United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle
C. Coughenour United States District Judge.
matter comes before the Court on Defendant Relay
Resources's motion to dismiss (Dkt. No. 15). Having
thoroughly considered the parties' briefing and the
relevant record, the Court hereby GRANTS the motion for the
reasons explained herein.
Relay Resources contracts with agencies and companies in the
Pacific Northwest to fill staffing needs, specializing in
finding employment for individuals with disabilities. One
such agency Relay Resources contracts with is Defendant
General Services Administration (“GSA”). (Dkt.
No. 3 at 6.) In December 2017 or January 2018, Relay
Resources hired Plaintiff Debra White as an office clerk.
(Id. at 5-6.) Plaintiff is deaf in both ears and
requires accommodations to work. (Id.) In February
2018, Plaintiff alleges that she received a notice to begin
work at GSA's office in Auburn, Washington. (Id.
at 6.) On March 5, Plaintiff arrived at GSA's office, but
she alleges that she did not receive any job training from
any GSA employee once she arrived. (Id.) Plaintiff
claims that she waited in the mailroom for an hour until she
was told by a GSA staff member to go home because she was not
scheduled to begin work that day. (Id.)
days later on March 8, Plaintiff was called back to GSA's
Auburn office, where she began performing data entry work.
(Id.) Plaintiff alleges that, almost immediately
after starting at GSA, she was subjected to various forms of
disability discrimination, including being disciplined for
failing to hear a supervisor's instructions, being
cut-off from communication with other employees, and not
being granted access to a laptop or work phone. (Id.
at 6-7.) Plaintiff also alleges that Relay Resources failed
to provide reasonable accommodations for her disability,
including by failing to provide Plaintiff with a
sign-language translator. (Id.) On March 13, five
days after beginning work, Plaintiff was told by a GSA
employee to take the rest of the day off. (Id. at
7.) From March 13 until August 31, Plaintiff was kept on paid
leave by Relay Resources, and was not allowed to work at
GSA's Auburn office or any other Relay Resources job
April 24, Plaintiff attended a meeting with representatives
from both Relay Resources and GSA, during which Plaintiff
alleges she explained the discrimination she had suffered
while working at GSA's office. (Id. at 8-9.)
Plaintiff asserts that, after the April 24 meeting, GSA
investigated her discrimination claims and informed Relay
Resources that it found no wrongdoing. (Id. at 9.)
On August 31, Plaintiff was terminated from her position with
Relay Resources. (Id. at 11.) Plaintiff alleges that
Relay Resources informed her that she had been terminated
because GSA no longer contracted with Relay Resources.
filed this lawsuit alleging nine causes of action against
both Relay Resources and GSA, who she claims were joint
employers. (Id. at 11-12.) Plaintiff brings
disability discrimination claims under the Americans with
Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), 42 U.S.C § 12101-02; the
Americans with Disabilities Act Amendment Act of 2008 (ADAA),
42 U.S.C § 12101-02; and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973,
29 U.S.C §§ 701, 791 (Section 501), and 793
(Section 503). (Id. at 12-17.) Plaintiff also brings
claims of intentional infliction of emotional distress
(“IIED”), and negligent infliction of emotional
distress (“NIED”), a claim for unpaid wages under
both the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), 29 U.S.C. §
203, and the “Unpaid Wages Wage Prohibition Act”
(Unpaid Wages Act), a breach of contract claim, and a claim
for wrongful termination in violation of public policy.
(Id. at 17-21.) Relay Resources moves to dismiss
Plaintiff's Section 501 claim, FLSA claim, Unpaid Wages
claim, and breach of contract claim. (Dkt. No. 15 at 1.)
Motion to Dismiss Legal Standard
Court may dismiss a complaint that “fail[s] to state a
claim upon which relief can be granted.” Fed.R.Civ.P.
12(b)(6). To survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must
contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state
a claim for relief that is plausible on its face.
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 677-78 (2009). A
claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads
factual content that allows the Court to draw the reasonable
inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct
alleged. Id. at 678. A plaintiff is obligated to
provide grounds for his or her entitlement to relief that
amount to more than labels and conclusions or a formulaic
recitation of the elements of a cause of action. Bell
Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 545 (2007).
“[T]he pleading standard Rule 8 announces does not
require ‘detailed factual allegations,' but it
demands more than an unadorned,
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (quoting Twombly,
550 U.S. at 555).
Section 501 Claim
alleges that Relay Resources discriminated against her on the
basis of her disability, in violation of Section 501 of the
Rehabilitation Act. (Dkt. No. 3 at 16-17.) Section 501
provides a cause of action for federal employees who allege
disability discrimination against “each department,
agency, and instrumentality in the executive
branch.” 29 U.S.C. § 791 (emphasis added).
Plaintiff concedes that Relay Resources is a private,
non-profit corporation and not an executive agency of the
federal government. (Dkt. No. 3 at 2.) Therefore, Relay
Resources motion to dismiss Plaintiff's Section 501 claim
is GRANTED. Because Relay Resources cannot be held liable
under Section 501, the claim is DISMISSED with prejudice.
FLSA and Unpaid Wages Act
alleges that, by terminating her after six months of
employment, Relay Resources withheld her future earnings, in
violation of both the FLSA and the Unpaid Wages Wage
Prohibition Act. (Id. at 18-19.) In order to assert
a claim under the FLSA, Plaintiff must allege facts to show
that she worked for a period of time in which she was
entitled to minimum wages or overtime wages, and that she did
not receive those wages. Landers v. Quality Comms.
Inc., 771 F.3d 638, 645 (9th Cir. 2015). Plaintiff does
not allege that Relay Resources failed to pay her minimum
wage during her period of employment or her period of paid
leave. Nor does Plaintiff allege that she worked any period
of overtime for which she was not compensated. Instead,
Plaintiff alleges in her complaint that she lost future wages
when she was improperly terminated by Relay Resources. (Dkt.
No. 3 at 19.) Although the FLSA may provide recovery of
future wages in limited circumstances, they are not
applicable here. See Little v. Tech. Specialty Prods.,
LLC, 940 F.Supp.2d 460 (E.D. Tex. 2013). Instead, as a
general matter, the FLSA does not permit recovery of lost