United States District Court, E.D. Washington
JOSHUA C. BUTLER, an individual, Plaintiff,
G4S SECURE SOLUTIONS (USA), INC., Defendant.
ORDER RESOLVING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO DISMISS AND
PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO STRIKE
Rosanna Malouf Peterson United States District Judge.
THE COURT is Defendant G4S's Motion to Dismiss for
Failure to State a Claim, ECF No. 12. In his Response to
Defendant's Motion, at ECF No. 23, Plaintiff Joshua
Butler made a Motion to Strike pursuant to Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 12(f), which the Court now addresses. The
Court has considered the record, the briefing, the relevant
legal precedent, and is fully informed.
Joshua Butler began working for Defendant G4S Secure
Solutions (“G4S”) in February of 2015 as a
security officer. ECF No. 1 at 2. G4S contracts with
businesses to provide security services. See id.
While a G4S employee, Mr. Butler worked at McCain Foods USA,
Inc. (“McCain”), a company that contracted with
G4S. Id. Until about August of 2016, Mr.
Butler's site supervisor at McCain was Josh Charmley, a
G4S employee. Id. at 3. However, when Mr. Charmley
was absent, Mr. Butler would be required to interact directly
with G4S's area supervisor, Richard Harden. See
id. at 2-3. From about June 2016 through July 2017, Mr.
Butler frequently worked 60 hours or more per week at McCain
because of a G4S employee shortage. Id. at 3.
spring of 2016, when Mr. Charmley was on vacation, Mr. Butler
worked directly with Mr. Harden. Id. When they first
met in person, Mr. Harden referred to Mr. Butler as
“boy” several times. Id. Mr. Butler is
an African American man, and Mr. Harden is Caucasian.
Id. at 2-3. Additionally, during Mr. Charmley's
absence that spring, Mr. Butler was responsible for creating
a schedule for the McCain G4S security employees.
Id. at 3. After Mr. Butler created the schedule, Mr.
Harden saw it and told Mr. Butler, “I didn't think
you people were even capable of putting together something
like that. You coons impress me every day.”
Id. Mr. Butler reported these comments to Mr.
Charmley when he returned from vacation. Id.
that year, when Mr. Charmley was absent on medical leave, Mr.
Harden mumbled in Mr. Butler's presence that Mr. Butler
was “creating too much work for him, ” and said
something like, “Fuck, man, you nigger.”
Id. Again, Mr. Butler reported this comment to Mr.
August of 2016, Mr. Charmley prepared to leave his position
at ¶ 4S, and the company offered the position to Mr.
Butler. Id. Mr. Harden stated to another G4S
employee that he did not like Mr. Butler's
“kind” and that he did not believe he was
“fit for the position.” Id. at 4. He
then told the employee that he believed Mr. Butler was not a
good fit for the job due to his race. Id.
Additionally, Mr. Harden called Mr. Charmley and said that he
didn't want “that nigger running shit.”
Id. Mr. Charmley informed Mr. Butler about this
conversation. Id. According to Mr. Butler, learning
that Mr. Harden did not want him to be a supervisor because
of his race motivated him to accept the Site Supervisor
Mr. Butler began performing his job as Site Supervisor in
November of 2016, Mr. Harden continued to use racial slurs,
including “coon” and “nigger.”
Id. at 5. In September 2017, Mr. Butler emailed Mr.
Harden's supervisor about the comments, but Mr.
Harden's supervisor never responded. Id.
about October 1, 2017, after learning of Mr. Butler's
complaint to his supervisor, Mr. Harden called Mr. Butler at
approximately 12:15 a.m. Id. at 5. During the call,
Mr. Harden asked, “What the fuck is your problem,
nigger?” Id. Mr. Harden referred to Mr. Butler
as “coon, ” “nigger, ” “boy,
” and “spook” during the conversation.
Id. Again, Mr. Butler reported this behavior to Mr.
Harden's supervisor via email. Id. at 6. Later,
when Mr. Butler attempted to follow up in a telephone
conversation with Mr. Harden's supervisor, the supervisor
stated that he had not received Mr. Butler's email
complaint, and he ended the call before Mr. Butler could
explain his complaint. Id. Although Mr. Harden's
supervisor stated he would call Mr. Butler back, he never
February of 2018, Mr. Harden called Mr. Butler to discuss
G4S's contract with McCain. Id. at 7. McCain had
indicated that it was going to terminate its contract with
G4S, and Mr. Harden asked Mr. Butler to save the contract if
he could. Id. Mr. Butler did not save the contract,
and told Mr. Harden that he would be interested in accepting
a job at a different G4S location. Id. When it
became clear that the contract would end, on or around March
2, 2018, Mr. Harden terminated Mr. Butler, stating, “I
trusted you. I thought you were going to fix this. I gave you
one job.” Id. Mr. Butler alleges that Mr.
Harden blamed him for losing the contract with McCain.
Id. When Mr. Harden terminated Mr. Butler, he used
the words “coon, ” “jiggaboo, ” and
“boy, ” and called Mr. Butler
he had been terminated from his position with G4S, Mr. Butler
applied for and obtained a position with Securitas, the
company that took over the security contract with McCain.
Id. at 7-8. In his new position at Securitas, Mr.
Butler makes a lower wage than the wage he earned at ¶
4S. Id. at 8. Additionally, Mr. Butler asserts that
G4S never paid him for approximately 100 hours of overtime,
and that Mr. Harden told him that the unpaid overtime was
“non-billable overtime.” Id.
Butler alleges that he fully exhausted his administrative
remedies through the EEOC before filing this action.
Id. He asserts that Defendant G4S discriminated
against him on the basis of his race in violation of Title
VII and the Washington Law Against Discrimination (WLAD).
Id. at 8-9. He has brought claims under both
statutes for disparate treatment, hostile work environment,
and retaliation. Mr. Butler also asserts a claim of unlawful
wage withholding under RCW 49.52.050, and a claim of wrongful
discharge in violation of public policy under Washington
State law. Id. at 9.
defense, G4S filed a Motion to Dismiss for failure to state a
claim. See ECF No. 12. While G4S has labeled its
Motion as a “partial” Rule 12(b)(6) motion, it is
unclear which claims the company asks the Court to dismiss.
In its Motion, G4S argues that the Complaint, in its
entirety, should be dismissed because it is a “shotgun
pleading.” Id. at 5. Therefore, the Court will
address the Motion as a motion to dismiss the entire
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 reviewing the
sufficiency of a complaint, a court accepts all well-pleaded
allegations as true and construes those allegations in the
light most favorable to the non-moving party.
Daniels-Hall v. Nat'l Educ. Ass'n, 629 F.3d
992, 998 (9th Cir. 2010) (citing Manzarek v. St. Paul
Fire & Marine Ins. Co., 519 F.3d 1025, 1031-32 (9th
survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must contain
sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to ‘state
a claim of relief that is plausible on its face.'”
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009)
(quoting Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S.
544, 570 (2007)). “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. (citing
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556). However, “[r]ule
8(a) ‘does not impose a probability requirement at the
pleading stage; it simply calls for enough fact to raise a
reasonable expectation that discovery will reveal
evidence' to support the allegations.” Starr v.
Baca, 652 F.3d 1202, 1214 (9th Cir. 2011) (quoting
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556).