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Massenburg v. Innovative Talent Solutions

United States District Court, E.D. North Carolina, Western Division

May 15, 2018

Nancy Massenburg, Plaintiff,
Innovative Talent Solutions, Defendant.


          Robert T. Numbers, II United States Magistrate Judge

         Before the court are a series of motions connected to a Title VII race discrimination case. Defendant Innovative Talent Solutions (“ITS”), an employment staffing agency, first asked the court to strike Plaintiff Nancy Massenburg's “Proposed Supplemental Pleadings” because she did not seek leave to amend her complaint or attach a proposed amended complaint. D.E. 84. Massenburg then moved for permissive joinder a few days later, seeking to add ITS's previously unnamed client, Lee Air Conditioners, Inc., as a defendant. D.E. 86. At the end of the month, Massenburg asked the court to compel ITS to produce the date that ITS filled the employment position Massenburg sought. D.E. 90.

         The court will deny Massenburg's motion to compel, since the information she seeks is outside the scope of initial disclosures. The court will construe Massenburg's motion for joinder as a motion to amend and grant it, since Massenburg did not know the identity of Lee Air Conditioners until recently and since her claims against ITS and Lee Air Conditioners arise from the same occurrence and have common questions of law and fact. Lastly, because Massenburg's “Proposed Supplemental Pleadings” do not comply with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure or the court's Local Rules, the undersigned grants ITS's motion to strike.

         I. Factual Background

         In October 2014, a recruiter for ITS contacted Massenburg, an African American female, to ask her if she would be interested in a dispatcher position with an unnamed client. Compl., D.E. 1-1. The recruiter noted Massenburg's four and a half years of dispatch experience and said that Massenburg would be a “a perfect fit” for the job. Id. The recruiter interviewed Massenburg on the phone, asked her to fill out an application online, and requested that she come to the office the next morning to finish the process. Id. Massenburg agreed. See id.

         The online application required Massenburg to disclose that she had been convicted of a felony. Id. The next morning, ITS's recruiter Ashley Hunt called Massenburg to tell her not to come into the office because ITS's client would not hire anyone with a prior conviction. Id. ITS later hired a white woman to fill the dispatcher position. Id.

         In early January 2015, Massenburg filed charges with the EEOC. D.E. 1-2. The EEOC issued a Right to Sue Letter in November 2016. D.E.1-3.

         In late December 2016, Massenburg, proceeding pro se, sued ITS, alleging race discrimination in violation of Title VII. D.E. 1-1. She also listed ITS's “unnamed client” as a defendant. Id. Massenburg claims that ITS's background check policy had a disparate impact on her as an African American candidate. D.E. 1-1 at 2-3.

         In early November, Massenburg moved for leave to file a second amended complaint. D.E. 76. The court denied Massenburg's motion without prejudice, explaining that she needed to file “a coherent motion to amend” that complied with the Local Rules. Nov. 19, 2017, Order, D.E. 81.

         Then, in mid-December 2017, Massenburg filed Proposed Supplemental Pleadings, seeking to modify her damage amounts. D.E. 83. In early January 2018, ITS moved to strike Massenburg's Proposed Supplemental Pleadings, arguing that Massenburg failed to follow the Federal Rules' and Local Rules' mandates about amended complaints. D.E. 84. Within days, Massenburg moved for joinder, requesting to add ITS's originally unnamed client, now identified as Lee Air Conditioners, as a defendant. D.E. 86.

         A few days later, ITS moved for an extension of time to respond to Massenburg's discovery requests. D.E. 88. The court granted the motion. Jan. 9, 2018, Order, D.E. 89.

         In late January 2018, Massenburg moved to compel ITS to provide the date that it filled the dispatcher position she sought. D.E. 90. She also objected to ITS's Motion for an Extension of Time which the court had granted. Id.

         In February 2018, Chief United States District Judge James C. Dever referred three motions to the undersigned magistrate judge: Massenburg's motion to compel, Massenburg's motion for joinder, and ITS's motion to strike. D.E. 96. They are ripe for the court's review.

         II. ...

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