United States District Court, N.D. Mississippi, Aberdeen Division
Treasea Walker alleges that her employer, Defendant L-3
Communications Vertex Aerospace LLC, discriminated against
her because of her sex and disability. L-3 moves to dismiss
 the disability-based discrimination claims. For the
reasons set forth below, the Court finds the motion should be
is a female who was previously employed in L-3's
corrosion control department. Compl.  ¶ 6. One
function that department performs is particle media blasting,
which requires lifting heavy weight. Walker, due to a
disability, was unable to perform blasting. Instead, male
coworkers performed that job function in the department for
her Id. ¶¶ 7, 9.
March 2017, L-3 instituted a change in their workflow that
would require all employees in the corrosion control
department to perform blasting. Id. ¶ 8.
Because Walker could not perform that work, L-3 gave her the
option of transferring to other positions. Id.
¶ 10. According to Walker, these new positions were not
suitable because they either paid less or required skills
which Walker did not possess. Id. Ultimately, Walker
moved to a position that paid less than her previous position
in the corrosion control department. Id. ¶ 11.
filed a charge of discrimination with the EEOC, received a
right to sue notice, and filed the current action against
L-3. She alleges that L-3 engaged in disability
discrimination by refusing to provide a reasonable
accommodation that would allow her to continue working in the
corrosion control department without performing the blasting
work. She also alleges that L-3 engaged in sex discrimination
because L-3 allowed some male employees to continue working
in positions in which they could not perform certain job
filed the present motion seeking to dismiss Walker's
disability-based discrimination claims. Walker responded, and
the matter is now ripe for review.
Motion to Dismiss Standard
deciding a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, the Court is
limited to the allegations set forth in the complaint and any
documents attached to the complaint. Walker v. Webco
Indus., Inc., 562 Fed.Appx. 215, 216-17 (5th Cir. 2014)
(citing Kennedy v. Chase Manhattan Bank USA, NA, 369
F.3d 833, 839 (5th Cir. 2004)). "[A plaintiffs]
complaint therefore 'must contain sufficient factual
matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.'" Phillips v. City of
Dallas, Tex., 781 F.3d 772, 775-76 (5th Cir. 2015)
(quoting Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678, 129
S.Ct. 1937, 173 L.Ed.2d 868 (2009)).
is facially plausible when the pleaded factual content
"allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that
the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged."
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678, 129 S.Ct. 1937 (citing
Bell Atl Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 556, 127
S.Ct. 1955, 167 L.Ed.2d 929 (2007)). "[P]laintiffs must
allege facts that support the elements of the cause of action
in order to make out a valid claim." Webb v.
Morella, 522 Fed.Appx. 238, 241 (5th Cir. 2013) (quoting
City of Clinton, Ark. v. Pilgrim's Pride Corp., 632
¶ 3d 148, 152-53 (5th Cir. 2010) (internal
quotation marks omitted)). "[C]onclusory allegations or
legal conclusions masquerading as factual conclusions will
not suffice to prevent a motion to dismiss."
Id. (quoting Fernandez-Montes v. Allied Pilots
Ass'n, 987 F.2d 278, 284 (5th Cir. 1993) (internal
quotation marks omitted)). "Dismissal is appropriate
when the plaintiff has not alleged 'enough facts to state
a claim to relief that is plausible on its face' and has
failed to 'raise a right to relief above the speculative
level.'" Emesowum v. Hous. Police Dep't
561 Fed.Appx. 372, 372 (5th Cir. 2014) (quoting
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555, 570, 127 S.Ct. 1955).
makes disability discrimination claims under both
Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with
Disabilities Act, as amended. L-3 argues that the
Rehabilitation Act does not provide Walker with a cause of
action. L-3 further argues that Walker has not exhausted her
administrative remedies for her disability claims under the
ADA because a disability discrimination claim was outside the
scope of her EEOC charge. Walker concedes her claims under
the Rehabilitation Act should be dismissed. Thus, the only
question remaining before the Court is whether a claim of
disability discrimination is within the scope of Walker's
EEOC discrimination charge.
bring a discrimination claim under the ADA, a plaintiff must
first exhaust his or her administrative remedies by filing
"a timely charge with the EEOC and receiv[ing] a
statutory notice of right to sue." Taylor v.
Books A Million, Inc., 296 F.3d 376, 379 (5th Cir. 2002)
(citing Dao v. Auchan Hypermarket, 96 F.3d 787,
788-789 (5th Cir. 1996)). The subsequent action is limited in
scope to claims that could only arise out of an "EEOC
investigation which 'can reasonably be expected to grow
out of the charge of discrimination.'" Pacheco
v. Mineta, 448 F.3d 783, 789 (5th Cir. 2006) (quoting
Sanchez v. Standard Brands, Inc., 431 F.2d 455, 466
(5th Cri. 1970)).
whether the claim is within that scope requires the Court to
"engage in a fact-intensive analysis of the statement
given by the plaintiff in the administrative charge, and look
slightly beyond its four corners, to its substance rather
than its label." Id. (citations omitted).
Walker's charge, the Court finds no investigation into
disability discrimination would be reasonably expected to
grow out the charge presented here. EEOC Charge [1-3]. The
"disability" box is not checked, and the word
"disability" does not appear at all in the charge.
It is doubtful that one reading the charge would even be able
to ascertain that Walker has a disability, because no mention
is made of it. Walker further states multiple ...