United States District Court, N.D. Oklahoma
OPINION AND ORDER
V. EAGAN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
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).
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).
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.
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
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.
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