United States District Court, N.D. Texas, Fort Worth Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
MCBRYDE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
for consideration the motion of defendant, City of Fort
Worth, to dismiss. The court, having considered the motion,
the response of plaintiff, Mattie Sanders, the reply, the
record, and applicable authorities, finds that the motion
should be granted.
originally filed her claims in the 48th Judicial
District Court of Tarrant County, Texas. Defendant filed a
notice of removal, bringing the action before this court, and
the court ordered the parties to replead. On February 3,
2017, plaintiff filed her amended complaint.
alleges: She began her employment with defendant in 2005. In
October 2015, Sarah Odle was appointed plaintiff's
supervisor. That month, plaintiff made her first complaint to
human resources that Odle berated her publicly. During
November and December, Odle repeated her public berating of
plaintiff and plaintiff complained to human resources.
Plaintiff also notified the director and several meetings
followed. On November 23, 2015, plaintiff was placed on a
performance improvement plan. This was the first request to
improve her employment that plaintiff received during her
tenure with defendant. On March 17, 2016, plaintiff received
disciplinary action citing her performance. On June 14, 2016,
she was notified that she was under consideration for
termination due to performance. At some point, plaintiff was
only allegations contained in the amended complaint that
touch on the actions of Ms. Odle are as follows:
The Plaintiff reported the employer that: "several times
in November and December, 2015, Ms. Odle again approached my
desk and began to speak with me openly in the ear-shot of
other staff about personal/professional issues even after she
was asked in writing not to do this because it made me feel
very uncomfortable, it was unprofessional, and violated my
privacy expectations as an employee. Nonetheless, she
continued her hostility and retaliatory conduct towards
me." The Plaintiff also reported: "There were
several occasions when Miss Odle made me feel very
uncomfortable about my hairstyle in braids as an
African-American she made racial comments from time to time
about my hair whenever I would wear a braids which was a lot
she came up and touched my hair on several occasions after I
ask her not to touch my hair which was very uncomfortable for
me she made me feel very uncomfortable in many many
occasions. Even after I explained to her that it was because
of my culture she continued to badger me and made me feel
very uncomfortable about my hair and make by making
continuing to making comments about my braids saying that why
do I wear braids even after I explain[ed] to her why".
10 at 3-4, ¶¶ 14-15. (Grammatical errors in the
original are too numerous to point out or correct.) Notably,
these are not allegations of fact, but only that plaintiff
made certain reports.
asserts claims for hostile work environment, retaliation, and
violation of the Texas Labor Code.
of the Motion
maintains that plaintiff has not alleged sufficient facts to
state a claim under Title VII or the Texas Labor Code, which
applies the same standard. And, punitive damages may not be
imposed against defendant.