United States District Court, W.D. Virginia, Charlottesville Division
GLEN E. CONRAD SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Carter, proceeding pro se, commenced this action by filing a
form complaint under Title VII of the Civil Rights of 1964
("Title VII"), 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000e to
2000e-l 7, against American Painting Janitorial Company. The
plaintiff has not paid the filing fee but will be granted
leave to proceed in forma pauperis for purposes of
initial review of her complaint. For the following reasons,
the complaint will be dismissed without prejudice, pursuant
to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(b)(ii).
plaintiffs complaint indicates that she was hired to perform
commercial cleaning services for the defendant in the fall of
2018. The plaintiffs supervisor was an individual named
Esperanza.* The plaintiff alleges that she was
"mistreated and harass[ed]'' by Esperanza, who
complained about "always ha[ving] to tell [the
plaintiff] what to do." Compl. 2, ECF No. 2. The
plaintiff reported Esperanza's behavior to a manager
named Marteen. However, "nothing changed," and
Esperanza continued to "harass" the plaintiff.
Id, At some point after the plaintiff was hired, an
employee named Coretta came by to inspect one of the
buildings in which the plaintiff was working. The plaintiff
alleges that the inspection occurred before she was able to
finish all of the cleaning tasks that needed to be performed.
Coretta presented the plaintiff with a document containing a
negative performance review. The plaintiff refused to sign
March of 2019, Esperanza accused the plaintiff of taking a
break for longer than fifteen minutes. Esperanza also yelled
at the plaintiff for not mopping certain concrete staircases.
The plaintiff alleges that she was not properly trained to
clean concrete surfaces.
defendant ultimately terminated the plaintiffs employment.
Following her termination, the plaintiff was accused of using
the wrong cleaning products. The plaintiff alleges that
Esperanza prevented her from using certain cleaning supplies.
plaintiff filed a form complaint against the defendant on
September 24, 2019. The plaintiff alleges that she was
wrongfully discharged and harassed.
28 U.S.C. § 1915(e), which governs |n forma
pauperis proceedings, the court has a mandatory duty to
screen initial filings. Eriline Co. S.A. v. Johnson,
440 F.3d 648, 656-57 (4th Cir. 2006). The court must dismiss
a case "at any time" if the court determines that
the complaint "fails to state a claim on which relief
may be granted." 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii).
standards for reviewing a complaint for dismissal under
§ 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii) are the same as those which apply
when a defendant moves for dismissal under Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). De'Lonta v. Angelone.
330 F.3d 630, 633 (4th Cir. 2003). Thus, in reviewing a
complaint under this statute, the court must accept all
well-pleaded factual allegations as true and view the
complaint in the light most favorable to the plaintiff.
Philips v. Pitt Cty. Mem. Hosp., 572 F.3d 176, 180
(4th Cir. 2009). To survive dismissal for failure to state a
claim, "a complaint must contain sufficient factual
matter, accepted as true, to 'state a claim for relief
that is plausible on its face.'" Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl.
Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)).
indicated above, the plaintiff filed a form complaint
designated for pro se plaintiffs who wish to pursue a claim
under Title VII. Upon review of the complaint, the court
concludes that it fails to state a claim upon which relief
may be granted. Title VII "does not prohibit harassment
alone, however severe or pervasive." Baldwin v. Blue
Cross/Blue Shield. 480 F.3d 1287, 1301 (11th Cir. 2007):
see also Hartsell v. Duplex Prods.. Inc.. 123 F.3d
766, 773 (4th Cir. 1997) (emphasizing that "Title VII
does not guarantee a happy workplace"). Instead, Title
VII prohibits unlawful discrimination, "including
harassment that discriminates based on a protected category
such as sex [or race]." Baldwin. 480 F.3d at
1230; see also 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-2(a) ("It
shall be an unlawful employment practice for an employer ...
to discriminate against any individual with respect to [her]
compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment,
because of such individual's race, color, religion, sex,
or national origin[.]"). Because the plaintiff does not
allege, much less plausibly demonstrate, that she was treated
differently on the basis of a protected trait, the complaint
fails to state a claim under Title VII.
reasons stated, the court will grant the plaintiffs motion
for leave to proceed in forma pauperis. However, the
complaint will be dismissed without ...