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Fox v. Weatherford International, LLC

United States District Court, N.D. Oklahoma

October 3, 2017

MARVIN FOX, II, Plaintiff,
v.
WEATHERFORD INTERNATIONAL, LLC, Defendant.

          OPINION AND ORDER

          CLAIRE V. EAGAN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Now before the Court is defendant Weatherford International, LLC's (Weatherford) motion to dismiss (Dkt. # 12). Plaintiff, Marvin Fox, II (Fox) has filed a response (Dkt. # 16), and defendant has filed a reply (Dkt. # 18).

         I.

         This is an employment discrimination case. Plaintiff filed his petition on February 24, 2017 in the District Court of Tulsa County, State of Oklahoma, alleging disparate treatment based on race under 42 U.S.C. § 1981. Dkt. # 2-1. Defendant removed (Dkt. # 2) the action to this Court, which has jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1331. Venue is proper in the Northern District of Oklahoma because it embraces Tulsa County, where plaintiff filed his civil action. See 28 U.S.C. § 1441(a).

         Plaintiff is an African American male and Oklahoma citizen. Dkt. # 2-1, at 2. In November 2010, he began his employment with defendant, an oil and gas servicing company, as a temporary employee. Dkt. # 2-1, at 3. In February 2011, defendant hired plaintiff as a full time permanent employee. Id. Plaintiff contends that he regularly met work expectations during the course of his employment. Id. Despite this, plaintiff maintains, defendant subjected him to disparate treatment based on his race, which caused plaintiff to suffer loss of income and benefits, mental anguish, and other non-pecuniary losses. Id. at 3-4.

         Specifically, plaintiff alleges the following:

On or about February 26, 2013, Defendant's Caucasian General Manager presented Plaintiff with a Written Warning, in which Defendant accused Plaintiff of making disrespectful and derogatory comments about a co-worker. Defendant falsely alleged that a supplier had overheard the conversation and reported Plaintiff's disrespectful language to the management team. The supplier later stated that he never heard Plaintiff make the alleged comments, nor did he make any such report to Defendant in regard to Plaintiff;
On another occasion, Plaintiff was moved from his office to accommodate white employees. Defendant assigned a white supervisor over Plaintiff. The white supervisor had less experience than Plaintiff. As such, Plaintiff was required to train the unqualified yet preferred Caucasian supervisor;
Plaintiff was not provided training or promotional opportunities compared to his similarly situated white co-workers;
Plaintiff was eventually terminated in April 2013 and replaced by a Caucasian employee;
Plaintiff is also aware of African American employees who were similarly terminated from employment with Defendant.

Id. at 3.

         II.

         In considering a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), a court must determine whether the claimant has stated a claim upon which relief may be granted. A motion to dismiss is properly granted when a complaint provides no “more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action.” Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). A complaint must contain enough “facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face”and the factual allegations “must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level.” Id. (citations omitted). “Once a claim has been stated adequately, it may be supported by showing any set of facts consistent with the allegations in the complaint.” Id. at 562. Although decided within an antitrust context, Twombly “expounded the pleading standard for all civil actions.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 684 (2009). For the purpose of making the dismissal determination, a court must accept all the well-pleaded allegations of the complaint as true, even if doubtful in fact, and must construe the allegations in the light most favorable to claimant. Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555; Alvarado v. KOB-TV, LLC, 493 F.3d 1210, 1215 (10th Cir. 2007); Moffett v. Halliburton Energy Servs., Inc., 291 F.3d 1227, 1231 (10th Cir. 2002). However, a court ...


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