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Hajiani v. Mines Enterprises, LLC

United States District Court, M.D. Georgia, Macon Division

April 27, 2018

SALIM HAJIANI, Plaintiff,
v.
MINES ENTERPRISES, LLC and MARK MINES, Defendants.

          ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO DISMISS

          TILMAN E. SELF, III, JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

         FACTUAL BACKGROUND

         For approximately six months, Plaintiff worked for Defendant Mines Enterprises in Butts County, Georgia. [Doc. 8 at 3]. Plaintiff alleges that during that time Mines Enterprises discriminated against him on the basis of his religion. [Id.] Specifically, Plaintiff claims that he “was never promoted, he never received a pay raise, [and] at numerous occasions negative comments were made by the defendants toward Plaintiff's religious beliefs.” [Id.] Plaintiff also claims that Mines Enterprises never gave him days off to conduct his religious activities, even though “Defendants readily gave other employees days off to perform their personal work.” [Id. at 4]. During Plaintiff's employment, Mines Enterprises also allegedly forced Plaintiff to do other employees' work. [Id.]

         At some point in March 2016, Mines Enterprises terminated Plaintiff's employment. [Doc. 8 at 4]. Plaintiff alleges Defendant Mines instructed managers to terminate him due to his religion. [Id. at 3]. Afterward, Defendants allegedly “made false and defamatory statements about Plaintiff to [his] prospective future employers, ” including statements that “Plaintiff is not a good employee, has attendance issue[s], and is not a hard working person.” [Id. at 4]. As a result of these statements, Plaintiff allegedly was denied employment by other entities. [Id.]

         A. Plaintiff's Original Complaint.

         Plaintiff filed the instant lawsuit on February 6, 2017, seeking damages for discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e, et seq., (“Title VII”), and for intentional infliction of emotional distress (“IIED”) and invasion of privacy under Georgia law. [Doc. 1]. Plaintiff's Title VII claim rested on his assertions that Defendants subjected him to “unwarranted criticism, ” disparagement, threats, and harassment due to his religion and that Defendants failed to “eliminate a general and consistent pattern and practice of religious discrimination.” [Doc. 1 at 3]. In support of his IIED claim, Plaintiff stated only that he was “subjected to extreme emotional distress by unreasonable conduct” and that he has “no means of relief for such damages under federal law.” [Id.] Finally, Plaintiff's invasion of privacy claim was supported only by his conclusion that “Defendants invaded Plaintiffs [sic] privacy and hence are liable for damages under Georgia law.” [Id. at 4].

         B. Plaintiff's First Amended Complaint.

         On April 18, 2017, Plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint [Doc. 4], asserting the same causes of action as those in his original Complaint [Doc. 1] and making no material substantive changes to his alleged facts and claims. The Court reviewed the Amended Complaint [Doc. 4] as required by 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e) to determine if was frivolous or malicious or if it otherwise failed to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. [Doc. 7]. After enumerating the elements of each of Plaintiff's claims, the Court ultimately found that “Plaintiff's threadbare allegations are insufficient to state a claim upon which relief may be granted.” [Id. at 5]. Specifically, the Court found the following deficiencies in Plaintiff's Amended Complaint [Doc. 4]:

For instance, Plaintiff alleges he was subjected to discrimination based on his religion, but he fails to identify what his religion is. Plaintiff also fails to allege any facts describing when the alleged termination occurred, who made that decision, and how that decision was discriminatorily based on Plaintiff's religion. Additionally, Plaintiff fails to provide any factual basis whatsoever for the “pattern of discrimination and misconduct” that caused him extreme emotional distress, or what conduct resulted in defamation to character. Finally, Plaintiff fails to attach a copy of his EEOC charge, as required in a Title VII case, and thus Plaintiff fails to give Defendant fair notice of what his claims are and the grounds upon which they rest.

[Doc. 7 at 5-6].

         Despite these deficiencies, the Court allowed Plaintiff to recast his Complaint and ordered him to do so within 21 days of the date of the Order. [Doc. 7]. The Court ordered Plaintiff to provide specific facts as to Defendants' alleged discrimination, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and defamation, and ordered him to attach a copy of his EEOC charge to the recast complaint. [Id. at 6]. The Court also gave clear warning that Plaintiff's recast complaint must comply with the directives in the Order. [Id. at 7].

         C. Plaintiff's Second Amended Complaint.

         In attempted compliance with the Court's Order [Doc. 7], Plaintiff filed his Second Amended Complaint [Doc. 8] on September 6, 2017. In it, Plaintiff re-alleges his Title VII, IIED, and defamation claims against both Defendants. 1. Plaintiff's Title VII claims.

         With regard to his Title VII claim, Plaintiff states that he belongs to the Muslim religion, that Defendant Mines made the decision to fire Plaintiff, and that Defendant Mines instructed managers to fire him because of his religion. [Doc. 8 at 3, 4]. Otherwise, Plaintiff's Second Amended Complaint states only that “Plaintiff belongs to a protected class, ” that he “was qualified for the job position, ” that he “suffered an adverse employment action when he was terminated, ” and that Defendant Mines “replaced Plaintiff with an individual who belonged to defendant mines [sic] religion.” [Id. at 3].

         Plaintiff also appears to allege that he suffered disparate treatment during his employment that is separate and distinct from the alleged discriminatory firing. Specifically, Plaintiff states that he “was never given any day off to conduct his religious activities” even though “Defendants readily gave other employees days off to perform their personal work.” [Id. at 4]. Plaintiff also claims that Defendants promised him a pay raise which was never fulfilled, and Plaintiff was never promoted. [Id.] Defendants also allegedly made “a lot of negative comments…solely because of Plaintiff's religious beliefs.” ...


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