United States District Court, W.D. North Carolina, Asheville Division
MEMORANDUM AND RECOMMENDATION
L. Howell United States Magistrate Judge
matter is before the Court on Defendant's Motion to Dismiss
(# 4) pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6).
The issues have been fully briefed, and the matter is now
ripe for ruling. For the reasons addressed below, the Court
will recommend that Defendant's Motion to Dismiss be
August 29, 2017, Nicole White a/k/a Nikki White
(“Plaintiff”) initiated this action in the
General Court of Justice, Superior Court Division, in Haywood
County, North Carolina. On October 5, 2017, Defendant timely
removed the action to this Court on the basis of diversity
jurisdiction.,  (# 1.)
purports to allege the following three causes of action: (1)
wrongful discharge in violation of public policy, (2)
negligent supervision and retention, and (3) intentional
infliction of emotional distress (“IIED”).
See Compl. (# 1, Ex. B).
facts, viewed in a light most favorable to Plaintiff, are the
following: Plaintiff has worked as a sales representative for
at least 21 years. Id. ¶ 8. In her role as a
sales representative, Plaintiff was responsible for selling
digital ads, websites, and other marketing media.
April 2015, Plaintiff started working for Defendant.
Id. ¶ 9. Plaintiff was employed as a sales
representative with Defendant and its subsidiary, the
Citizen-Times. Id. ¶ 7.
did not have any problems with the director of sales until
Vivian Marciano (“Marciano”) was hired.
Id. ¶ 9. During the time that Plaintiff was
working for Defendant, Marciano was hired as the new manager
and director of the sales department. Id. ¶ 10.
was Defendant's employee and agent; therefore, Defendant
is responsible for Marciano's actions. Id.
¶ 11. From the time Marciano was hired, she targeted
Plaintiff by making verbal threats to her, which included the
a. The way Plaintiff dressed;
b. Plaintiff's alleged Human Resources file. (Upon
information and belief, there were no complaints or warnings
against Plaintiff in her file);
c. Stating Plaintiff was working on getting herself fired;
d. Getting more Human Resources issues brought forth;
e. Firing Plaintiff if she wanted to;
f. Accusing Plaintiff of unethical sales practices;
g. Creating a competitive work environment because Plaintiff
was a woman and questioning her ability to do her job;
h. Creating a generally hostile work environment with verbal
abuse and threats; and
i. Playing mind games to insinuate that Marciano was setting
Plaintiff up to lose her job.
Id. ¶ 12.
discriminated against Plaintiff based upon her sex.
Id. ¶ 13. For example, in an effort to force
Plaintiff to resign, Marciano stated that she previously
managed a woman who slept with both men and women and who
“ran tracks over my face” and insinuated
Plaintiff was similar and would be treated as such.
was also discriminated against based upon her political
beliefs. Id. ¶ 14. For example, during the
November 2016 election, Plaintiff was called by David Foster
and advised not to go into the Asheville office the day after
the election. Id. Additionally, there had been prior
issues with political debates in the office. Id.
Plaintiff was singled out because her beliefs were opposed to
those held by her coworkers. Id. Plaintiff's
political beliefs were different than most of the other
employees at the Citizen-Times, and Plaintiff was singled out
and treated different to get her to resign. Id.
performed her job in a professional manner, which was up to
similar standards within the community and profession.
Id. ¶ 16. Plaintiff attempted to protect her
interests by contacting Defendant's Human Resources
department at the Citizen-Times to submit a grievance
regarding Marciano's actions. Id. ¶ 17.
efforts to utilize the Human Resources department were
generally ignored, and Marciano's harassment was allowed
to continue. Id. ¶ 18. Marciano retaliated
against Plaintiff for ...