Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Jenkins v. MID-Atlantic Detailing

United States District Court, E.D. Virginia, Richmond Division

November 14, 2016

MAURICE JENKINS, Plaintiff,
v.
MID-ATLANTIC DETAILING, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          Robert E. Payne Senior United States District Judge.

         This 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.

         The 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.

         For the 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.

         BACKGROUND

         Jenkins was hired by National Automotive Charging Systems, Inc. in March 2014 as a Class B driver.[1] (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. Id.

         On May 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).

         On June 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.

         In the 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.

         POSITIONS OF PARTIES

         In its 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 defamation claim.

         In the 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.

         Jenkins 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 class

         LEGAL STANDARD

         A 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 ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.