United States District Court, S.D. Ohio, Western Division
DECISION AND ENTRY SUSTAINING IN PART AND OVERRULING
IN PART DEFENDANT AMERICAN SHOWA, INC.'S, MOTION TO
DISMISS PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT (DOC. #3); PLAINTIFF MAY
SEEK LEAVE TO FILE AN AMENDED COMPLAINT WITHIN FOURTEEN DAYS
AS TO COUNT III
H. RICE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Edward Grimsley, a Caucasian, homosexual male in a committed
relationship with an African-American male, filed suit
against his former employer, American Showa, Inc.
("Defendant"), alleging: (1) retaliation in
violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
("Title VII"), 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-3; (2)
retaliation in violation of Ohio Revised Code §
4112.02(1); and (3) sex discrimination in violation of Title
VII, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-2. This matter is currently
before the Court on Defendant's Motion to Dismiss Under
Civil Rule 12(b)(6). Doc. #3. For the reasons set forth
below, that motion is sustained in part and overruled in
Background and Procedural History
is a manufacturer of shock absorber and power steering
systems. Doc. #1, PagelD#2. In late 2014, Plaintiff, who
self-identifies as a Caucasian, homosexual male, began
working as a training associate at Defendant's
Blanchester, Ohio, plant through a temporary agency.
Id. Thereafter, he applied for a full-time job. On
his application, he stated that he had graduated from
Sinclair Community College. This was false; he had attended
classes, but did not graduate. In any event, the job
description that he was given did not require a college
degree, or even an associate's degree. Id. On or
about February 2, 2015, Plaintiff was hired as a Senior
Training Specialist. In September of 2015, he received an
excellent performance review. Id. at PagelD##2-3.
alleges that, early in 2015, he began experiencing harassment
and a hostile work environment after a coworker learned that
Plaintiff was homosexual and that his partner was an
African-American male. Id. at PagelD #3. This same
coworker allegedly made disparaging comments about
Plaintiff's sexuality and his partner to at least three
management officials in the company. Id. Another
coworker allegedly stopped speaking to him after learning
that Plaintiff was homosexual. Id. Although
Plaintiff complained to Defendant that this coworker had
"outed" him, had made disparaging comments, and had
created a hostile work environment, she was not disciplined.
fall, after Plaintiff was transferred to a new department,
his new female supervisor took away Plaintiff's
management authority over a male subordinate employee,
stating that she did not think that Plaintiff could be
objective. Id. Plaintiff believed this comment was
directed at his sexual orientation. Id. When he
questioned her about the change in supervisory authority, she
was hostile and became angry. Id. Plaintiff again
complained to management and asked to be returned to his
previous department. Approximately one week later, on
November 25, 2015, Plaintiff was discharged. Id., at
PagelD #4. Defendant maintains that Plaintiff was terminated
for falsifying his job application. Id.
filed a charge of discrimination with the Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") and received a
right-to-sue letter on November 3, 2016. On January 31, 2017,
Plaintiff filed the instant suit, alleging three causes of
action. Plaintiff asserts claims of: (1) retaliation in
violation of Title VII; (2) retaliation in violation of Ohio
Revised Code § 4112.02(1); and (3) sex discrimination in
violation of Title VII. Plaintiff seeks injunctive relief,
money damages, attorney fees and costs.
have filed a Motion to Dismiss under Civil Rule 12(b)(6),
arguing that Grimsley has failed to state a claim upon which
relief can be granted. Doc. #3. That motion is now fully
briefed and ripe for decision.
12(b)(6) Standard of Review
Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a) provides that a complaint must
contain "a short and plain statement of the claim
showing that the pleader is entitled to relief." The
complaint must provide the defendant with "fair notice
of what the . . . claim is and the grounds upon which it
rests." Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550
U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (quoting Conley v. Gibson, 355
U.S. 41, 47 (1957)).
Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) allows a party to move for
dismissal of a complaint on the basis that it "fail[s]
to state a claim upon which relief can be granted." The
moving party bears the burden of showing that the opposing
party has failed to adequately state a claim for relief.
DirecTV, Inc. v. Treesh, 487 F.3d 471, 476 (6th Cir.
2007) (citing Carver v. Bunch, 946 F.2d 451, 454-55
(6th Cir. 1991)). The purpose of a motion to dismiss under
Rule 12(b)(6) "is to allow a defendant to test whether,
as a matter of law, the plaintiff is entitled to legal relief
even if everything alleged in the complaint is true."
Mayer v. Mylod, 988 F.2d 635, 638 (6th Cir. 1993).
In ruling on a 12(b)(6) motion, a court must "construe
the complaint in the light most favorable to the plaintiff,
accept its allegations as true, and draw all reasonable
inferences in favor of the plaintiff." Handy-Clay v.
City of Memphis, 695 F.3d 531, 538 (6th Cir. 2012)
(quoting Treesh, 487 F.3d at 476).
to survive a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), the
complaint must contain "enough facts to state a claim to
relief that is plausible on its face." Twombly,
550 U.S. at 570. Unless the facts alleged show that the
plaintiff's claim crosses "the line from conceivable
to plausible, [the] complaint must be dismissed."
Id. Although this standard does not require
"detailed factual allegations, " it does require
more than "labels and conclusions" or "a
formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of
action." Id. at 555. "Rule 8 . . . does
not unlock the doors of discovery for a plaintiff armed with
nothing more than conclusions." Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678-79 (2009). Legal conclusions
"must be supported by factual allegations" that
give rise to an inference that the defendant is, in fact,
liable for the misconduct alleged. Id. at 679.
noted above, Plaintiff has asserted claims of retaliation in
violation of Title VII and Ohio Revised Code § 411
2.02(1), and a claim of sex discrimination in violation of
Title VII. The Court turns first to Plaintiff's claim of
Title VII Sex Discrimination Claim (Count III)
III of Plaintiff's Complaint asserts a claim of sex
discrimination under Title VII. Title VII prohibits an
employer from discharging any individual or otherwise
discriminating against any individual "with respect to
his compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of
employment, because of such individual's race, color,
religion, sex, or national origin." 42 U.S.C. §
2000e-2(a)(1). The plaintiff must show that race, color,
religion, sex, ...