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Hoffman v. Family Dollar Stores, Inc.

United States District Court, W.D. North Carolina, Charlotte Division

March 26, 2015

ARTHEA HOFFMAN, Plaintiff,
v.
FAMILY DOLLAR STORES, INC., Defendant

Arthea Hoffman, Plaintiff, Pro se, Charlotte, NC.

For Family Dollars Stores, Inc., Defendant: Julie K. Adams, LEAD ATTORNEY, Littler Mendelson PC, Charlotte, NC.

Page 632

ORDER

Frank D. Whitney, Chief United States District Judge.

THIS MATTER is before the Court on Defendant Family Dollar Stores, Inc.'s Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's Complaint (Doc. No. 18) pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6) for lack of subject matter jurisdiction and for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Defendant contends the Court should dismiss Plaintiff's claim for relief of discrimination based on race, sex, or any category protected by Title VII for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. Further, Defendant contends the Court should dismiss Plaintiff's claim for relief of age discrimination under Age Discrimination in Employment Act (" ADEA" ), and disability discrimination and retaliation in violation of the Equal Pay Act (" EPA" ), Americans with Disabilities Act (" ADA" ), and Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (" GINA" ) for failure to state a claim. For the reasons stated below, Defendant's Motion is GRANTED IN PART as to the Title VII, EPA, ADEA, and GINA claims, but DENIED IN PART as to Plaintiff's claim against Defendant for violation of the ADA.

I. BACKGROUND

On January 14, 2014, pro se Plaintiff, Arthea Hoffman, filed Charge No. 430-2014-00566 with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (" EEOC" ) alleging discrimination and retaliation based on disability, age, and genetic information. (Doc. No. 8). On August 28, 2014, the

Page 633

EEOC issued Plaintiff a " Right to Sue" letter, notifying him of his statutory right to file suit based on his EEOC charge under federal law within ninety (90) days of receipt of the " Right to Sue" letter. (Doc. No. 8).

Plaintiff originally filed this action with the Superior Court Division, County of Mecklenburg, North Carolina, on October 29, 2014. (Doc. No. 1). On December 1, 2014 Defendant filed a Notice of Removal with this Court. (Doc. No. 1). Plaintiff filed an addendum to his Complaint on December 23, 2014, and filed an amended Complaint on February 24, 2015 (collectively " Complaint" [1] alleging claims for relief of the following: unlawful retaliation in violation of EPA, disclosure of confidential medical information in violation of ADA and GINA, and discrimination based on sexual preference. (Doc. No. 8, 21).

Plaintiff is a 53 year-old male employee of Defendant. (Doc. No. 8, 21). Plaintiff states that over the course of his employment with Defendant his store manager, Susan Murphy, would use the terms " faggot" and " gay" when describing Plaintiff to others. (Doc. No. 21). On October 6, 2013, Plaintiff reported this behavior to Defendant's Human Resources Department (" HR" ). (Doc. No. 21). Plaintiff states that as a result of filing a complaint with HR, Ms. Murphy denied him the ability to work certain overtime hours in 2013. (Doc. No. 21).

Additionally, Plaintiff asserts that while employed with Defendant, Ms. Murphy disclosed confidential information regarding Plaintiff's medical condition to Defendant's employees and customers. (Doc. No. 21). Over the course of employment with Defendant, Plaintiff states he suffered from gastroenteritis and acute kidney failure as a result of having Human Immunodeficiency Virus (" HIV" ). (Doc. No. 21). Plaintiff states this medical information was conveyed to the Ms. Murphy and ultimately Defendant, when August in 2013 Plaintiff gave a doctor's note to both Ms. Murphy and his District Manager excusing him from missing work. (Doc. No. 8, 21). Further, information regarding his health conditions were enclosed in a folder at Defendant's store, to which Plaintiff states Ms. Murphy had access. (Doc. No. 21). Defendant argues that the facts alleged by Plaintiff fail to state a claim and moves the court to dismiss the complaint entirely. (Doc. No. 18).

II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

A. Subject Matter Jurisdiction

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) provides for dismissal where the court lacks jurisdiction over the subject matter of a lawsuit. Subject matter jurisdiction exists in federal district court when the complaint raises a federal question under 28 U.S.C. § 1331 or diversity of citizenship under 28 U.S.C. § 1332. Lack of such jurisdiction may be raised at any time by a litigant or the court. Mansfield, C. & L. M. RY. CO. v. Swan,111 U.S. 379, 382, 4 S.Ct. 510, 28 L.Ed. 462 (1884). In an employment discrimination context, a federal district court has subject matter jurisdiction concerning Title VII claims, and claims for employment discrimination and/or retaliation, recognized by the EEOC. See 42 U.S.C. ยง 2000e-5(f)(3). However, for the court to have subject matter jurisdiction, the plaintiff must exhaust his administrative remedies by ...


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