williams later learned,
however, that the family did not actually make the request.
(Id.). In fact, after Williams was replaced, the
family requested Williams back. (Id.). This request
was denied by Musika. (Id.). Wilson confirmed that
the family wanted Williams to care for their relative.
August 2016, near the end of her first year in the Telemetry
division, Williams asked Husain about the possibility of
training for, and eventually transferring to, a position in
the ICU. (Doc. 4 at 3). Husain then met with David Salbador,
the night supervisor, who informed her that Williams was not
ready to transfer to the ICU. (Id. at 3-4). Williams
believes that Salbador informed Husain that Williams was not
ready to be transferred because she isolated herself from the
other ICU nurses by not sitting in the nurse's station or
engaging with them during her shifts. (Id. at 4).
Thus, according to Williams, “there was no reason to
deny the transfer based on skill or training, ” and the
decision was based on race. (Id.). Williams later
found out that certain white coworkers without an ACLS
certification were permitted to train for the ICU.
(Id.). As a result, she requested to be transferred
to another unit. (Id.). The coworkers are not
alleges that she “had begun to be bullied by the other
white nurses on the unit and made complaint [sic], ”
but does not specify which unit or to whom she made a
complaint. (Doc. 4 at 4). Williams met with the Chief Nursing
Officer, Nicole Telhard, “to discuss her concerns
regarding her career advancement.” (Id.). She
also met with Chief Operating Officer Terrie Sterling and
complained “that she was unable to advance in her
nursing career like white co-employees who had advanced to
the ICU training.” (Id.). Nevertheless,
“[n]o action was taken to allow Mrs. Williams to
advance in the same manner as other white co-employees in
that unit.” (Id. at 4-5). As a result,
Williams left OLOL in December 2017. (Id. at 5).
11, 2017, Williams filed a Charge of Discrimination with the
U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
(“EEOC”) against “Our Lady of the Lake Reg.
Med. Ctr.” alleging discrimination on the basis of race
and sex. (Doc. 4-1). She amended the charge on August 1,
2017, to add a claim for retaliation, but did not attach the
amended charge to her complaint. (Doc. 4 at 5). On December
21, 2017, the EEOC issued its Dismissal and Notice of Rights,
permitting Williams to file a lawsuit within 90 days. (Doc.
4-1 at 3).
asserts claims for race and sex discrimination and
retaliation under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964,
42 U.S.C. § 2000(e), et seq., and the Civil
Rights Act of 1866, 42 U.S.C. § 1981. (Doc. 4 at 1.)
Williams also asserts state-law claims for intentional
infliction of emotional distress pursuant to La. C.C. Art.
2315 and employment discrimination under La. R.S. 23:332.
(Id. at 5-6.)
STANDARD OF REVIEW
ruling on a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6) of the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the Court must accept all
well-pled factual allegations in the complaint as true and
construe them in the light most favorable to the plaintiff.
Gonzalez v. Kay, 577 F.3d 600, 603 (5th Cir. 2009).
To defeat a motion to dismiss, a complaint must contain
“enough facts to state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.” Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). A claim is
“plausible on its face” if “the plaintiff
pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the
reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the
misconduct alleged.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556
U.S. 662, 678 (2009). The complaint “requires more than
labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the
elements of a cause of action will not do.”
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555. Factual allegations need
not be detailed, but “must be enough to raise a right
to relief above the speculative level, ” id.,
and “unadorned, the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me
accusation[s]” are not sufficient. Iqbal, 556
U.S. at 678.
Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System
alleges that it, alone, should be dismissed on two separate
but related bases: (1) Williams has not adequately alleged
that it was her employer and was responsible for any of the
employment decisions at issue; and (2) Williams did not
exhaust her administrative remedies by failing to name FMOLH
in her EEOC charge. (Doc. 11-1 at 6-8). Because the Court
agrees with FMOLH that Williams has not adequately alleged
that it was her employer and was ...