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Bradshaw v. Glatfelter Insurance Group

May 20, 2009

RONETTE BRADSHAW, AN INDIVIDUAL; PLAINTIFF,
v.
GLATFELTER INSURANCE GROUP, A FULLER, AN INDIVIDUAL, LORENA PENNSYLVANIA CORPORATION, PAUL DOES 1-50; CONTRERAS, AN INDIVIDUAL, AND DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Oliver W. Wanger United States District Judge

MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER RE: DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO DISMISS

(DOC. 11)

I. INTRODUCTION

This matter is before the court on a motion to dismiss, pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), filed by Defendants Paul Fuller ("Fuller") and Lorena Contreras ("Contreras"). Defendants seek to dismiss the eighth cause of action for intentional infliction of emotional distress ("IIED") on the grounds that the factual allegations supporting Plaintiff's IIED claim describe only personnel management actions, which are insufficient to support a claim for IIED. Plaintiff opposes the motion.

On December 9, 2008, Plaintiff filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California, against the Glatfelter Insurance Group ("Glatfelter"), Fuller, and Contreras. Plaintiff brings claims under Title VII and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act ("FEHA") for racial discrimination, discrimination based upon physical disability, discrimination based upon mental disability, wrongful termination, failure to investigate, and failure to maintain an environment free from harassment. (Doc. 2.) Plaintiff also brings a state law claim for IIED. Defendants Fuller and Contreras seek to dismiss the cause of action for IIED, Plaintiff's only claim against them.

II. FACTUAL BACKGROUND.*fn1

A. The Parties

Plaintiff is an African American female employed by Defendant Glatfelter from 2005 to 2008. (Compl. ¶ 4.) Plaintiff was hired in 2005 as a receptionist, but was temporarily transferred to the company's underwriting department in August of 2007. (Id.)

Defendant Glatfelter is a Pennsylvania corporation with offices in Stockton, California. (Id. ¶ 5.) Defendants Fuller and Contreras were Plaintiff's supervisors during her employment at Glatfelter. (Id. ¶ 10.)

B. Summary of Complaint

Plaintiff claims that she was discharged from Glatfelter in retaliation for complaints she made to her superiors on January 18, 2008. (Id. ¶ 16.) Specifically, Plaintiff alleges that she was dismissed for threatening to report an incident of harassment to Glatfelter's Human Resources Department. (Id. ¶ 10-12, 16.) Plaintiff further avers that a temporary transfer to underwriting services, a position for which she was unqualified and poorly trained, was a pretext for her dismissal. (Id. ¶ 11-13, 16.) Plaintiff claims that such "treatment and its surrounding circumstances constituted extreme and outrageous conduct" and "caused her severe emotional and physical distress." (Id. ¶ 59-60.)

1. Harassment Allegations

Plaintiff alleges that while working at Glatfelter she was harassed by a non African American temporary employee. (Id. ΒΆ 10.) Plaintiff states that she notified her supervisors, Fuller and Contreras, but they ignored her complaints. (Id.) Plaintiff alleges that Fuller and Contreras, who are not African American, allowed the harassment to continue and ...


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