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Sims v. Salem Health Hospitals & Clinics

United States District Court, D. Oregon

June 7, 2017

CLAUDIA SIMS, Plaintiff,
v.
SALEM HEALTH HOSPITALS AND CLINICS, Defendant.

          OPINION AND ORDER

          Michael J. McShane United States District Judge.

         Plaintiff Claudia Sims is a registered nurse who worked for defendant Salem Health in various positions from January 3, 2011 until her discharge on May 21, 2015. Compl. ¶ 5-6. Plaintiff alleges that the reasons provided by Salem Health for her discharge were a pretext to justify disparate racial treatment. Compl. ¶¶ 8-12. She alleges two claims in her complaint: (1) Title VII race discrimination under federal law, 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000e, et seq., and (2) state race discrimination under Or. Rev. Stat. § 659A.030(a) and (b).

         Defendant moves for dismissal of Plaintiff's Complaint pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6). Because plaintiff's federal claim is time barred, defendant's motion (ECF No. 5) is GRANTED in part. Because plaintiff has provided sufficient evidence in the record to support the contention that the federal court's electronic filing system failed to accept her complaint on the day it was submitted, Plaintiff's Motion to Correct Docket (ECF No. 8) is GRANTED in part.

         BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff's employment was terminated on March 21, 2015. Compl. ¶ 6.Plaintiff filed a complaint with the state's Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI). By letter dated December 12, 2016, BOLI found insufficient evidence to continue their investigation and provided a NOTICE OF RIGHT TO FILE A CIVIL SUIT. Decl. Reeves Ex. D, ECF No. 6. The BOLI letter correctly instructed Plaintiff that she had 90-days to file suit from the date of the letter.

         The court docket reads that this case was filed on March 13, 2017. The complaint was not uploaded into the electronic filing system until March 15, 2017, when the court clerk contacted the Plaintiff's attorney's office and informed them that the complaint had not been received with the case filing.

         STANDARD OF REVIEW I. Motion to Dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(1)

         This Court must dismiss a claim if it lacks subject matter jurisdiction. Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(1). The party invoking federal jurisdiction bears the burden of establishing that subject matter jurisdiction exists. Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife, 504 U.S. 555, 561 (1992). First, the plaintiff must prove that he has suffered an injury in fact, which is a concrete and particularized invasion of a legally protected interest. Id. at 560. This injury must be actual or imminent, not conjectural or hypothetical. Id. Second, there must be a causal connection, meaning the injury must be fairly traceable to the conduct cited in the Complaint. Id. And third, there must be redressability, or a likelihood that a favorable decision will redress the injury. Id. at 561.

         II. Motion to Dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6)

         To survive a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter that “state[s] a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). A claim is plausible on its face when the factual allegations allow the court to infer the defendant's liability based on the alleged conduct. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 663 (2009). The factual allegations must present more than “the mere possibility of misconduct.” Id. at 678.

         While considering a motion to dismiss, the Court must accept all allegations of material fact as true and construe them in the light most favorable to the non-movant. Burgert v. Lokelani Bernice Pauahi Bishop Trust, 200 F.3d 661, 663 (9th Cir. 2000). However, the Court is “not bound to accept as true a legal conclusion couched as a factual allegation.” Papasan v. Allain, 478 U.S. 265, 286 (1986). If the complaint is dismissed, leave to amend should be granted unless the court “determines that the pleading could not possibly be cured by the allegation of other facts.” Doe v. United States, 58 F.3d 494, 497 (9th Cir. 1995) (citations and internal quotation marks omitted).

         DISCUSSION

         I. Title VII Claim is time-barred

         A plaintiff must file a timely charge of discrimination with the EEOC as a prerequisite to bringing an action under Title VII. 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-5(e)(1); Grove City Veterinary Serv. LLC v. Charter Practices Int'l LLC, No. 3:13-cv-02276-AC, 2014 WL 3371918 at *2 (D. Or. July 9, 2014). Where a plaintiff fails to timely file an EEOC charge, their judicial claims must be dismissed. Ariz. ex rel Horne v. Geo Group, Inc., 816 F.3d 1189, 1202 (9th Cir. 2016) (“An individual's failure to file a charge with the agency within [the] time frame [set out in § 2000e- 5(e)(1)] will usually operate to bar that person from bringing a lawsuit for failure to exhaust their administrative remedies.”). The timeline for filing a charge with EEOC is 180 days from the day the ...


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