United States District Court, S.D. Texas, Galveston Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
C. Hanks Jr. United States District Judge
the Court is Martin Marietta Materials, Inc.'s
(“Martin Marietta”) Partial Motion to Dismiss the
Plaintiff's Second Amended Complaint. Dkt. 18. Having
reviewed the motion, the response, the reply, and the
applicable law, the motion is GRANTED.
Factual Background and Proceedings
Terry Sinegal (“Sinegal”) worked as a ready-mix
driver and back-up batch man for Martin Marietta.
Dkt. 6 at 8. In March of 2016, Sinegal was approached by two
female coworkers who claimed that their supervisor, Jim
Barker, had sexually harassed them. Dkt. 15 at 2. Sinegal
advised the women to report the sexual harassment to human
resources. Id. Sinegal also reported the incident to
the human resources manager. Dkt. 6 at 3. A month later,
Martin Marietta suspended Sinegal for “sleeping on the
job.” Dkt. 6 at 9. Sinegal was then terminated for
“poor job performance.” Id.
his termination, Sinegal contacted Martin Marietta's
Ethics Board and filed a complaint for wrongful termination.
Dkt. 15 at 3. Sinegal also filed for unemployment benefits
with Texas Workforce Commission. Id. Despite Martin
Marietta's opposition, the Texas Workforce Commission
ruled in Sinegal's favor and granted him unemployment
benefits. Dkt. 6 at 3. Subsequently, Sinegal filed a charge
of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity
Commission (“EEOC”). Dkt. 15-1 at 1. On March 23,
2018, the EEOC issued Sinegal a Notice of Right to Sue
(“Notice”). Dkt. 6 at 11. The Notice stated that
Sinegal must file suit against Martin Marietta within 90 days
of receiving Notice, which was June 21, 2018. Id.
filed this complaint for wrongful termination on October 2,
2018-four months after the passing of the EEOC's
deadline. Dkt. 1. In the complaint, Sinegal alleges
one claim for retaliatory discharge under Title VII of the
Civil Rights Act of 1964 and one claim for “wrongful
termination due to retaliation” under Texas law.
Id. Martin Marietta now files a Motion for Partial
Dismissal of the federal claim only. Dkt. 18 at 1.
Standard of Review
may dismiss a complaint that “fail[s] to state a claim
upon which relief can be granted.” Fed. R. Civ. Pro.
12(b)(6). The Court's task in this inquiry is to
determine whether “the plaintiff has stated a legally
cognizable claim that is plausible” on its face and
that gives the defendant fair notice of the claims alleged.
See Shandong Yinguang Chem. Indus. Joint Stock Co, v,
Potter, 607 F.3d 1029, 1032 (5th Cir. 2010). A plaintiff
satisfies both of these obligations by pleading
“factual content that allows the court to draw the
reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the
alleged misconduct.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556
U.S. 662, 678, 129 S.Ct. 1938, 173 L.Ed.2d 868 (2009). This
means that “a complaint may proceed even if recovery is
very remote and unlikely, so long as the alleged facts raise
a right to relief above the speculative level.”
Littell v. Hous. Indep. Sch. Dist., 894 F.3d 616,
622 (5th Cir. 2018). Ultimately, a court will not dismiss a
claim under Rule 12(b)(6) “unless it appears beyond
doubt that the plaintiff can prove no set of facts in support
of his claim which would entitle him to relief.”
Leleux v. United States, 178 F.3d 750, 754 (5th Cir.
Title VII Claim
alleges a Title VII retaliation claim against Martin
Marietta. However, Martin Marietta asserts that this claim is
time-barred because it was not filed within the limitations
period prescribed by Title VII.
federal law, Title VII claims must be filed within 90 days of
the plaintiff's receipt of the notice of the right to sue
or the action will be dismissed. This 90-day tolling period
begins to run “on the date the EEOC right-to-sue letter
is delivered to the…claimant” and is strictly
construed. Ringgold v. Nat'l Maint. Corp., 796
F.2d 769, 770 (5th Cir. 1986); Taylor v. Books
A Million, Inc., 296 F.3d 376, 379 (5th Cir. 2002).
Here, Sinegal was required to file his suit against Martin
Marrietta by June 21, 2018. Dkt. 6 at 11. However, Sinegal
did not file his claim until October 2, 2018-more than 104
days later. Dkt. 1-1 at 4. Accordingly, the court finds that
Sinegal's Title VII claims are time-barred and therefore
must be dismissed from this suit.
dismissed Sinegal's Title VII claim, the only claim that
remains before the court is Sinegal's Texas state law
claim for “wrongful termination due to
retaliation.” Dkt. 1. The Court remands this claim to
Brazoria County Court, District 23. Certain Underwriters
at Lloyd's v. Warrantech Corp.,461 F.3d 568, 572
(5th Cir. 2006) (“[W]here all federal claims have been
eliminated a federal district court has discretion to remand
to state court a removed ...