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Martin v. Piedmont Airlines

United States District Court, District of Columbia

January 7, 2013

Madura A. MARTIN, Plaintiff,
v.
PIEDMONT AIRLINES et al., Defendants.

Page 12

Madura A. Martin, Washington, DC, pro se.

Anessa Abrams, Ford & Harrison LLP, Washington, DC, Patricia G. Griffith, Ford & Harrison LLP, Atlanta, GA, for Defendants.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

AMY BERMAN JACKSON, District Judge.

Plaintiff, proceeding pro se, sues Piedmont Airlines, Station Manager Fred Louden, Human Resources Manager Michelle Foose, and Director of Stations Bob Berg for " discrimination, harassment, civil rights, negligence, retaliation, and violation of [National Labor Relations Act] policies governing protections concerning employees active in union activities." Compl. at 1. He seeks $4.8 million in damages. Id.

Pending before the court is defendants' motion to dismiss the complaint against the individual defendants under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(2) for lack of personal jurisdiction and against Piedmont Airlines, Inc. (" hereafter Piedmont" ) under Rule 12(b)(6) as time-barred and for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Defs.' Mot. to Dismiss Compl. [Dkt. # 4]. Upon consideration of the motion, plaintiff's opposition, and defendants' reply, the court finds that the complaint is time-barred and that plaintiff has stated no facts to support equitable tolling. Hence, the court will grant defendants' motion.

BACKGROUND

In a factually sparse and rather unorganized complaint, plaintiff alleges generally that he was " singled out and disciplined more than [his] co-workers" because of his union activities. Compl. at 2. Under his claims labeled Discrimination, id., and Retaliation, id. at 3, plaintiff alleges that he was written up four times in three months, which was more than anyone else, id. at 2, and that Piedmont " has systematically caused [him] undo hardship ... by issuing unwarranted writeups so they could accumulate enough documentation to justify [his] termination," id. at 3. Plaintiff also alleges in his Retaliation count that he was " forced to sign a document under duress in order to continue[ ] working with this company. This document was generated as a result of the writeups on false allegations." Id. at 3. Plaintiff further claims in his Discrimination count that Piedmont's management was " negligent" and breached company policy by not responding in " a

Page 13

timely and adequate manner" to his complaints about a supervisor, as it did when the supervisor complained about " a non-management employee." Id. at 2.

Under his claims labeled Harassment, id. at 2, and Negligence, id. at 3, plaintiff alleges that " [h]arassment was carried out by creating a stressful and hostile work environment," apparently through " actions taken in 2011 in response to [his] active participation in union activities." Id. at 2. Plaintiff also alleges that Piedmont " never addressed" a harassment complaint he filed with the " DCA station in January 2010" in accordance with a zero tolerance policy. Id. at 2, 3.

Under his claim labeled Civil Rights, id. at 3, plaintiff states that he was " deprived of [his] right to actively participate in the collective bargaining process with no fear of reprisals or threats." He also claims that he " was denied the right to work in a non-hostile work environment." Id.

According to information alluded to in the complaint but supplied by Piedmont, plaintiff was employed as a ramp agent and was a member of the Communication Workers of America, which was the union certified on November 4, 2010, to represent Piedmont's customer service agents. Defs.' Mem., Decl. of Michelle Foose ¶ 5. Piedmont claims that plaintiff was terminated from his job on August 11, 2011, id ¶ 6; plaintiff states that he was terminated " [a]fter attending a hearing on September 16, 2011, following the protocol set up by Piedmont Airlines." Pl.'s Response to Order Granting Defs. Mot. to Dismiss (" Pl.'s Opp'n" ) [Dkt. # 8] at 1.

The docket of this case reflects that the Clerk of Court received plaintiff's complaint and motion to proceed in forma pauperis on April 4, 2012, and formally filed this action on April 25, 2012, following the granting of plaintiff's in forma pauperis motion on April 21, 2012. See ...


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