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Quick v. Essex Bank

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

June 16, 2017

MEGAN J. QUICK, Plaintiff,
ESSEX BANK, Defendant.


          M. Hannah Lauck United States District Judge.

         This matter comes before the Court on Defendant Essex Bank's "Motion to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim (Partial - as to Count III)" (the "Partial Motion to Dismiss") pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6).[1] (ECF No. 4.) Plaintiff Megan J. Quick has responded, (ECF No. 9), and Essex Bank has replied, (ECF No. 10). Accordingly, this matter is ripe for disposition. The Court dispenses with oral argument because the materials before it adequately present the facts and legal contentions, and argument would not aid the decisional process. The Court exercises jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331[2] and 1367(a).[3] For the reasons that follow, the Court will grant the Partial Motion to Dismiss.

         I. Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) Standard

         "A motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6) tests the sufficiency of a complaint; importantly, it does not resolve contests surrounding the facts, the merits of a claim, or the applicability of defenses." Republican Party of N.C v. Martin, 980 F.2d 943, 952 (4th Cir. 1992) (citing 5 A Charles A. Wright & Arthur R. Miller, Federal Practice and Procedure § 1356 (1990)). In considering a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim, a plaintiffs well-pleaded allegations are taken as true and the complaint is viewed in the light most favorable to the plaintiff. Mylan Labs,, Inc. v. Matkari, 7 F.3d 1130, 1134 (4th Cir. 1993); see also Martin, 980 F.2d at 952.

         The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure "require[] 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.'" Bell Atl Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (omission in original) (quoting Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 47 (1957)). Plaintiffs cannot satisfy this standard with complaints containing only "labels and conclusions" or a "formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action." Id. (citations omitted); see also Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 679 (2009). Instead, a plaintiff must assert facts that rise above speculation and conceivability to those stating a claim that is "plausible on its face." Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570. "A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged." Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556). Therefore, in order for a claim or complaint to survive dismissal for failure to state a claim, the (E.D. Va. Mar. 16, 2015) (quoting Shanaghan v. Cahill, 58 F.3d 106, 109 (4th Cir. 1995)). Because Quick asserts a federal claim under the FLS A, this Court will exercise supplemental jurisdiction, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1367(a), over her state law claims of constructive discharge (Count II) and intentional infliction of emotional distress (Count III). plaintiff must "allege facts sufficient to state all the elements of [his or] her claim." Bass v. E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Co., 324 F.3d 761, 765 (4th Cir. 2003) (citations omitted).

         II. Factual and Procedural Background

         A. Summary of Allegations in the Complaint[4]

         Megan Quick served as an employee of Essex Bank for approximately seven years. During Quick's tenure, Essex Bank promoted her from bank teller to Financial Services Associate to Branch Officer. Throughout her employment, Quick received "only positive performance reviews." (Compl. ¶ 14.)

         On Friday, June 17, 2016, after 9:00 p.m., while stopped at a stoplight in downtown West Point, Virginia, a male pedestrian exposed his genitalia to Quick, an act that traumatized her. That same day, Quick posted about her experience on a private social media account and attached a photograph of the male pedestrian from behind. She did not show the pedestrian's face or use his name on her social media post.

         On Monday, June 20, 2016, Quick's supervisor asked her to report to Essex Bank's Richmond Human Resources Office. When Quick arrived at the Richmond office, Ms. Jakeeta Plumley told Quick that, because of her social media post, Essex Bank was "placing her on administrative leave and seeking her resignation." (Id. ¶ 21.) As a result, Quick felt obligated to resign from her jobt4to avoid termination and further embarrassment." (Id. ¶ 22.) Following her resignation and without notice, Essex Bank closed Quick's checking account, which Quick used to pay her health insurance. Thus, when the account closed, Quick failed to pay for her health insurance and the insurance company cancelled her policy. Moreover, Essex Bank allegedly informed potential new employers that Quick was "ineligible for re-hire." (Id. ¶ 24.) Ultimately, she lost at least one job opportunity and suffered humiliation, degradation, "episodes of extreme anxiety, sleeplessness, and depression." (Id. ¶ 25.)

         B. Procedural History

         Quick alleges in the three-count Complaint the following causes of action: (1) violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act; (2) constructive discharge in violation of Virginia common law; and, (3) intentional infliction of emotional distress ("IIED"). She seeks compensatory and punitive damages, costs, and attorneys' fees.

         Essex Bank moves to dismiss Count III, Quick's IIED claim, because Quick fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Essex Bank asks the Court to dismiss Count III with prejudice.

         Ill, ...

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