United States District Court, D. Delaware
JACKIE F. YATES, Plaintiff,
DELAWARE PSYCHIATRIC CENTER/ DELAWARE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND SOCIAL SERVICES, Defendant.
F. Yates, Dover, Delaware, Pro Se Plaintiff.
Kenisha L. Ringgold, Deputy Attorney General Deputy, Delaware
Department of Justice, Wilmington, Delaware. Counsel for
U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE.
Jackie F. Yates ("Plaintiff") filed this action
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-5, alleging employment
discrimination. (D.I. 2) She proceeds pro se and was
granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis. The
Court has jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331.
Presently before the Court is Defendant's motion to
dismiss Plaintiffs Amended Complaint. (D.I. 25)
was employed by the Delaware Psychiatric Center
("DPC") from January 2009 to August 30, 2012 as a
certified nursing assistant. The Complaint alleges
discriminatory acts of workplace harassment, suspension, and
retaliation based upon national origin (African American)
occurred on September 17, 2012. (See D.I. 2) The
original complaint was dismissed upon Defendant's motion,
and Plaintiff was given leave to amend. (See D.I.
filed an Amended Complaint on April 21, 2017, and it alleges
that she was dismissed from her position without due process.
(D.I. 20) Attached to die amended complaint is Plaintiffs
Charge of Discrimination, dated November 19, 2012.
(Id. at 3) The Charge alleges discrimination based
upon national origin and retaliation occurring from August 2,
2012 until August 30, 2012. (Id.) It claims that
Plaintiff was harassed, suspended, and discharged due to her
age and due to retaliation. (Id.) The charge refers
to a June 1, 2012 incident when Plaintiffs supervisor refused
to allow her to leave to pick up her child. (Id.) It
alleges that Plaintiff was once called an "African
monkey." (Id.) It alleges that beginning August
2, 2012, Plaintiff received threatening/harassing text
messages regarding one of her patients and that die patient
was a convicted criminal and would hurt Plaintiffs children
if Plaintiff continued in a relationship with die patient.
(Id.) Plaintiff was interviewed by her
employer's investigator on August 8, 2012 regarding her
relationship with the patient. (Id.) She was
suspended on August 10, 2012, and dismissed on August 30,
2012 for violations of RI 35 - inappropriate relationship
with a patient. (Id.) Plaintiff states that she was
unaware of the rule and did not receive any oral or written
warnings prior to her suspension and discharge.
Amended Complaint contains a September 17, 2012 letter to
Plaintiff from Delaware Health and Social Services describing
the events that led to Plaintiffs termination. (Id.
at 10) On August 10, 2012, Plaintiff was suspended for
allegedly being involved in an inappropriate, personal
relationship with a client residing in the DPC.
(Id.) Investigation confirmed Plaintiffs
inappropriate relationship with the client and revealed eight
letters written by Plaintiff to the client and two money
orders Plaintiff purchased and supplied to the client.
(Id.) In addition, Plaintiff admitted to an
"emotional relationship" with the client.
(Id.) On August 30, 2012, Plaintiff was advised by
letter that the DPC was recommending her dismissal for
violation of DPC Policy RI 35, which reads in part that
"staff do not participate in any behavior with patients
that would be considered common to personal
relationships." (Id.) Plaintiff did not request
a pre-termination meeting to respond to the employment
actions. (Id.) The September 17, 2012 letter advised
Plaintiff she was being dismissed for the reasons cited in
the August 30, 2012 letter. (Id.)
September 25, 2012 Plaintiff sent a letter to the Department
of Labor regarding her dismissal; she also seems to have
provided what appears to be a transcript of messages sent to
Plaintiff by an unknown person. (Id. at 4-8) On
November 12, 2012, the State of Delaware Department of Labor
Division of Unemployment Insurance found that Plaintiff was
discharged with just cause for violation of DPC rules when
she engaged in a relationship with a patient that was deemed
inappropriate. (Id. at 2) The Amended Complaint does
not contain a prayer for relief, although Plaintiff sought
compensatory damages in the original complaint.
April 23, 2018, Defendant filed a motion to dismiss pursuant
to Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a) and 12(b)(6). (D.I. 25) When Plaintiff
did not respond to the motion, the Court entered a briefing
schedule, requiring Plaintiff to respond to the motion on or
before July 30, 2018. (D.I. 26) Plaintiff never filed a
response to the motion.
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
motion 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).
well-pleaded complaint must contain more than mere labels and
conclusions. See Ashcroft v. Iqbal,556 U.S. 662
(2009); Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly,550 U.S. 544
(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 be dismissed, ...