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Kieffer v. Planet Fitness of Adrian, LLC

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

August 18, 2017

Cary Kieffer, Plaintiff,
Planet Fitness of Adrian, LLC d/b/a Planet Fitness of Adrian, Damian Berry, and Justin Bailey, Defendants.

          Stephanie Dawkins Davis Mag. Judge.


          JUDITH E. LEVY United States District Judge.

         This is an employment discrimination case. Pending is defendants' motion to dismiss plaintiff's federal claims for failure to state a claim, and request for the Court to decline to exercise supplemental jurisdiction. (Dkt. 8.) For the reasons set forth below, the motion is granted.

         I. Background

         The following facts are drawn from plaintiff's complaint, and are treated as true for the purposes of this motion.

         Plaintiff Cary Kieffer served in the United States military for twelve years, from 1996 until 2008. On January 13, 2007, plaintiff suffered injuries to his leg and eye during an ambush in Mosul, Iraq.[1]He was also diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (“PTSD”) as a result of his military service. Plaintiff's manifestation of PTSD includes anxiety and panic attacks.

         Plaintiff was hired to work for defendant Planet Fitness at their Adrian, Michigan location on October 9, 2015. When plaintiff was hired, he advised defendants, including Damian Berry, the owner of the franchise, and Justin Bailey, the general manager of the Adrian location, of his disabilities related to his military service. He also informed them that he would need to take pre-planned leave at certain times as a reasonable accommodation to attend medical appointments in Ann Arbor, Michigan, related to his disabilities.

         In December 2015, plaintiff was promoted to the position of fitness instructor. In May 2016, plaintiff requested permission to take short breaks of one to two minutes to deal with anxiety attacks arising from his PTSD. Plaintiff does not state whether this request was granted, or whether he took any such breaks.

         On May 28, 2016, plaintiff requested unpaid leave from his job for three medical appointments during the week of June 20, 2016. The request was granted. In late June 2016, plaintiff was given a raise. On July 5, 2016, plaintiff was terminated from his job “for no reason whatsoever.” (Dkt. 1 at 6.) Plaintiff filed a charge of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) and the Michigan Department of Civil Rights on August 11, 2016. (Dkt. 1-2.) On February 1, 2017, the EEOC issued a Dismissal and Notice of Rights, including a Right to Sue letter. (Dkt. 1-3.)

         Plaintiff timely filed suit on April 25, 2017, asserting claims for discrimination and retaliation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), failure to accommodate and wrongful discharge under Michigan's Persons With Disabilities Civil Rights Act (“PWDCRA”), and an unspecified claim under the Uniform Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (“USERRA”). Defendants filed a motion to dismiss plaintiff's federal claims on June 21, 2017. (Dkt. 8.)

         The motion is fully briefed, and the Court determines that oral argument is not necessary pursuant to E.D. Mich. Local R. 7.1(f)(2).

         II. Legal Standard

         When deciding a motion to dismiss under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6), the Court must “construe the complaint in the light most favorable to the plaintiff and accept all allegations as true.” Keys v. Humana, Inc., 684 F.3d 605, 608 (6th Cir. 2012). “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, 678 (2009). A plausible claim need not contain “detailed factual allegations, ” but it must contain more than “labels and conclusions” or “a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action.” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007).

         III. Analysis

         Although defendants' motion to dismiss is styled as one brought under both Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(1) for lack of subject matter jurisdiction and Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) for failure to state a claim, it is only the latter. Defendants move to dismiss all of plaintiff's federal claims, and state that the Court must decline the exercise of supplemental jurisdiction over the remaining state law claims. (Dkt. 8-1 at 9.) Defendants have misread 28 U.S.C. § 1367(c)(3), which states that “district courts may decline to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over a claim [that is sufficiently related to the claims over which the court has original jurisdiction]. . . if . . . the district court has dismissed all claims over which it has original jurisdiction.” Section 1367(c) is permissive, not mandatory, and is not properly the subject of a motion to dismiss for ...

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