United States District Court, D. Delaware
GERALD A. RUFFIN, Plaintiff,
BANK OF AMERICA, Defendant.
GREGORY M. SLEET, District Judge.
Presently before the court is defendant's motion to dismiss plaintiff's complaint pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6).
On February 16, 2011, Gerald A. Ruffin ("plaintiff'') filed a Charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC"). (D.I. 2 at 2.) On September 11, 2012, the EEOC issued plaintiff a Notice of Right to Sue which he received on September 14, 2012. ( Id. at 2, 4.) On December 10, 2012, plaintiff initiated this action against his former employer, Bank of America, N.A. ("defendant"),  claiming a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 ("Title VII") based on his "terminat[ion] from employment after filing complaint of harassment" and "discrimination based on disability." ( Id. at 2; D. I. 2-1 at 1.) The allegedly discriminatory acts occurred from August 5, 2010 to February 15, 2011. (D.I. 2 at 2.) On April 15, 2013, defendant filed its motion to dismiss. (D.I. 6.)
Ill. PARTIES' CONTENTIONS
A. Defendant's Contentions
Defendant maintains plaintiffs complaint should be dismissed for failure to state a claim pursuant to FED. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6). (D.I. 7 at 1.) It argues the complaint fails to provide "both adequate notice of the claims asserted[, ] as well as the grounds upon which [p]laintiffs claims rest." ( Id. ) Defendant states that plaintiffs claims, even if taken as true, are insufficient to state a cause of action. ( Id. at 3-5.) According to defendant, plaintiffs claim under Title VII is improper, since he does not allege any discrimination based on "race, color, religion, sex, or national origin." ( Id. at 5.) Title VII only applies to discrimination based on those attributes, and does not apply to discrimination based on disability. ( Id. )
In response to additional facts set forth in plaintiffs opposition to the motion to dismiss, defendant argues plaintiff cannot raise new allegations in briefing to remedy deficiencies of the complaint. (D.I. 12 at 2-3.) Further, even if the court were to consider plaintiffs new allegations, defendant argues those allegations do nothing to advance plaintiffs Title VII claim, as they still "wholly" fail to allege any discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. ( Id. at 3-4.) Finally, defendant requests this court dismiss plaintiffs complaint with prejudice, as he is unable to amend his complaint to state a claim under Title VII. ( Id. at 4-5.)
B. Plaintiff's Contentions
Plaintiff's complaint merely alleges his termination was the result of discrimination based on an unspecified disability and his termination was the result of filing a complaint of harassment of an unspecified nature. (D.I. 2 at 2; D.I. 2-1 at 1.) In his opposition submission, he reiterates his termination was the result of reporting harassment and it was his supervisor and a senior manager who harassed him. (D.I. 10 at 1.) Plaintiff states the human resources department "did not assist me concerning my grievances... [and did not] follow-up with any solution or remedy." ( Id. ) He also contends he was unlawfully detained by security. ( Id. ) Finally, plaintiff alleges he "was told to leave my workplace a[nd] seek help because I was crazy. Told by Senior Management that I could not return to work until I saw a doctor and had his permission to return to work. I was fired within Five minutes of returning to work." ( Id. )
IV. STANDARD OF REVIEW
The court must accept all factual allegations in a complaint as true and consider them in the light most favorable to a prose plaintiff. Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 93 (2007); Phillips v. County of Allegheny, 515 F.3d 224, 229 (3d Cir. 2008). Because plaintiff proceeds pro se, his pleading is liberally construed and his complaint, "however inartfully pleaded, must be held to less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers." Erickson, 551 U.S. at 94 (citations omitted).
FED. R. C1v. P. 12(b)(6) governs a motion to dismiss a complaint for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Rule 12(b)(6) tests the sufficiency of the complaint, and does not resolve disputed facts or decide the merits of the case. Kost v. Kozakiewicz, 1 F.3d 176, 183 (3d Cir. 1993). "The issue is not whether a plaintiff will ultimately prevail, but whether the claimant is entitled to offer evidence to support the claims." In re Burlington Coat Factory Sec. Litig., 114 F.3d 1410, 1420 (3d Cir. 1997) (internal quotations and citations omitted); see also Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 563 n.8 (2007) (stating "when a complaint adequately states a claim, it may not be ...