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Nahum v. Boeing Company

United States District Court, W.D. Washington

December 17, 2019

SETONDJI NAHUM, Plaintiff,
v.
THE BOEING COMPANY, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO DISMISS; GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO STRIKE; GRANTING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO AMEND; DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR POLYGRAPH EVIDENCE

          BARBARA J. ROTHSTEIN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         I. INTRODUCTION

         Pro se Plaintiff Setonji Nahum ("Nahum") brought this employment discrimination action against Defendants The Boeing Company ("Boeing") and one of its managers. Compl., Dkt. No. 1. Presently before the Court are Defendants' motion to dismiss and for other relief, and a cross motion by Plaintiff to permit him to amend his complaint. Additionally, Plaintiff moves the Court to require the use of polygraphs for all proceedings. Having considered the parties' submissions, the record of the case, and relevant legal authorities, the Court orders as follows:

         II. BACKGROUND

         Nahum was hired by Boeing in February 2018 as a Manufacturing Industrial Engineer in support of Boeing's 777X program in Everett, Washington. Compl., Dkt. No. 1. On September 4, 2018, Nahum received a Corrective Action (CAM) purportedly for failure to comply with management's expectations and request that he perform certain work. Id. at 13-14. On February 7, 2019, he was issued a second CAM for again purportedly failing to comply with management directions and expectations that he complete required tasks. Id. at 16-17.

         On March 18, 2019, Nahum filed a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC"), case number 551-2019-01088, claiming that Boeing discriminated against him because of his race by: (1) treating him less favorably than employees outside of his protected class; (2) issuing him corrective actions in September 2018 and February 2019 for minor issues that he did not believe others were written up for; (3) giving him an unfavorable mid-year performance evaluation for having disputes with other employees; and (4) reassigning him to another work area on the basis that his co-workers were afraid to work with him. Dkt. No. 21 at 4.

         On May 13, 2019, Boeing issued Nahum a third CAM for failing to comply with management direction to complete required tasks. Boeing fired him the same day. Id. at 17-18.

         At Nahum's request, the EEOC issued a Notice of Right to Sue on May 30, 2019. Id. at 36. This closed the EEOC case.

         Plaintiff filed a Complaint[1] with seven Claims against Boeing and Jeffrey Dillaman, a Boeing manager, on July 18, 2019. Dkt. No. 1. The Complaint alleges that Defendants engaged in acts of discrimination from February 16, 2018 until May 13, 2019. Id. at 5.

         III. LEGAL STANDARDS

         A. Failure to State a Claim

         Rule 12(b)(6) provides for dismissal of a complaint for "failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted." Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). While "detailed factual allegations" are not required, a complaint must include "more than an unadorned, the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me accusation." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). In other words, a complaint must have sufficient factual allegations to "state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face." Id. (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). A claim is facially plausible "when the pleaded factual content allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged." Id. Under Rule 12(b)(6), dismissal can be granted based on "the lack of a cognizable legal theory or the absence of sufficient facts alleged under a cognizable legal theory." Balistreri v. Pacifica Police Dep't, 901 F.2d 696, 699 (9th Cir. 1990).

         When considering a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), the court construes the complaint in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party. Livid Holdings Ltd. v. Salomon Smith Barney, Inc., 416 F.3d 940, 946 (9th Cir. 2005). The Court must accept all well-pleaded facts as true and draw all reasonable inferences in a plaintiffs favor. Wyler Summit P'ship v. Turner Broad. Sys., Inc., 135 F.3d 658, 661 (9th Cir. 1998). The Court also liberally construes a complaint filed by a pro se litigant such as Plaintiff. See Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007) ("A document filed pro se is to be liberally construed, and a pro se complaint, however inartfully pleaded, must be held to less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers.") (internal quotation marks and citations omitted). However, "pro se litigants in the ordinary civil case should not be treated more favorably than parties with attorneys of record," Jacobsen v. Filler, 790 F.2d 1362, 1364 (9th Cir. 1986), and the court cannot supply essential facts that the pro se plaintiff has failed to plead, Pena v. Gardner, 976 F.2d 469, 471 (9th Cir. 1992).

         B. Leave to Amend

         When dismissing a case for failure to state a claim, the district court "should grant leave to amend ... unless [the court] determines that the pleading could not possibly be cured by the allegation of other facts." Lopez v. Smith, 203 F.3d 1122, 1127 (9th Cir. 2000) (quoting Doe v. United States, 58 F.3d 494, 497 (9th Cir. 1995)) (internal quotation marks omitted). A court may freely grant leave to amend a complaint "when justice so requires." Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(a). The Ninth Circuit recognizes that the purpose of this provision of Rule 15(a) is "to facilitate decisions on the merits, rather than on the pleadings or technicalities." Noll v. Carlson, 809 F.2d 1446, 1448 (9th Cir. 1987).

         Where amendment of the complaint would be futile, the court need not permit leave to amend even under the liberal construction of pro se pleadings. Lopez, 203 F.3d at 1128; Nunes v. Ashcroft, 375 F.3d 810, 813 (9th Cir. 2004). Thus, if there is a clear legal or factual bar to a plaintiffs claims that cannot be overcome by the allegation of additional facts, leave to amend need not be granted.

         IV. ANALYSIS

         A. Defendants' ...


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