United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
JUDGMENT ON THEPLEADINGS [#12]
GERSHWIN A. DRAIN UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT JUDGE.
the Court is Defendant's Motion for Judgment on the
Pleadings. Defendant FCA US, LLC moves this Court to dismiss
Plaintiffs' discrimination complaint against it. For the
reasons discussed below, this Court will grant
Defendant's Motion and dismiss Plaintiff's complaint
against all Defendants.
Bhavi Shah became an employee of Defendant FCA US, LLC
(“FCA”) around 2014. Dkt. No. 1, pg. 4 (Pg. ID
65). Before that, she was employed by FCA's predecessors.
Id. Plaintiff signed an employment application on
June 19, 1996 with FCA's predecessors in which she agreed
“that any claim or lawsuit arising out of [her]
employment . . . must be filed no more than six (6) months
after the date of the employment action that is the subject
of the claim or lawsuit.” Dkt. No. 11-5, pg. 3 (Pg. ID
205). Plaintiff is of Asian race and Indian national origin.
Dkt. No. 1, pg. 2 (Pg. ID 63). Defendant Daquanda Flowers
became Plaintiff's direct supervisor in early 2017.
Id. at pg. 6 (Pg. ID 67). In May of 2015, Plaintiff
was diagnosed with diabetic retinopathy edema. Id.
at pg. 5 (Pg. ID 66). This condition requires Plaintiff to
receive an injection once a month and have a day of recovery
time. Id. Plaintiff alleges that her supervisor
before Flowers allowed her the accommodation of working from
home on days of her injections and the day after for the
recovery time. Id. at pg. 6 (Pg. ID 67). However,
Flowers would not allow Plaintiff this accommodation.
Id. Therefore, Plaintiff worked with the human
resources department to get the accommodation approved.
Id. When it was approved, Plaintiff alleges that
Flowers was “furious” and began to shun her, give
her icy stares, and/or verbally assault and berate Plaintiff.
Id. at pg. 7 (Pg. ID 68).
January 12, 2018, Plaintiff alleges that she met with the
head of human resources at FCA, Defendant Charlie Stein.
Id. at pg. 10 (Pg. ID 71). She alleges that she
complained to Stein about the discriminatory and retaliatory
conduct that Flowers was subjecting her to. The complaint
asserts that Stein indicated that he would conduct an
investigation and get back to Plaintiff with his findings.
Id. at pg. 11 (Pg. ID 72).
states that on March 12, 2018, after she returned from
medical leave for eye surgery, Flowers “unleashed a
fury on her” in retaliation for her complaint to human
resources and for taking medical leave. Id. at pg.
12 (Pg. ID 73). Plaintiff alleges that Flowers retaliated
against her by giving her a very low bonus for 2017, $782.00.
Id. Additionally, Flowers allegedly gave Plaintiff a
low performance review in retaliation. Id. at pg. 13
(Pg. ID 74).
March 12, 2018, Plaintiff met with Defendant Stein to follow
up about her complaints against Flowers. Id. at pg.
12 (Pg. ID 73). Stein informed Plaintiff that Flowers'
conduct was not found to be retaliatory or racially motivated
under FCA's policy. Id. at pg. 13 (Pg. ID 74).
Stein also informed Plaintiff that FCA would not be removing
her from Flowers' supervision. Id.
7, 2018, Flowers and Stein met with Plaintiff and presented
her with a Performance Improvement Plan (“PIP”).
Id. at pg. 17 (Pg. ID 78). The PIP included over 60
bullet points of actions for Plaintiff to perform in order to
meet her 2017 goals. Id. at pg. 41 (Pg. ID 102).
Flowers created the PIP with the approval of Stein.
Id. at pg. 18 (Pg. ID 79). Plaintiff alleges that
the PIP was bogus, onerous, unreasonable, and retaliatory.
Id. Plaintiff complained to Stein that she believed
the PIP requirements were unrealistic. Id. Stein
informed Plaintiff that following the PIP was her only
recourse. Id. at pg. 19 (Pg. ID 80). Plaintiff then
told Stein that if Flowers and FCA were setting her up to
fail with the PIP, FCA should give her a fair severance
took some vacation days and returned to work on May 21, 2018.
Id. at pg. 20 (Pg. ID 81). That same day, Stein
emailed Plaintiff and stated that he had a severance package
ready for Plaintiff to review. Id. Stein told
Plaintiff that she had 21 days to accept or reject it.
Id. Plaintiff reviewed the package and did not think
it was fair. Id. at pg. 21 (Pg. ID 82). She informed
Stein that she would therefore need to continue her
employment with FCA. Id. Defendant did not continue
Plaintiff's employment and terminated Plaintiff on May
23, 2018. Dkt. No. 1, pg. 21 (Pg. ID 82).
filed a charge of discrimination with the Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) on July 30, 2018.
Dkt. No. 11-2, pg. 2 (Pg. ID 198). The charge states that
during Plaintiff's employment, Defendants subjected her
to different treatment than her Caucasian colleagues.
Id. It states that Plaintiff's believes that she
was subjected to different treatment because of race,
national origin, disability, and in retaliation for engaging
in protected activity. Id. The EEOC issued Plaintiff
a Dismissal and Notice of Rights letter on September 24,
2018. Dkt. No. 11-3, pg. 2 (Pg. ID 200).
filed her pro se complaint with this Court on
December 12, 2018. Dkt. No. 1. Defendant filed the present
Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings on February 6, 2019.
Dkt. No. 12. A representative for Plaintiff contacted this
Court on February 27, 2019 requesting an extension to respond
to Defendant's Motion because Plaintiff was attempting to
obtain counsel. Defendant did not oppose the extension.
Accordingly, this Court granted Plaintiff an extension of
three weeks to respond to Defendant's Motion. Dkt. No.
14. On March 22, 2019, this Court granted Plaintiff a second
three-week extension to respond to the Motion. Dkt. No. 15.
Plaintiff has failed to file a response. On June 12, 2019,
this Court held a motion hearing on Defendant's Motion.
Plaintiff did not appear for the motion hearing.
courts review motions for judgment on the pleadings brought
pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(c) using the standards applicable
to motions filed under Rule 12(b)(6). See Wee Care Child
Ctr., Inc. v. Lumpkin, 680 F.3d 841, 846 (6th Cir.
2012). Though litigants employ these procedural mechanisms at
different stages of the proceedings, the purpose of both
motions is to test the legal sufficiency of a plaintiff's
pleadings. Thus, as with Rule 12(b)(6) motions, a Rule 12(c)