Wednesday, April 09, 2008

E.D. Wisc. Denies Motion to Dismiss Title VII Claim, Citing Swierkiewicz and Twombly

Per Kimble v. Wisconsin Dept. of Workforce Development, Slip Copy, 2008 WL 916964 (E.D. Wis. Arp. 2, 2008):

Plaintiff worked as a supervisor for the Equal Rights Division (“ERD”) within the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, for around twenty-five years before retiring. During an exit interview with ERD Director Robert Anderson, held in April 2005 after plaintiff announced his retirement, plaintiff stated that he felt that overall his compensation had been inadequate in light of the excellent track record of the department which plaintiff supervised. Mr. Anderson expressed his surprise that plaintiff had not received any discretionary raises, especially when other employees who were subordinate to plaintiff had received such raises. After this meeting, plaintiff investigated the pay and pay rates of other employees and discovered that many supervisory employees at the ERD had received raises when plaintiff had not. At least some of these employees were of European-American descent or female.

Defendants argue that I must dismiss plaintiff's Title VII claims because plaintiff has failed to allege a discrete discriminatory act that constitutes a basis for the claims. Specifically, defendants argue that plaintiff did not allege specific dates, names, or other facts surrounding a discriminatory pay-setting decision, and failed to substantiate any of his allegations regarding other employees' raises with statistics or other evidence. However, at the pleading stage, plaintiff need only provide fair notice of his claims and the grounds upon which they rest. Twombly, 127 S.Ct. at 1965. Plaintiff need not plead facts to make out a prima facie case of discrimination. Swierkiewicz v. Sorema N.A., 534 U.S. 506, 510-13 (2002). The allegations above, taken from plaintiff's complaint, meet this standard.


Post a Comment

<< Home