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Koutsoukos v. Adecco USA, Inc.

United States District Court, W.D. Michigan, Southern Division

October 12, 2016

MARIA KOUTSOUKOS, Plaintiffs,
v.
ADECCO USA, INC., et al., Defendants.

          OPINION

          ELLEN S. CARMODY United States Magistrate Judge.

         This matter is before the Court on Defendant's Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings, (ECF No. 50), Defendant's Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings, (ECF No. 53), and Defendant's Motion to Dismiss, (ECF No. 57). On May 17, 2016, the parties consented to proceed in this Court for all further proceedings, including trial and an order of final judgment. 28 U.S.C. § 636(c)(1). By Order of Reference, the Honorable Janet T. Neff referred this case to the undersigned. (ECF No. 27). For the reasons discussed herein, Defendants' motions are all granted and this action is terminated.

         BACKGROUND

         The following allegations are contained in Plaintiff's complaint. (ECF No. 1). In August 2013, Plaintiff sought employment with Adecco Staffing. From September 26, 2013, through October 3, 2014, Plaintiff was placed by Adecco in an assignment with the Michigan Education Association. From October 7, 2014, through November 24, 2014, Plaintiff was placed by Adecco in an assignment with Child and Family Services. From February 27, 2015, through March 10, 2015, Plaintiff was placed by Adecco in an assignment with Lake Trust Credit Union.

         Plaintiff's assignment at the Michigan Education Association began “the day after Plaintiff received a response from a defendant in a pending lawsuit.” Counsel for this defendant worked in a law firm “right next door to the Michigan Education Association.” Plaintiff “was exploited and subjected to harassment while at Michigan Education Association pertaining to the pending lawsuit, to comments regarding the invasion of Plaintiff's privacy at her residences, to comments regarding a fabricated relationship with an employment superior of the Plaintiff, and to interference with Plaintiff's landlord/tenant issues.” Plaintiff reported this harassment to the Adecco Human Resource manager who responded by stating to Plaintiff that “the employees weren't talking about you” and that she “was eavesdropping on their conversations and. . .needed to just do her job.” Plaintiff was subsequently “moved to two different departments and then removed from employment.”

         Plaintiff was “exploited and subjected to harassment of the same nature at Child and Family Services and was also told she lost her previous job because she dated someone with whom she had worked.” Plaintiff was subsequently “removed from employment.” Plaintiff was “exploited and subjected to harassment at Lake Trust Credit Union of the same nature.” When Plaintiff reported this harassment, she “was removed from the assignment.” The Michigan Education Association, Child and Family Services, and Lake Trust Credit Union “created and allowed a hostile work environment, intruded upon Plaintiff's personal privacy, and removed Plaintiff from employment.”

         Plaintiff filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charges of unlawful discrimination against all three organizations. The EEOC dismissed Plaintiff's charges and issued right to sue letters to Plaintiff on May 14, 2015. On August 13, 2015, Plaintiff initiated the present action against: (1) Michigan Education Association; (2) Child and Family Services; (3) Lake Trust Credit Union; and (4) Adecco USA, Inc. On May 26, 2016, the Court dismissed Plaintiff's claims against Defendant Child and Family Services. (ECF No. 29-30). The remaining defendants now move to dismiss Plaintiff's claims on the grounds that such fail to state a claim on which relief may be granted.

         LEGAL STANDARD

         A Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim on which relief may be granted tests the legal sufficiency of a complaint by evaluating the assertions therein in a light most favorable to Plaintiff to determine whether such states a valid claim for relief.[1] See In re NM Holdings Co., LLC, 622 F.3d 613, 618 (6th Cir. 2000).

         Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), a claim must be dismissed for failure to state a claim on which relief may be granted unless the “[f]actual allegations [are] enough to raise a right for relief above the speculative level on the assumption that all of the complaint's allegations are true.” Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 545 (2007). As the Supreme Court more recently held, to survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must contain “sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to ‘state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 677-78 (2009). This plausibility standard “is not akin to a ‘probability requirement, ' but it asks for more than a sheer possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully.” If the complaint simply pleads facts that are “merely consistent with” a defendant's liability, it “stops short of the line between possibility and plausibility of ‘entitlement to relief.'” Id. As the Court further observed:

Two working principles underlie our decision in Twombly. First, the tenet that a court must accept as true all of the allegations contained in a complaint is inapplicable to legal conclusions. Threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice. . .Rule 8 marks a notable and generous departure from the hyper-technical, code-pleading regime of a prior era, but it does not unlock the doors of discovery for a plaintiff armed with nothing more than conclusions. Second, only a complaint that states a plausible claim for relief survives a motion to dismiss. . .Determining whether a complaint states a plausible claim for relief will, as the Court of Appeals observed, be a context-specific task that requires the reviewing court to draw on its judicial experience and common sense. But where the wellpleaded facts do not permit the court to infer more than the mere possibility of misconduct, the complaint has alleged - but it has not “show[n]” -“that the pleader is entitled to relief.”

Id. at 678-79 (internal citations omitted).

         When resolving a motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6), the Court may consider the complaint and any exhibits attached thereto, public records, items appearing in the record of the case, and exhibits attached to the defendant's motion to dismiss provided such are referenced in the complaint and central to the claims therein. See Bassett v. National CollegiateAthletic Assoc., 528 F.3d 426, 430 (6th Cir. 2008); see also, Continental Identification Products, Inc. v. EnterMarket, Corp., 2008 WL 51610 at *1, n.1 (W.D. Mich., Jan. 2, 2008) (“an exhibit to a pleading is considered part of the pleading” and “the Court may properly consider the exhibits. . .in determining whether the complaint fail[s] to state a claim upon which relief may be granted without converting the motion to a Rule 56 ...


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