United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
OPINION AND ORDER DENYING DEFENDANT MICHIGAN
AUTOMOTIVE COMPRESSOR, INC.'S MOTION TO DISMISS
V. PARKER U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE.
initiated this lawsuit on September 12, 2018, alleging that
Defendants engaged in unlawful discrimination, harassment,
and retaliation in violation of federal and Michigan law.
Plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint on November 20, 2018.
(ECF No. 14.) In that pleading, Plaintiff asserts two counts
against Defendants Michigan Automotive Compressor, Inc.
(“MACI”) and Anchor Staffing, Inc.
(“Anchor”): (I) sex harassment and discrimination
in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
(“Title VII”) and Michigan's Elliott-Larsen
Civil Rights Act (“ELCRA”); and (II) retaliation
in violation of Title VII and ELCRA. The matter is presently
before the Court on MACI's motion to dismiss, filed
pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) on
February 11, 2019. (ECF No. 18.) The motion has been fully
briefed. (ECF Nos. 20, 21.) Finding the facts and legal
arguments sufficiently presented in the parties' briefs,
the Court is dispensing with oral argument with respect to
MACI's motion pursuant to Eastern District of Michigan
Local Rule 7.1(f).
Applicable Standard of Review
motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) tests the legal
sufficiency of the complaint. RMI Titanium Co. v.
Westinghouse Elec. Corp., 78 F.3d 1125, 1134 (6th Cir.
1996). Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2), a
pleading must contain a “short and plain statement of
the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to
relief[.]” Under this notice pleading standard, a
complaint 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). A complaint does not “suffice if it tenders
‘naked assertions' devoid of ‘further factual
enhancement.'” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S.
662, 678 (2009) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 557).
Supreme Court provided in Iqbal and
Twombly, “[t]o 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.'” Id. (quoting Twombly,
550 U.S. at 570). “A claim has facial plausibility when
the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to
draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable
for the misconduct alleged.” Id. (citing
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556). The plausibility standard
“does not impose a probability requirement at the
pleading stage; it simply calls for enough facts to raise a
reasonable expectation that discovery will reveal evidence of
illegal [conduct].” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556.
deciding whether the plaintiff has set forth a
“plausible” claim, the court must accept the
factual allegations in the complaint as true. Erickson v.
Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007). This presumption,
however, is not applicable to legal conclusions.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 668. Therefore,
“[t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of
action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not
suffice.” Id. (citing Twombly, 550
U.S. at 555).
the court may not consider matters outside the pleadings when
deciding a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss. Weiner v.
Klais & Co., Inc., 108 F.3d 86, 88 (6th Cir. 1997)
(citing Hammond v. Baldwin, 866 F.2d 172, 175 (6th
Cir. 1989)). A court that considers such matters must first
convert the motion to dismiss to one for summary judgment.
See Fed. R. Civ. P 12(d). However, “[w]hen a
court is presented with a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, it may
consider the [c]omplaint 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,
so long as they are referred to in the [c]omplaint and are
central to the claims contained therein.” Bassett
v. Nat'l Collegiate Athletic Ass'n, 528 F.3d
426, 430 (6th Cir. 2008).
attaches three exhibits to its motion to dismiss: (1)
Anchor's Temporary Staffing Contract pursuant to which it
provides services of temporary employees to companies, such
as MACI; (2) pages from Anchor's website; and (3)
additional pages from Anchor's website. None of these
fall within the category of materials a court may consider on
a Rule 12(b)(6) motion without converting the motion to one
for summary judgment. The Court therefore declines to
consider them in deciding MACI's motion. Further, MACI
makes several factual assertions within its brief in support
of its motion that the Court will not consider, as they go
beyond the factual allegations in Plaintiff's Amended
Complaint. (See, e.g., MACI's Br. in Supp. of
Mot. at 3 (“MACI exercised no control over Anchor
Staffing's employees with regard to hiring, discipline,
compensation or termination decisions.”).
Factual and Procedural Background
is an employee leasing company, with offices in Parma,
Michigan. (Am. Compl. ¶ 8.) Anchor's Parma office is
located within MACI's principal place of business.
(Id. ¶ 9.) Plaintiff began her employment with
Anchor on or about October 17, 2017, and was assigned to work
at MACI as a “lead wire” and then in the dye cast
area. (Id. ¶ 10.) According to Plaintiff,
Anchor and MACI were her “co/dual-employers.”
(Id. ¶ 11.)
about November 2017, Plaintiff was told by supervisor Mark
Ward of MACI that he was going to hire her directly as an
employee of MACI, only. (Id. ¶ 12.) Shortly
thereafter, on November 21, 2017, a co-worker sexually
assaulted Plaintiff. (Id. ¶ 13.) The co-worker
approached Plaintiff from behind, pushed her against a
plexi-glass wall, rubbed his body against hers including his
pelvic area, and whispered in Plaintiff's ear.
(Id.) Plaintiff pushed the co-worker off, turned
around, and warned him to never do that again. (Id.
the sexual assault, Plaintiff went on a break to collect her
composure. (Id. ¶ 15.) When Plaintiff returned
to work, the same co-worker sexually assaulted her again.
(Id.) Plaintiff immediately went to
“Cristy” to complain about her co-worker's
conduct. (Id. ¶ 16.) Cristy told Plaintiff that
she needed to speak with Mark Ward about her allegations.
(Id. ¶ 17.)
then advised Ward of the initial and subsequent assaults.
(Id. ¶ 18.) Ward took Plaintiff's statement
and then told her to go home. (Id.) On the way home,
Plaintiff complained to Anchor that she was being sexually
harassed by a co-worker and Anchor instructed her to not
return to work as long as the co-worker was working in the
same area as Plaintiff. (Id. ¶ 19.) Following
the instructions of MACI and Anchor, “her dual
employers[, ]” Plaintiff remained home without pay from
November 21, 2017 until November 28, 2017. (Id.
Plaintiff returned to work, she was moved from the department
where Ward said he was going to hire her as a direct employee
to another department, HUBA, where direct employment was not
available. (Id. ¶ 22.) On January 2, 2018,