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Hudson v. Park Community Credit Union, Inc.

United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Louisville Division

November 13, 2017

PENELOPE HUDSON, PLAINTIFF
v.
PARK COMMUNITY CREDIT UNION, INC., DEFENDANT

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          Thomas B. Russell, Senior Judge.

         This matter is before the Court on Defendant Park Community Credit Union, Inc.'s motion to dismiss or, in the alternative, for a more definite statement. [DN 5.] Plaintiff Penelope Hudson responded, [DN 6], and Defendant replied, [DN 7.] Fully briefed, this matter is now ripe for adjudication. For the reasons stated herein, Defendant's motion is GRANTED IN PART AND DENIED IN PART.

         BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff Penelope Hudson worked at Park Community Credit Union, Inc. (“Park Community”) for just over fifteen years, from May 21, 2001 until her termination on September 29, 2016. [DN 1-1 (State Court Complaint).] In May of 2017, Hudson brought suit against Park Community in Kentucky state court alleging that, throughout her employment, she “was continually subject to harassment, disparate treatment and a hostile work environment due to her status as a gay woman.” [Id. at 3.] Hudson makes several allegations in her complaint, which the Court must accept as true, including that she was “told to change her appearance as she was ‘too butch' to deal with customers, ” “[t]hat her perceived sexual orientation was discussed with other employees and customers overheard those conversations, ” “[t]hat she was repeatedly passed over for promotions due to her supervisor's animus toward lesbians, ” that “another supervisor . . . made a comment more than one time that the Plaintiff doesn't believe in God since she is gay.” [Id. at 3-5.] On the basis of these and additional allegations, Hudson claims violations of Louisville-Metro Government Ordinance § 92.06, the Kentucky Civil Rights Act (KCRA), KRS § 344 et. seq., and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et. seq. [Id. at 7- 10.] Park Community removed this suit to federal court on June 6, 2017, [DN 1 (Notice of Removal)], and thereafter filed the instant motion to dismiss or, in the alternative, for a more definite statement. [DN 5.] For the reasons discussed more fully below, the Court will grant in part and deny in part Park Community's motion.

         STANDARD

         A complaint must contain “a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). In order to survive a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), a party must “plead enough ‘factual matter' to raise a ‘plausible' inference of wrongdoing.” 16630 Southfield Ltd. P'ship v. Flagstar Bank, F.S.B., 727 F.3d 502, 504 (6th Cir. 2013) (quoting Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009)). A claim becomes plausible “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, 556 U.S. at 678 (citing Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 556 (2007)). When considering a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, the court must presume all of the factual allegations in the complaint are true and draw all reasonable inferences in favor of the non-moving party. Total Benefits Planning Agency, Inc. v. Anthem Blue Cross & Blue Shield, 552 F.3d 430, 434 (6th Cir. 2008) (citing Great Lakes Steel v. Deggendorf, 716 F.2d 1101, 1105 (6th Cir. 1983)). “The court need not, however, accept unwarranted factual inferences.” Id. (citing Morgan v. Church's Fried Chicken, 829 F.2d 10, 12 (6th Cir. 1987)). Should the well-pleaded facts support no “more than the mere possibility of misconduct, ” then dismissal is warranted. Iqbal, 556 U.S at 679. The Court may grant a motion to dismiss “only if, after drawing all reasonable inferences from the allegations in the complaint in favor of the plaintiff, the complaint still fails to allege a plausible theory of relief.” Garceau v. City of Flint, 572 F. App'x. 369, 371 (6th Cir. 2014) (citing Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 677-79).

         DISCUSSION

         In its motion to dismiss or, in the alternative, for a more definite statement, Park Community alleges that Hudson's claims must fail for three main reasons. First, because Louisville Metro Government Ordinance § 92.06 does not allow for a private right of action. [DN 5-1 at 2 (Memorandum in Support of Motion to Dismiss).] Second, because none of the causes of action Hudson asserts allow relief for discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. [Id.] And third, because to the extent Hudson's claims are based on a sex stereotyping theory, Hudson has failed to plead sufficient facts to state a claim. [Id.] The Court will address each of these arguments, and Hudson's responses thereto, in turn.

1) Louisville-Metro Government Ordinance § 92.06
Section 92.06 of the Louisville-Metro Government Code of Ordinances reads as follows:
§ 92.06 UNLAWFUL PRACTICES IN CONNECTION WITH EMPLOYMENT
(A) It is a prohibited, unlawful practice for an employer:
(1) To fail or refuse to hire or to discharge any individual, or otherwise to discriminate against any individual with respect to his or her compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of such individual's race, color, religion, national origin, age 40 and over, disability, sex, gender identity, or sexual orientation.

         Louisville-Metro Government Code of Ordinances § 92.06(A)(1). Section 92.08 of the Ordinances goes on to state that “[t]he administration and enforcement of this chapter shall be the responsibility of the Louisville/Jefferson County Human Relations Commission - Enforcement, and it shall have full operating responsibility for carrying out the provisions of this chapter.” Louisville-Metro Government Code of Ordinances § 92.08(A). Among the Human Relations Commission's powers include “[i]nstitut[ing] proceedings in Jefferson Circuit Court for ...


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