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Dezham v. MacY's West Stores, Inc.

United States District Court, C.D. California

September 9, 2014



DAVID O. CARTER, District Judge.


Before the Court is Defendants Macy's Corporate Services, Inc. ("MCSI"), Macy's Retail Holdings ("MRH"), and Macy's West Stores, Inc.'s ("MWSI") (together, "Macy's") Motions to Dismiss or Strike Certain Claims ("Mot.") (Dkt. 32). Having considered the Motion, Opposition ("Opp'n") (Dkt. 35), and Reply (Dkt. 38), the Court GRANTS IN PART AND DENIES IN PART as follows:

The Court DENIES Macy's Motion with respect to claims #15 (ADEA), #16 (ADA), #17 (Title VII) and #18 (42 U.S.C. §1981) and DISMISSES claim #8 (Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress) WITH PREJUDICE for the reasons stated below.

I. Background

The Court draws the following facts from Ms. Dezham's First Amended Complaint ("FAC"). Plaintiff Hourvash Dezham ("Ms. Dezham") is a 56-year-old Iranian-American Muslim woman who worked as a Macy's salesperson from August 1997 to January 2012. FAC ¶¶ 10-11. In June 2010, Ms. Dezham broke one of her toes as a result of a work-related injury. Id. ¶ 14. She went on medical leave for nearly seven weeks and returned to work with modified duties. Id. ¶¶ 14. These modified duties enabled her to stay off her feet as often as possible. Id. ¶¶ 16. Three months after returning to work, Macy's informed Ms. Dezham that they could no longer accommodate her medical restrictions. Id. ¶ 21. Shortly thereafter, Macy's purchased a scooter for Ms. Dezham to use while working, and required her to obtain a physician's note changing her medical limitations so that she could be on the sales floor for longer durations of time. Id. ¶¶ 22-23. In May 2011, Ms. Dezham's physician required her to take medical leave due to injuries she sustained as a result of Macy's requesting her to violate her doctor's orders to stay off her feet. Id. ¶ 36. Macy's also refused to authorize Ms. Dezham's doctor's requests to perform x-rays and other treatment, even though Ms. Dezham had applied for workers' compensation benefits. Id. Macy's terminated Ms. Dezham's employment in January 2012. Id. ¶ 11.

On October 17, 2012, Ms. Dezham filed her first charge with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing ("DFEH"), case number XXXXX-XXXXX. Id. ¶ 46. She received her right to sue letter that same day. Id. She filed a second charge with DFEH on April 23, 2013 and received her right to sue letter on April 23, 2013. Id. Ms. Dezham does not specify which day she filed her third charge with DFEH, but her third right to sue letter was received on September 25, 2013. Id.

On October 17, 2013, Ms. Dezham filed suit in the Orange County Superior Court against Macy's, alleging multiple employment discrimination claims. On March 31, 2014, Macy's filed a Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings. (Dkts. 23, 24). In response, the Court dismissed Ms. Dezham's claims for religious discrimination and intentional infliction of emotional distress without prejudice; struck Ms. Dezham's request for Macy's stores outside of California to be ordered to follow California law; and required Ms. Dezham to file an amended complaint on or before July 7, 2014. See Order Denying Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings ("Order"), June 20, 2014 (Dkt. 29), at 2.

Ms. Dezham filed an amended complaint on July 7, 2014 (Dkt. 30), and Macy's filed a Motion to Dismiss or Strike Certain Claims on July 25, 2014 (Dkt. 32). In this motion, Ms. Dezham alleges, among other claims not subject to this motion, that Macy's co-workers and managers caused her to suffer severe emotional distress. Ms. Dezham also alleges violations of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act ("ADEA"), the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA"), Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, and 42 U.S.C. §1981 in her newly Amended Complaint for Damages and Injunctive Relief.

II. Legal Standard

Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), a complaint must be dismissed when a plaintiff's allegations fail to set forth a set of facts which, if true, would entitle the complainant to relief. Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007); Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 679 (2009) (holding that a claim must be facially plausible in order to survive a motion to dismiss). The pleadings must raise the right to relief beyond the speculative level; a plaintiff must provide "more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do." Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555 (citing Papasan v. Allain, 478 U.S. 265, 286 (1986)). On a motion to dismiss, this court accepts as true a plaintiff's well-pled factual allegations and construes all factual inferences in the light most favorable to the plaintiff. Manzarek v. St. Paul Fire & Marine Ins. Co., 519 F.3d 1025, 1031 (9th Cir. 2008). The court is not required to accept as true legal conclusions couched as factual allegations. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678.

In evaluating a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, review is ordinarily limited to the contents of the complaint and material properly submitted with the complaint. Clegg v. Cult Awareness Network, 18 F.3d 752, 754 (9th Cir. 1994); Hal Roach Studios, Inc. v. Richard Feiner & Co., Inc., 896 F.2d 1542, 1555 n.19 (9th Cir. 1990). Under the incorporation by reference doctrine, the court may also consider documents "whose contents are alleged in a complaint and whose authenticity no party questions, but which are not physically attached to the pleading." Branch v. Tunnell, 14 F.3d 449, 454 (9th Cir. 1994), overruled on other grounds by Galbraith v. Cnty. of Santa Clara, 307 F.3d 1119, 1121 (9th Cir. 2002).

III. Discussion

A. Timeliness of ...

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