United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Bowling Green Division
DERRICK J. MYLES PLAINTIFF
GENERAL MOTORS, LLC DEFENDANT
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
N. STIVERS, CHIEF JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
matter is before the Court on Defendant's Motion to
Dismiss (DN 4). The motion is ripe for adjudication. For the
following reasons, the motion is GRANTED IN PART and DENIED
STATEMENT OF FACTS
Derrick Myles (“Myles”) is African American and
was employed by Defendant General Motors (“GM”)
in its Bowling Green, Kentucky, facility. (Compl.
¶¶ 4, 5, 14, DN 1-1). In March 2018, Myles was
placed in supervision of the “care line” within
the facility after his predecessor, a Caucasian male, was
terminated for threatening another supervisor. (Compl.
¶¶ 6, 8). Myles implemented long work hours,
required the team leader to work more than he had previously,
addressed production issues, and cut two jobs to comply with
the budget. (Compl. ¶¶ 9, 11). At some point, Myles
was counseled by some unspecified person not to enter
identified product defects into the quality defect tracking
system as required. (Compl. ¶ 11). The team leader and
other hourly employees became disgruntled after Myles assumed
his new duties and changed the care line operations. (Compl.
2018, the care line was run by all African-American males
after Myles interviewed and selected an African-American male
named “Lee” as the new supervisor of the care
line and another African-American supervisor frequently came
to the care line to help Lee learn his new job. (Compl.
¶ 13). During this time, numerous comments were made by
various employees about “a black guy needing two black
body guards to run quality.” (Compl. ¶ 15). The
hourly employees were afforded harassment training less than
a month later. (Compl. ¶ 16).
August 2018, Myles informed the union that he had increased
the speed on the care line by one car per hour, but only a
few days later at a union meeting many complaints were
directed by unidentified persons at Myles and his
African-American supervisors regarding the changes in the
care line. (Compl. ¶¶ 17, 18). The following day,
Myles was directed by Lolita Fortenberry
(“Fortenberry”), whose position is not described,
to meet with her to discuss these complaints. (Compl. ¶
19). At this meeting, Fortenberry made no mention of the
union complaints but instead informed Myles of allegations
that he had shared inappropriate images on his cell phone
with Lee and the other African-American supervisor. (Compl.
¶ 19). Myles claims these were false accusations levied
against him because of his race and recent elevation to a
supervisory position. (Compl. ¶ 21). Myles and the two
African-American supervisors were immediately suspended with
pay while the allegations were investigated. (Compl.
¶¶ 22, 24).
September 2018, Myles was “interrogated” by
Fortenberry regarding his previous method of payment to a
contract supervisor. (Compl. ¶ 26). Myles alleges he was
terminated a week later with no mention of the accusations
related to the inappropriate images on his cell phone.
(Compl. ¶ 27).
November 8, 2018, Myles filed this action in state court,
which GM removed to this Court on December 6, 2018. The
Complaint asserts two claims: that GM violated the Kentucky
Civil Rights Act (“KCRA”) by terminating Myles
because of his race; and that Myles was terminated for
retaliatory purposes for refusing to participate in behavior
that was “illegal, unethical, and/or contrary to the
recognized business practices of [GM].” (Compl.
¶¶ 28-29). GM has moved to dismiss both claims
pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6)
Court has jurisdiction over “any civil action brought
in a State court of which the district courts of the United
States have original jurisdiction” that is
“removed by the defendant or the defendants, to the
district court of the United States for the district and
division embracing the place where such action is
pending.” 28 U.S.C. § 1441(a). This Court has
“original jurisdiction of all civil actions where the
matter in controversy exceeds the sum or value of $75, 000,
exclusive of interest and costs, and is between . . . the
citizens of different States.” 28 U.S.C. §
STANDARD OR REVIEW
motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim upon which
relief may be granted is a procedural motion that tests the
sufficiency of the complaint. Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). A
complaint must contain a short and plain statement showing
that the pleader is entitled to relief for it to survive a
12(b)(6) motion to dismiss. Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2).
“[The] pleading standard Rule 8 announces does not
require ‘detailed factual allegations,' but it
demands more than an unadorned, the
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009).
“[A] complaint must contain sufficient factual matter,
accepted as true, to “state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.” Id. Legal conclusions
can provide a framework for the complaint but will not be
given the presumption of truth unless they are supported by
factual allegations. Id. at 679. “A complaint
[does not] suffice if it tenders ‘naked
assertion[s]' devoid of ‘further factual
enhancement.'” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly,
550 U.S. 544, 557 (2007). The Supreme Court's
“plausibility” standard for assessing whether a
complaint's allegation supports its legal conclusions
applies to causation in discrimination claims. Sam Han v.
Univ. of Dayton, 541 Fed.Appx. 622, 626 (6th Cir. 2013)
(citing HDC, LLC v. City of Ann Arbor, 675 F.3d 608,
612 (6th Cir. 2008)). “A complaint that allows the
court to infer only a “mere possibility of misconduct,
” is insufficient to “show” that the
complainant is entitled to relief . . . .” Sam
Han, 541 Fed.Appx. at 626 (citing Iqbal, 556
U.S. at 679).