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Humayun Manzoor v. Travis Credit Union

June 12, 2012

HUMAYUN MANZOOR, PLAINTIFF,
v.
TRAVIS CREDIT UNION, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Gregory G. Hollows United States Magistrate Judge

ORDER

Plaintiff, proceeding in this action pro se, has requested leave to proceed in forma pauperis pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915. This proceeding was referred to the undersigned by E.D. Cal. L.R. 302(c)(21), pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). Plaintiff has submitted an affidavit making the showing required by 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(1). (See Dkt. No. 3.) Accordingly, the request to proceed in forma pauperis will be granted.

The determination that plaintiff may proceed in forma pauperis does not complete the required inquiry. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2), the court is directed to dismiss the case at any time if it determines that the allegation of poverty is untrue, or if the action is frivolous or malicious, fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted, or seeks monetary relief against an immune defendant.

A claim is legally frivolous when it lacks an arguable basis either in law or in fact. Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989); Franklin v. Murphy, 745 F.2d 1221, 1227-28 (9th Cir. 1984). The court may, therefore, dismiss a claim as frivolous where it is based on an indisputably meritless legal theory or where the factual contentions are clearly baseless. Neitzke, 490 U.S. at 327.

To avoid dismissal for failure to state a claim, a complaint must contain more than "naked assertions," "labels and conclusions," or "a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action." Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555-57 (2007). In other words, "[t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements do not suffice." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009). Furthermore, a claim upon which the court can grant relief has facial plausibility. Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570. "A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged." Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. at 1949. When considering whether a complaint states a claim upon which relief can be granted, the court must accept the allegations as true, Erickson v. Pardus, 127 S. Ct. 2197, 2200 (2007), and construe the complaint in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, see Scheuer v. Rhodes, 416 U.S. 232, 236 (1974).

Pro se pleadings are liberally construed. See Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520-21 (1972); Balistreri v. Pacifica Police Dep't., 901 F.2d 696, 699 (9th Cir. 1988). Unless it is clear that no amendment can cure the defects of a complaint, a pro se plaintiff proceeding in forma pauperis is entitled to notice and an opportunity to amend before dismissal. See Noll v. Carlson, 809 F.2d 1446, 1448 (9th Cir. 1987); Franklin, 745 F.2d at 1230.

According to the complaint and documents attached to the complaint (see dkt. no.

1), plaintiff is an individual older than 40*fn1 who applied online for a credit specialist (senior collector) position with defendant Travis Credit Union in Fairfield, California in or about June 2009 and again in or about December 2009. Defendant did not respond to the first application, but on May 3, 2010, plaintiff received a form electronic mail message stating that defendant had received his application and would contact plaintiff if plaintiff's qualifications matched defendant's needs. Since then, plaintiff has had no further contact with defendant.

Plaintiff states that he holds two degrees (a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Peshawar in Pakistan and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago) and worked for four years at the Fairfield office of Providian Financial Corporation (now JP Morgan Chase), but was laid off due to company downsizing. Plaintiff contends that he was discriminated against due to his age when defendant failed to hire him. He claims that he knows "a girl" [his words] (Ms. Rabia) who is about 22 years old, attends UC Davis, and has no banking experience, but was still hired by defendant as a personal banker because she is young.

Attached to plaintiff's complaint is a U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") Charge of Discrimination dated June 29, 2010. In the EEOC Charge of Discrimination, plaintiff alleged discrimination based on his age. Subsequently, on April 10, 2012, the EEOC dismissed plaintiff's charge, stating that:

Based upon its investigation, the EEOC is unable to conclude that the information obtained establishes violations of the statutes. This does not certify that the respondent is in compliance with the statutes. No finding is made as to any other issues that might be construed as having been raised by this charge.

The notice also advised plaintiff that he should file any lawsuit based on his age discrimination claim within 90 days of receipt of the notice. Plaintiff then commenced this action on May 2, 2012, alleging a claim of age discrimination under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, 29 U.S.C. §§ 621 et seq. ("ADEA").

The ADEA makes it unlawful for an employer "to fail or refuse to hire or to discharge any individual or otherwise discriminate against any individual with respect to his compensation, terms, conditions, or ...


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