United States District Court, E.D. Virginia, Richmond Division
E. Payne Senior United States District Judge.
matter is before the Court on the MOTION TO DISMISS
PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT BY DEFENDANT MID-ATLANTIC DETAILING
(ECF No. 10) in which Mid-Atlantic seeks dismissal of the
Complaint, under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b) (6) for failure to state
a claim for which relief can be granted.
Complaint, filed by Maurice Jenkins, pro se
("Jenkins"), does not contain separate counts
setting out his claims. However, as Mid-Atlantic correctly
explains, the Complaint appears to posit five claims, three
based on federal law and two based on state laws.
Specifically, Jenkins seems to assert claims for: (1) Title
VII discrimination; (2) Title VII retaliation; (3) Equal Pay
Act violations; (4) Wrongful Termination under Virginia law;
and (5) Defamation under Virginia law.
reasons that follow, the Complaint fails to assert any
legally sufficient federal claims, and thus the federal law
claims will be dismissed with prejudice. And, the Court
exercises its discretion under 28 U.S.C. § 1367 and
declines to exercises jurisdiction over the Virginia law
claims which will be dismissed without prejudice.
was hired by National Automotive Charging Systems, Inc. in
March 2014 as a Class B driver. (Compl. ¶ 1). After a month
of employment, on or about April 14, 2014, Jenkins was
given' a raise. (Compl. ¶ 2). In April 2014,
Jenkins's coworker, Jim, planned to take a two-week
vacation. Jenkins's manager, Pat, asked Jenkins if he
wanted to cover Jim's route during this period. Jenkins
states that "Pat assured [him] that [he] was going to
make a lot of money taking this route." (Compl. ¶2)
. In order to become familiar with Jim's route, Jenkins
accompanied Jim on one of his drives. Jenkins states that Jim
informed him that he "did a great job" on that
occasion. (Compl. ¶3). After driving part of Jim's
route while Jim was on vacation, Jenkins asked another
employee, Nicole, the owner's daughter, "about
getting equally paid for running that particular route."
(Compl. 6). Nicole indicated she did not know anything about
equal pay and told Jenkins to speak with Chuck, the owner.
23, 2014, Jenkins was fired. See MEMORANDUM OF LAW IN SUPPORT
OF MOTION TO DISMISS PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT BY DEFENDANT
MID-ATLANTIC DETAILING (ECF No. 11) (Defendant's Opening
Brief, at 2) . Jenkins received a pay check post-firing in
the amount of his regular pay. (Compl. 6).
13, 2014, Jenkins filed a claim with the Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission ("EEOC"). (Compl. 6). During
the EEOC investigation, the employer reported that Jenkins
was fired due to complaints about his erratic driving. Ri. On
March 4, 2016, Jenkins received a Notice of Right to Sue.
Id. On March, 24, 2016, he instituted this action.
COMPLAINT, Jenkins attempts to allege the following claims:
(1) his employer denied him equal pay to which
Jenkins was entitled pursuant to the Equal Pay Act, 29 U.S.C.
§ 206(d)(1); (2) his employer retaliated
against him for demanding equal pay in violation of Title
VII, 42 U.S.C.A. § 2000e-3; (3) his employer
discriminated against him in violation of Title VII,
42 U.S.C. § 2000e-2(a)(1); (4) he was wrongfully
terminated in violation of Virginia law after demanding
equal pay; and (5) his employer defamed him by
making false statements to the EEOC, in violation of Va. Code
Ann. § 8.01-45. He seeks $2, 000, 000.00 for damages.
motion to dismiss, the defendant argues that Jenkins fails,
to allege a prima facie case of discrimination under Title
VII, either through direct evidence or through the
McDonnell Douglas burden shifting method of
discrimination. Also, the defendant argues that Jenkins fails
to assert a cognizable Title VII claim of retaliation because
there is no alleged casual nexus between his report to the
EEOC and his termination. Next, the defendant states that
Jenkins's Equal Pay Act claim must be dismissed "as
he fails to identify a similarly-situated coworker of the
opposite sex who received greater compensation for performing
the same duties." (ECF No. 11). As to the state law
wrongful termination claim, the defendant contends that
Jenkins failed to cite a specific statute as the basis for
his claim, as required for a cognizable Bowman claim
under Virginia law. Finally, the defendant argues that all
statements it made to the EEOC are protected by
attorney-client privilege and cannot be the basis for a
RESPONSE TO DEFENDANT MOTION TO DISMISS (ECF Nos. 13, 15)
("Jenkins's Response"), Jenkins does not
address any of the legal issues raised by the defendant in
the motion to dismiss. Instead, Jenkins explains that the
EEOC investigation uncovered falsehoods made by his employer;
specifically, Jenkins asserts that he was unaware he was
under a ninety (90) day probationary period when he was
hired. Jenkins explains that the harassment forms submitted
by his co-workers to the EEOC were submitted after his
termination and did not include his signature. Likewise,
Jenkins states that Jim's statement describing his
"terrible driving habits" was false. Jenkins also
contests the truthfulness of the employer's statements to
the EEOC about the following: (1) Jenkins's failure to
show up to work following the two week period he covered
Jim's route; (2) Jenkins's failure to turn in his log
book for the days he covered Jim's route; (3)
Jenkins's failure to stay overnight in a hotel while
driving Jim's route; (4) Jenkin's aggressive behavior
to delivery recipients; and (5) the disheveled appearance of
Jenkins's delivery while covering Jim's route.
further states that Mid-Atlantic must have discriminated
against him because they offered Jenkins, through their
attorneys, first $1, 000 and then $5, 000 to settle the
claims. Jenkins explains that the EEOC issued him a right to
sue letter "which cannot be obtained if the EEOC
doesn't find any merit in [the] charges.''
Jenkins concludes by stating, "[t]his wrongful
termination turned my life upside down and it was an obvious
retaliation for just requesting the payment that I was
owed." In the REPLY BRIEF IN SUPPORT OF MOTION TO
DISMISS PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT BY DEFENDANT MID-ATLANTIC
DETAILING (ECF No. 14), the defendant argues that, because
Jenkins admitted that he was fired as "retaliation"
for demanding "equal pay, " he established that his
termination was not based on race. Finally, as to the race
discrimination claim, the defendant also finds it significant
that Jenkins's "Complaint is devoid of any
allegations of Jenkins' race or membership in a protected
motion to dismiss under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) challenges the
legal sufficiency of a complaint. Jordan v. Alternative
Resources Corp., 458 F.3d 332, 338 (4th Cir. 2006).
Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2) "requires only a short and plain
statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled
to relief, in order to give the defendant fair notice of what
the . . . claim is and the grounds upon which it rests."
McCleary-Evans v. Maryland Pep't of Transp., State
Highway Admin., 780 ...