United States District Court, N.D. Texas, Dallas Division
WHITE GLOVE STAFFING, INC., and CAROLYN CLAY, Individually, and on Behalf of a Class of Similarly Situated Individuals, Plaintiffs,
METHODIST HOSPITALS OF DALLAS, and DALLAS METHODIST HOSPITALS FOUNDATION, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
KINKEADE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
the Court is Defendants' Rule 12(b)(6) Motion to Dismiss
Claims in Plaintiffs' First Amended Class Action
Complaint and Brief in Support (Doc. No. 18). Plaintiffs
White Glove Staffing, Inc., and Carolyn Clay brought this
employment discrimination and retaliation suit against
Defendants Methodist Hospitals of Dallas and Dallas Methodist
Hospitals Foundation. Methodist argues White Glove lacks
standing to bring discrimination and retaliation claims under
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, discrimination and
retaliation claims under Texas Commission on Human Rights Act
(TCHRA), and a discrimination claim under 42 U.S.C. §
carefully considering the motions, White Glove's response
to Methodist's motion to dismiss, Methodist's reply
to White Glove's response to the motion to dismiss,
supporting briefs, and the applicable law, the Court
GRANTS Defendants' Rule 12(b)(6) Motion
to Dismiss Claims in Plaintiffs' First Amended Class
Action Complaint and Brief in Support. Plaintiff White
Glove's Title VII discrimination and retaliation claims,
TCHRA discrimination and retaliation claims, and 42 U.S.C.
§ 1981 discrimination claim are dismissed.
Glove, a staffing agency, began contract negotiations to
provide servers, prep cooks, dishwashers, and set-up crews
for Methodist. During these initial negotiations, Methodist
allegedly informed White Glove that the head chef preferred
Hispanic employees. Before entering a contract, Methodist
asked White Glove to provide Methodist with a prep cook.
White Glove sent Plaintiff Carolyn Clay. Clay is African
American. Clay worked for Methodist for only a few days
before Methodist told White Glove that Clay was not working
out and asked White Glove to send someone else. The next day,
White Glove sent Clay back to Methodist because White Glove
could not find another prep cook on short notice. Methodist
asked Clay to leave. Methodist contacted White Glove and
allegedly stated the head chef only wanted Hispanic
employees. Later that day, Methodist ended contract
negotiations and informed White Glove that it would not enter
any contracts with White Glove.
Legal Standard for 12(b)(6) Motion to Dismiss
12(b)(6) allows a defendant to challenge the plaintiff's
complaint for “failure to state a claim upon which
relief can be granted.” Fed.R.Civ.P. To withstand a
12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, the complaint must state the
grounds upon which the plaintiff is entitled to relief such
that the right to relief is not merely speculative but
“plausible.” Bell Atlantic Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555-56 (2007). To meet this
plausibility standard, the complaint must include sufficient
facts to support the claim and not conclusory statements
“devoid of ‘further factual
enhancement.'” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S.
662, 678 (2009)(quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 557).
When considering a motion to dismiss, the court must accept
all facts alleged in the complaint as true and consider the
complaint as a whole. Tellabs, Inc. v. Makor Issues &
Rights, Ltd., 551 U.S. 308, 322 (2007).
Analysis of White Glove's Standing
contends White Glove does not have standing to bring the
discrimination and retaliation claims under Title VII and
TCHRA and the discrimination claim under 42 U.S.C. §
1981. Methodist argues White Glove did not have an employment
relationship with Methodist and, therefore, does not have
standing to bring Title VII claims and TCHRA claims.
Methodist also argues White Glove, as a corporation, lacks
the racial identity to have standing to bring a § 1981
Because White Glove and Methodist Do Not Have an Employment
Relationship, White Glove Lacks Standing to Bring the Title
employer unlawfully discriminates against an individual under
Title VII when the employer “fails or refuses to hire
or to discharge any individual, or otherwise to discriminate
against any individual with respect to his compensation,
terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of
such individual's race, color, religion, sex, or national
origin.” 42 U.S.C. § 2000e- 2(a). To allege a
retaliation claim under Title VII, a plaintiff must show:
“(1) he engaged in an activity protected by Title VII;
(2) he was subjected to an adverse employment action; and (3)
a causal link exists between the protected activity and the
adverse employment action.” Davis v. Dall. Area
Rapid Transit, 383 F.3d 309, 319 (5th Cir. 2004).
plaintiff must not only have Article III standing to bring a
Title VII claim but also Title VII standing. Thompson v.
N. Am. Stainless, LP, 562 U.S. 170, 177-78 (2011). A
party has standing under Title VII when the injured person
“falls within the ‘zone of interests' sought
to be protected by the statutory provision whose violation
forms the legal basis for his complaint.” Id.
In determining whether a plaintiff falls within this
“zone of interests, ” courts examine the
employment relationship between the parties. Id.
Title VII claims “necessarily involve an employment
relationship.” Diggs v. Harris Hosp.- Methodist,
Inc., 847 F.2d 270, 272 (5th Cir. 1988). To determine
whether a plaintiff is an employee for Title VII purposes,
courts apply the hybrid economic realities/common law control
test. Id. This test considers “the economic
realities of the work relationship, ” and the amount of
control the principal has over how the work is performed as
well as other factors. Id. at 272-73. Independent
contractors lack the employee-employer relationship required
by Title VII claims. Broussard v. L.H. Bossier,
Inc., 789 F.2d 1158, 1160 (5th Cir. 1986).
White Glove is a corporation, not an individual. White Glove
was not an employee of Methodist but was negotiating a
staffing contract with Methodist. Before completing
negotiations, White Glove provided a prep cook per
Methodist's request. In providing the prep cook, White
Glove acted as an independent contractor. The facts indicate
White Glove and Methodist were negotiating a contract in
which White Glove would act as an independent contractor. As
an independent contractor, White Glove did not have an
employment relationship with Methodist and, thus, lacks
standing to bring Title VII discrimination and retaliation
Because White Glove and Methodist Did Not Have an Employment
Relationship, White Glove Lacks ...