United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi, Northern Division
P. JORDAN III, CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Home Depot U.S.A., Inc.  and Diversified Maintenance
Systems, LLC  have each moved to dismiss Plaintiff Mary
Robinson's claims against them. For the reasons that
follow, their motions are granted.
Facts and Procedural History
to the Complaint, Plaintiff Mary Robinson “was hired as
a Housecleaner/ Custodian by Defendant, Diversified
Maintenance Systems, LLC, on February 16, 2018.” Compl.
 ¶ 5. Robinson alleges that Diversified “is a
contractor with Home Depot U.S.A., Inc.” and that she
worked as a custodian “at the Home Depot store in
Jackson, Mississippi.” Id. ¶¶ 6-7.
She says that, on March 6, 2018, a Home Depot employee
exposed himself to her. She reported the incident to her
supervisor at Diversified, Defendant Jennifer Morataya, and
on March 10, 2018, her employment was terminated.
filed a charge of discrimination with the EEOC against Home
Depot on March 16, 2018; she filed a charge against
Diversified on September 14, 2018. On October 24, 2018- while
still represented by counsel-she filed this lawsuit against
Home Depot, Diversified, and Morataya. She asserts a
state-law tortious-interference claim against Morataya and
Title VII discrimination and retaliation claims against
“Defendant.” Compl.  ¶¶ 17, 18, 20,
21. Though Robinson pleaded the Title VII claim in the
singular, the Court assumes she meant Home Depot and her
employer Diversified as there are no other claims pleaded
against Home Depot.
Depot and Diversified filed motions to dismiss under Federal
Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), and Robinson's counsel
sought and received leave to withdraw. Robinson, then
proceeding pro se, failed to file timely responses. So the
Court entered a Show Cause Order on April 24, 2019, directing
Robinson to respond on or before May 10, 2019. Order . On
May 6, 2019, Robinson filed a one-page response indicating
that she “would like to reopen [her] case”
because she “was falsely t[er]m[in]ated.” Resp.
. Because her response was nonsubstantive, the Court will
not wait for replies.
considering a motion under Rule 12(b)(6), the “court
accepts ‘all well-pleaded facts as true, viewing them
in the light most favorable to the plaintiff.'”
Martin K. Eby Constr. Co. v. Dall. Area Rapid
Transit, 369 F.3d 464, 467 (5th Cir. 2004) (quoting
Jones v. Greninger, 188 F.3d 322, 324 (5th Cir.
1999) (per curiam)). But “the tenet that a court must
accept as true all of the allegations contained in a
complaint is inapplicable to legal conclusions. Threadbare
recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by
mere conclusory statements, do not suffice.”
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (citing
Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555
(2007)). To overcome a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, a plaintiff must
plead “enough facts to state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at
570. “Factual allegations must be enough to raise a
right to relief above the speculative level, on the
assumption that all the allegations in the complaint are true
(even if doubtful in fact).” Id. at 555
(citations and footnote omitted).
sued Home Depot under Title VII, but it is well-settled that
“a Title VII claim must necessarily involve an
employment relationship.” Diggs v. Harris
Hosp.-Methodist, Inc., 847 F.2d 270, 272 (5th Cir.
1988). Robinson alleges that Diversified hired her but that
Home Depot “was a joint employer of Plaintiff.”
Compl.  ¶ 2. An entity “may be liable under
Title VII as a joint employer” if it and the
plaintiff's employer are “an integrated
enterprise.” Skidmore v. Precision Printing &
Packaging, Inc., 188 F.3d 606, 616-17 (5th Cir. 1999).
The joint-employer test “ultimately focuses on the
question ‘which entity made the employment
decisions' regarding the plaintiff employee.”
Canon v. Bd. of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher
Learning of Miss., 133 F.Supp.3d 865, 874 (S.D.Miss.
2015) (quoting Skidmore, 188 F.3d at 617). And even
where joint-employer status is found, “a joint employer
must bear some responsibility for the discriminatory act to
be liable for [a] . . . violation.” Id.
(quoting Burton v. Freescale Semiconductor, Inc.,
798 F.3d 222, 228 (5th Cir. 2015)).
most, Robinson avers that Diversified “is a contractor
with Home Depot.” Compl.  ¶ 6. This does not
plausibly suggest an integrated entity. Moreover, Robinson
fails to allege that Home Depot “made the employment
decisions” regarding her employment. Instead, Robinson
says she was hired by Diversified, she reported the incident
to Morataya (her supervisor at Diversified), and she
“was terminated.” Compl.  ¶ 13. Finally,
Robinson attaches the EEOC's right-to-sue-letter as an
exhibit to her Complaint. That letter states that the EEOC
was “closing its file, ” citing “No
Employee - Employer Relationship” between Robinson and
Home Depot. EEOC RTS [1-2]. Absent any factual averments
suggesting that Home Depot can be liable to Robinson under
Title VII, its motion is granted. See Canon, 133
F.Supp.3d at 874.
order to file suit under Title VII, a plaintiff first must
file a charge with the EEOC within 180 days of the alleged
discriminatory act.” Price v. Choctaw Glove &
Safety Co., Inc., 459 F.3d 595, 598 (5th Cir. 2006).
“This time limit operates as a statute of
limitations.” Hood v. Sears Roebuck & Co.,
168 F.3d 231, 232 (5th Cir. 1999). In this case, the
allegedly discriminatory act occurred on March 10, 2018.
Compl.  ¶ 13. So Robinson had until September 6,
2018, to file an EEOC charge. But her EEOC charge against
Diversified was not filed until September 14, 2018. Because
Robinson did not file a timely charge of ...