Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Faurecia Automotive Seating, LLC

United States District Court, N.D. Mississippi, Greenville Division

September 19, 2017

EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY COMMISSION PLAINTIFF
v.
FAURECIA AUTOMOTIVE SEATING, LLC DEFENDANT

          ORDER TRANSFERRING CASE

          DEBRA M. BROWN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This employment discrimination action is before the Court on Faurecia Automotive Seating, LLC's motion to transfer venue. Doc. #11.

         I Procedural History

         On September 30, 2016, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a complaint in this Court against Faurecia Automotive Seating, LLC (“Faurecia LLC”) “to provide appropriate relief to Neda Sykes-Travis, Sadie Heard, Sheila Green, and a class of at least 8 other aggrieved individuals … who were adversely affected by such practices.” Doc. #1 at 1. The complaint alleges that Faurecia LLC acquired Johnson Controls, Inc. (“JCI”) in Madison, Mississippi, and then violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) by failing to retain the claimants, who were then employees at JCI. Id. at ¶ 12-14.

         Faurecia LLC filed an answer to the complaint on January 13, 2017. Doc. #9. In addition to asserting numerous affirmative defenses, the answer states that “[t]he EEOC has sued the wrong Faurecia entity. The allegations made in the Complaint are directed to Faurecia Madison Automotive Seating, Inc., a wholly separate entity from Faurecia Automotive Seating, LLC.” Id. at 1 n.1. The same day, Faurecia LLC filed a motion to transfer venue to the Southern District of Mississippi, arguing, among other things, that “every single claimant resides in the Southern District.” Doc. #11; Doc. #13 at 2. The EEOC responded in opposition on January 26, 2017, Doc. #15; and Faurecia LLC replied on February 2, 2017, Doc. #17.

         On June 29, 2017, the EEOC filed a motion to amend its complaint to add Faurecia Madison Automotive Seating, Inc. (“Faurecia Inc.”) as a defendant. Doc. #35. United States Magistrate Judge Jane M. Virden granted the motion on June 30, 2017. Doc. #36. The EEOC filed its amended complaint the same day. Doc. #37. Faurecia Inc. and Faurecia LLC (collectively, “Faurecia”) filed separate answers to the amended complaint on July 14, 2017. Doc. #38; Doc. #39.

         II Analysis

         In its motion, Faurecia seeks to transfer this action to the Southern District of Mississippi pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a). Doc. #11 at ¶ 4. Section 1404(a) provides that “[f]or the convenience of parties and witnesses, in the interest of justice, a district court may transfer any civil action to any other district or division where it might have been brought or to any district or division to which all parties have consented.” Generally, when considering a motion to transfer brought under § 1404(a), a district court must conduct two inquiries. In re Volkswagen AG, 371 F.3d 201, 203 (5th Cir. 2004) (“Volkswagen I”). First, the court must ask “whether the judicial district to which transfer is sought would have been a district in which the claim could have been filed.” Id. If the proposed district is a place where the claim could have been originally filed, the court must ask whether transfer is justified by the convenience of the parties and witnesses and would be in the interest of justice. Id.

         A. Possible Venue

         Congress has adopted “special venue provisions” for cases brought under the ADA. In re Horseshoe Entm't, 337 F.3d 429, 432 (5th Cir. 2003). The relevant provision provides:

Each United States district court and each United States court of a place subject to the jurisdiction of the United States shall have jurisdiction of actions brought under this subchapter. Such an action may be brought in any judicial district in the State in which the unlawful employment practice is alleged to have been committed, in the judicial district in which the employment records relevant to such practice are maintained and administered, or in the judicial district in which the aggrieved person would have worked but for the alleged unlawful employment practice, but if the respondent is not found within any such district, such an action may be brought within the judicial district in which the respondent has his principal office. For purposes of sections 1404 and 1406 of Title 28, the judicial district in which the respondent has his principal office shall in all cases be considered a district in which the action might have been brought.

Id. at 432-33 (quoting 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-5(f)(3)) (emphasis added). The statement that an action may be brought in “any judicial district in the State in which the unlawful employment practice is alleged to have been committed” has been interpreted to authorize an action “anywhere in the relevant state.” Richardson v. Ala. State Bd. of Educ., 935 F.2d 1240, 1248 (11th Cir. 1991). Accordingly, “venue need not be laid in the very district in which the challenged practice was committed. It is sufficient that the forum district simply be in the same state as that in which the unlawful practice was committed.” 14D Fed. Prac. & Proc. Juris. § 3825 (4th ed.). It is clear that this action, which is based on alleged unlawful employment practices in the state of Mississippi, specifically in Madison, Mississippi, could have been brought in the Southern District of Mississippi.

         B. Convenience and Interest of Justice

         While courts have traditionally considered § 1404(a)'s reference to convenience and the interest of justice to mandate separate inquiries, [1] the Fifth Circuit has collapsed the two inquiries such that:

A motion to transfer venue pursuant to § 1404(a) should be granted if “the movant demonstrates that the transferee venue is clearly more convenient, ” taking into consideration (1) “the relative ease of access to sources of proof”; (2) “the availability of compulsory process to secure the attendance of witnesses”; (3) “the cost of attendance for willing witnesses”; (4) “all other practical problems that make trial of a case easy, expeditious and inexpensive”; (5) “the administrative difficulties flowing from court congestion”; (6) “the local interest in having localized interests decided at home”; (7) “the familiarity of the forum with the law that will govern the case”; and (8) “the avoidance of unnecessary problems of conflict of laws [or in] the application of foreign law”.

In re Radmax, Ltd., 720 F.3d 285, 288 (5th Cir. 2013). The first four of these factors concern “private interest factors;” the second four concern “public interest factors.” In re Volkswagen of Am., Inc. 545 F.3d 304, 315 (5th Cir. 2008) (“Volkswagen II”).

         Where, as here, the action is subject to the special venue provision of 42 U.S.C. § 2000e- 5, a district court should conduct the above inquiry in light of the four “venue factor[s] in the special venue statute:” (1) where the wrongful employment action was allegedly committed; (2) the location of the relevant employment records; (3) where the aggrieved person would have worked but for the wrongful employment action; and (4) the location of the respondent's principal office. See In re Horseshoe Entm't, 337 F.3d 429, 434 (5th Cir. 2003) (“Where relevant employment records are maintained and administered is expressly stated as a venue factor in the special venue statute and should be weighed by a District Court in evaluating the ‘interest of justice' aspect of the motion to transfer.”).[2]

         1. Factor 1: relative ease of access to ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.