Thursday, September 18, 2008

N.D. Ill. Applies Twombly to Uphold an Employment Discrimination Claim

Mull v. Abbott Laboratories, 563 F.Supp.2d 925 (N.D. Ill. June 30, 2008):

As the Seventh Circuit recently reiterated, “a plaintiff alleging employment discrimination under Title VII may allege these claims quite generally.” Tamayo, 526 F.3d at 1081. “A complaint need not ‘allege all, or any, of the facts logically entailed by the claim,’ and it certainly need not include evidence.” Id. (citation omitted). Indeed, a litigant is entitled to conduct discovery before her claims are “put to their proof.” Id. Even after Bell Atlantic, a complaint alleging employment discrimination “need only aver that the employer instituted a (specified) adverse employment action against the plaintiff on the basis of her [protected status].” Id. at 1084.

Here, Plaintiff alleges that she is African-American; that she worked for Defendant for nearly six years and performed her job satisfactorily; and that Defendant took various adverse actions against her based on her race, including terminating her. (R. 19, FAC ¶¶ 4, 20-21.) She further alleges that less qualified non-African-American employees, including one whom Plaintiff trained, were not terminated. ( Id. ¶ 20.) Plaintiff has pled enough to state a plausible claim for discriminatory discharge. See Tamayo, 526 F.3d at 1085 (plaintiff adequately stated sex discrimination claim where she alleged that she is female; she suffered adverse employment action; defendant discriminated against her based on her sex; and similarly situated male employees were treated more favorably). As in Tamayo, Plaintiff has pled enough facts to “provide the defendants with sufficient notice to begin to investigate and defend against her claim.” Id. Accordingly, this aspect of Defendant's motion to dismiss is denied.


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