United States District Court, S.D. Ohio, Western Division
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
L. Litkovitz, United States Magistrate Judge
Rebeca Santiago brings this action against defendant Meyer
Tool Inc., alleging violations of Title VII of the Civil
Rights Act of 1964, as amended, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et
seq. ('Title VII"), the Americans with
Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq.
("ADA"), the Equal Pay Act, 29 U.S.C. §
206(d)(1) ("EPA"), and the Family Medical Leave
Act, 29 U.S.C. § 2601 et seq.
("FMLA"), as well as various state law statutes.
This matter is before the Court on defendant's motion for
partial judgment on the pleadings on plaintiffs Title VII
gender discrimination claim (Count 1) and wrongful
termination in violation of Ohio public policy claim (Count
6) (Doc. 14), plaintiffs response in opposition (Doc. 15),
defendant's reply memorandum (Doc. 17), and plaintiffs
sur-reply (Doc. 23).
began working as a machine operator for Meyer Tool in or
about 1997. (Complaint, Doc. 1 at ¶ 7). Plaintiff
alleges that as a result of her gender, she was assigned
less-desirable shifts and assignments than her male
counterparts, worked through lunch, was blamed for other
workers' errors, and received lower pay not reflective of
her seniority. (Id. at ¶¶ 8-11). Plaintiff
also alleges that her male supervisor, Edwin Finn, made her
the subject of sexual jokes and made unwanted sexual advances
towards her for years, (Id. at ¶¶ 12, 17).
In 2016, plaintiff alleges that she was denied a raise by
Finn, yet other workers who completed the same or
substantially similar work received a raise. (Id. at
also alleges that she has HIV/AIDS. (Id. at ¶
14). During her tenure with Meyer, she was approved to take
intermittent disability leave under the FMLA. (Id.
at ¶ 15). In July 2014, plaintiffs doctor completed a
medical certification form documenting plaintiffs severe
headaches/migraines. (Id. at ¶ 16). On July 20,
2017, Finn informed plaintiff that she was fired for
producing non-conforming parts. (Id. at¶19).
Plaintiff alleges that other employees who produced
non-conforming parts were not terminated and that the
majority of machine operators at Meyer are white males.
(Id. at ¶¶ 20-21).
subsequently filed two charges of discrimination with the
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC").
On October 31, 2017, plaintiff filed a charge alleging
discrimination based on disability. (Id. at ¶
22, Doc. 13-2). On July 13, 2018, plaintiff filed a
second charge alleging gender discrimination in violation of
Title VII and the EPA. (Id. at ¶ 23, Doc.
October 23, 2017, one week and one day before filing the
first charge, plaintiff submitted an EEOC inquiry
questionnaire. (Doc. 15-1 at 1-4). On this form, in response
to the question, "Why do you think you were
discriminated against?," plaintiff checked the box for
"Disability," (Id. at 2). In response to
the question, "Who was treated better than you?,"
plaintiff wrote that "Ruth Clark and many more"
were treated better than her because they "deviated
dozens of parts and still work there after many years."
(Id. at 3). When asked to indicate how these people
were different from her, plaintiff checked boxes for
"age," "color," "disability,"
"national origin," "race," and
"sex." (Id.). Plaintiff also indicated on
the questionnaire that Finn was responsible for the
discriminatory action. (Id.).
Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings
motion for judgment on the pleadings made pursuant to Rule
12(c) is governed by the same standards applicable to a
motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6). See Lindsay v.
Yates, 498 F.3d 434, 437 n.5 (6th Cir. 2007)
("[T]he legal standards for adjudicating Rule 12(b)(6)
and Rule 12(c) are the same."). "For purposes of a
motion for judgment on the pleadings, all well-pleaded
material allegations of the pleadings of the opposing party
must be taken as true, and the motion may be granted only if
the moving party is nevertheless clearly entitled to
judgment." JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. v. Winget,
510 F.3d 577, 582 (6th Cir. 2007) (internal citation and
quotation marks omitted)).
withstand a Rule 12(c) motion for judgment on the pleadings,
"a complaint must contain direct or inferential
allegations respecting all the material elements under some
viable legal theory." Commercial Money Ctr., Inc. v.
Ill. Union Ins. Co., 508 F.3d 327, 336 (6th Cir. 2007).
"The factual allegations in the complaint need to be
sufficient to give notice to the defendant as to what claims
are alleged, and the plaintiff must plead 'sufficient
factual matter' to render the legal claim plausible,
i.e., more than merely possible." Fritz v. Charter
Twp. of Comstock, 592 F.3d 718, 722 (6th Cir. 2010)
(citing Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 677-78
(2009)). A "legal conclusion couched as a factual
allegation" need not be accepted as true, nor are
recitations of the elements of a cause of action sufficient.
Hensley Mfg. v. ProPride, Inc., 579 F.3d 603, 609
(6th Cir. 2009) (quoting Bell Atlantic Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)).
Defendant's partial motion for judgment on the pleadings
should be granted
Plaintiffs Count 1 Gender Discrimination claim under Title
VII should be dismissed for failure to ...