United States District Court, D. Delaware
Sampson, Magnolia, Delaware, Pro Se Plaintiff.
K. Victor, Esquire, and Emily C. DeSmedt, Esquire, Morgan
Lewis & Bockius LLP, Wilmington, Delaware. Counsel for
U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE
Ebony Sampson ("Plaintiff), who appears pro se,
filed this employment discrimination action in the Superior
Court of the State of Delaware in and for Kent County. (D.I.
1) The original complaint was removed to this Court on
September 7, 2016. (Id.) Plaintiff filed an amended
complaint on December 1, 2016. (D.I. 20) The amended
complaint is the operative pleading. Pending are
Defendants' motion to dismiss and Plaintiffs request for
entry of default judgment. (D.I. 38, 42) For the reasons that
follow, the Court will grant Defendants' motion to
dismiss and will deny Plaintiffs request for entry of default
judgment. Plaintiff will be given leave to amend.
alleges that she was subjected to employment discrimination
by reason of sex in violation of Title VII of the Civil
Rights of 1964 ("Title VII"), 42 U.S.C. §
2000e, et seq. Plaintiff was employed by Amazon.com
("Amazon") as a tier 1 associate. (D.I. 20 at 6)
She alleges that discriminatory acts occurred on June 3,
2015, when a male tier 1 associate touched her shoulder and
sides of her body and stood closely up against her backside.
(D.I. 20 at 2, 6) Plaintiff told him to stop and immediately
reported the incident to pick area manager Cece
("Cece"). (Id. at 6) The following week,
Cece took Plaintiff to the human resources business partner
Megan ("Megan") to report the incident.
(Id.) Megan took Plaintiffs statement and plans were
made to have the male tier 1 associate transferred to the
other side of the building. (Id.) Plaintiff reported
the incident to several other management officials.
October 1, 2015, Plaintiff called a police officer to discuss
the possibility of getting a restraining order against the
male tier 1 associate because he had not yet been
transferred. (Id.) Plaintiff alleges that after
reporting the incident, her supervisors ignored her and would
not respond to her requests to have the male tier 1 associate
transferred to a different section of the building.
(Id.) Plaintiff states that she could not be moved
to a different section of the building because she would have
been too far from her medication. (Id.)
Plaintiffs charge of discrimination, she states that Amazon
handled the initial complaint of sexual assault
appropriately. (Id. at 7) A second charge of
discrimination states that Plaintiff wanted the male tier 1
associate either transferred to a different location or his
employment terminated (Id. at 20) She also wanted a
job created for her. (Id.) Plaintiff was advised
around October 14, 2015 that the male tier 1 associate would
not be moved because of business needs. (Id. at 7)
October 16, 2015, Plaintiff began a leave of absence.
(Id. at 7) She alleges the leave was for a
disability related to Amazon's denying Plaintiffs request
to transfer the male tier 1 associate. (Id.) Her
charge of discrimination states that she developed panic
attacks after being forced to work in the area with the male
tier 1 associate. (Id. at 22) Plaintiff states that
she had to leave work for back medication and chest pain.
(Id. at 22) On the same day, Plaintiff was advised
that she had seven days paid leave and that it was necessary
for a physician to fill out a medical information form
recommending her return to work or she would be terminated.
(Id. at 7) On an unknown date, Amazon personnel
asked Plaintiff to give them a time frame for her return to
work since she had not spoken to or had any contact with the
male tier 1 associate since the June incident. (Id.
at 13, 22)
employment was terminated on January 22, 2016. Her charge of
discrimination states that she was terminated "for not
calling in to agree to questionable return to work."
(Id. at 22) While not clear, Plaintiff appears to
state that when her physician would not clear her to return
to work, Amazon asked that she see its physician so that she
could be cleared to return to work. (Id. at 15)
Plaintiff alleges that her "known back condition was
used against [her]; ultimatum was given that couldn't be
reasonably committed to for return to work; paid leave was
withheld; told to return to same environment as attacker
without separation; sign contract to drop claim filed."
(Id. at 2)
filed two charges of discrimination: the first, on November
2, 2015,  following the alleged assault; and the
second, on February 3, 2016, after she was terminated on
January 22, 2016, asserting that the discharge was in
retaliation for filing the November charge of discrimination.
(D.I. 20 at 4, 11 -24) She received her notice of suit rights
on May 17, 2016. Plaintiff seeks injunctive relief, back pay,
compensatory damages, and an apology.
a motion to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
12(b)(6) requires the Court to accept as true all material
allegations of the complaint. See Spruill v. Gillis,372 F.3d 218, 223 (3d Cir. 2004). "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
quotation marks omitted). Thus, the Court may grant such a
morion to dismiss only if, after "accepting all
well-pleaded allegations in the complaint as true, and
viewing them in the light most favorable to plaintiff,
plaintiff is not entitled to relief." Maio v. Aetna,
Inc.,221 F.3d 472, 481-82 (3d Cir. 2000) (internal
quotation marks omitted). A well-pleaded complaint must
contain more than mere labels and conclusions. See
Ashcroft v. Iqbal,556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009); Bell
Atl. Corp. v. Twombly,550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). A
plaintiff must plead facts sufficient to show that a claim
has substantive plausibility. See Johnson v. City of
Shelby, ___U.S.___, 135 S.Ct. 346, 347 (2014). A
complaint may not dismissed, however, for imperfect
statements of the legal theory supporting the claim asserted.
See Id. at 346. "To survive a motion to
dismiss, a civil plaintiff must allege facts that 'raise
a right to relief above the speculative level on the
assumption that the allegations in the complaint are true
(even if doubtful in fact).'" Victaulic Co. v.
Tieman,499 F.3d 227, 234 (3d Cir. 2007) (quoting
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). A claim is facially
plausible "when the plaintiff pleads factual content
that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that
the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged."
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. At bottom, "[t]he
complaint must state enough facts to raise a reasonable
expectation that discovery will reveal evidence of [each]
necessary element" of a plaintiffs claim. Wilkerson
v. 'New Media Tech. Charter Sch. Inc.,522 F.3d 315,
321 (3d Cir. 2008) (internal quotation ...