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Plummer v. Housing Authority of Columbus

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

July 20, 2018




         Plaintiff Mirchelle T. Plummer claims that her employer, Defendant the Housing Authority of Columbus discriminated against her because of her race, age, religion, sex, and disability. She further asserts that the Housing Authority retaliated against her for complaining of discrimination and deprived her of her rights secured by the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution and 42 U.S.C. § 1981. Plummer also named several Housing Authority employees as Defendants. Defendants filed a motion to dismiss Plummer's entire Complaint for failure to state a claim. As discussed below, the motion (ECF No. 4) is granted in part and denied in part, and Plummer shall have one opportunity to amend her Complaint.


         “To survive a motion to dismiss” under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), “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) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). The complaint must include sufficient factual allegations “to raise a right to relief above the speculative level.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555. The factual allegations must “raise a reasonable expectation that discovery will reveal evidence of” the plaintiff's claims. Id. at 556. But “Rule 12(b)(6) does not permit dismissal of a well-pleaded complaint simply because ‘it strikes a savvy judge that actual proof of those facts is improbable.'” Watts v. Fla. Int'l Univ., 495 F.3d 1289, 1295 (11th Cir. 2007) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556).


         Plummer, who is proceeding pro se, alleges the following facts in support of her claims. The Court must accept these allegations as true for purposes of the pending motion.

         Plummer is an employee of the Housing Authority. She works under the direction of Defendants Mimi James, Susan McGuire, Tashee Singleton, Lisa Walters, and Len Williams. Plummer alleges that she is disabled, but she did not allege any facts about her disability.

         Plummer has worked for the Housing Authority since 1999. In November 2016, Plummer filed a charge of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, alleging age, religion, and disability discrimination. Compl. 19, ECF No. 1. Plummer received a right-to-sue letter in May 2017. She “decided not to file a law suit at that time.” Id.

         Plummer alleges that since November 2016, she has applied for “numerous positions” but has not been granted an interview. Id. And, after Plummer received the May 17, 2017 right-to-sue letter, she was (1) denied time off for doctor's visits, (2) denied a lateral transfer, and (3) denied reasonable accommodations for her disability. Id. She further alleges that in August 2017, “several positions were filled by applicants who are less qualified.” Id. at 19; accord Id. at 2, ¶ 7. Plummer asserts that she was denied these opportunities “because of her (Retaliation), Religion Age or Sex and Disability [sic].” Id. at 3, ¶ 10; accord Id. at 3, ¶ 14. And she alleges that Defendants told her that because of her disability, she would not be able to perform any duties other than those she was already assigned. Id. at 3, ¶ 10; id. at 2, ¶ 8. Plummer also claims that Defendants changed her pay “in a disparate manner from similarly situated white employees.” Id. at 3, ¶ 9.

         Plummer filed another EEOC charge of discrimination in November 2017. In that EEOC charge, Plummer alleges that Defendants discriminated against her based on her disability. Compl. Attach. 1, Nov. 2017 EEOC Charge 1, ECF No. 1-1. She also claims that Defendants retaliated against her for filing a prior EEOC charge and for complaining of discrimination and harassment. Id. And, Plummer asserts that she experienced additional harassment after she filed the November 2017 EEOC charge. Compl. 19.

         Plummer brought this action under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000e to 2000e-17 (“Title VII”), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, 29 U.S.C. §§ 621 to 634 (“ADEA”), and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, 42 U.S.C. §§ 12112 to 12117 (“ADA”). Compl. 17. She also invoked the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, 42 U.S.C. § 1981, 42 U.S.C. § 1983, and the Civil Rights Act of 1871.[1] Id. at 1.


         Defendants seek dismissal of all of Plummer's claims. They contend that her claims against the individual Defendants are not permitted under the law, that her Thirteenth Amendment claim fails as a matter of law, that some of her claims are untimely, that some of her claims are barred for failure to exhaust administrative remedies, and that her remaining claims are not supported by specific factual assertions as required by the law. The Court addresses each argument in turn.

         I. Claims Against the ...

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