Williams v. Raymond & Associates, LLC
ORDER ADOPTING 18 REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION w/additional discussion. Dft's 6 MOTION to Dismiss is GRANTED as set out. Plf's 20 , 21 MOTIONS to Amend Complaint are DENIED as set out. Signed by Judge Callie V. S. Granade on 5/29/2014. (tot)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF ALABAMA
RAYMOND & ASSOCIATES, LLC,
) Civil Action No. 13-0634-CG
This matter is before the court on the Report and Recommendation of
the Magistrate Judge (Doc. 18), Plaintiff Thomas Williams’ (“Williams”)
objection (Doc. 19), and Defendant Raymond & Associates, LLC’s (“Raymond
& Associates”) response thereto (Doc. 23). Also before the court are the
motions to amend the complaint filed by Williams (Docs. 20 & 21) and
Raymond & Associates’ response in opposition (Doc. 22).
The Magistrate Judge recommended that Raymond & Associates’
motion to dismiss (Doc. 6) be granted. Specifically, the Magistrate Judge
determined that dismissal was appropriate because Williams failed to file his
complaint within 90 days of receiving a right-to-sue letter from the EEOC as
required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”). See 42 U.S.C. §§
2000e-5(f)(1) & 12117(a).
After due and proper consideration of all portions of this file deemed
relevant to the issue raised, and a de novo determination of those portions of
the recommendation to which objection is made, the Report and
Recommendation of the Magistrate Judge made under 28 U.S.C. §
636(b)(1)(B) is ADOPTED as the opinion of this Court, with the following
Williams “stipulates that any Title VII claims would be subject to the
ninety-day filing period, but maintains that his ADA claims may be filed
within two-years.” See Doc. 19 at 2. To support his argument, Williams relies
on the case of Everett v. Cobb, 138 F.3d 1407 (11th Cir. 1998). In Everett, the
plaintiff brought claims of disability discrimination pursuant to the
Rehabilitation Act, Title II of the ADA and state law against several public
entities. Id. at 1408. The court held that because Title II of the ADA does not
contain a limitations period, the analogous state personal injury statute
should apply. Everett, 138 F.3d at 1409.
Unlike in Everett, however, Williams did not file a disabilitydiscrimination claim pursuant to Title II of the ADA against a public entity.1
Rather, Williams filed a claim for disability discrimination under Title I of
the ADA against his employer. The Magistrate Judge set forth the law
regarding the timeliness of filing a claim pursuant to Title I in his report and
recommendation as follows:
Title II of the ADA provides protection against discrimination by “public entities.”
See 42 U.S.C. § 12131 et seq. “Public entity” is defined to include “(A) any State or
local government; [and] (B) any department, agency, special purpose district, or
other instrumentality of a State or States or local government . . .” 42 U.S.C. §
12131(1)(A) & (B). There is no evidence Raymond & Associates, a limited liability
company that specializes in ship building, falls within this definition.
Subchapter I of the ADA, the subchapter upon which the
plaintiff’s complaint is admittedly based (see Doc. 1, ¶ 15
(“Defendant terminated Plaintiff on the basis of his disability in
violation of his rights pursuant to Title I of the ADA.”)),
“prohibits discrimination on account of disability in employment
[and] . . . provides the same remedies contained in Title VII of
the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e(b).”
Albra v. Advan, Inc., 490 F.3d 826, 829 (11th Cir. 2007) (citing
42 U.S.C. §§ 12111-12117). This means that, “[t]he ADA
specifically incorporates the procedural provisions of Title VII . .
. and[, t]herefore an aggrieved party must file a civil action in
federal court no later than 90 days after receiving a right to sue
letter.” Strickland v. Wayne Farms-Southland Hatchery, 132
F.Supp.2d 1331, 1332 (M.D. Ala. 2001), citing 42 U.S.C. §§
2000e-5(f)(1) & 12117(a).2
(Doc. 18 at 5).
Here, Williams did not file within the 90-day limitations period set
forth in Title VII and the ADA. See Miller v. Georgia, 223 F. App’x 842, 844
(11th Cir. 2007) (“Under Title VII, a plaintiff must file [his] complaint in
district court within 90 days of [his] receipt of a right-to-sue letter from the
EEOC . . . The ADA provides the same statute of limitations, as it expressly
incorporates the enforcement mechanisms contained in Title VII[.]”). It is
undisputed that the EEOC mailed the right-to-sue letter on December 31,
2012, (Doc. 7, Ex. 2) and Williams did not file his complaint until almost a
year later on December 24, 2013 (Doc. 1). The right-to-sue letter specifically
Section 12117 specifically provides that “[t]he powers, remedies and procedures set
forth in sections 2000e-4, 2000e-5, 2000e-6, 2000e-8, and 2000e-9 of this title shall be
the powers, remedies, and procedures this subchapter provides to the Commission,
to the Attorney General, or to any person alleging discrimination on the basis of
disability in violation of any provision of this chapter, or regulations promulgated
under section 12116 of this title, concerning employment.” 42 U.S.C. § 12117(a). In
turn, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-5(f)(1) provides, in relevant measure, that “[i]f a charge filed
with the Commission . . . is dismissed by the Commission, . . . the Commission, . . .
shall so notify the person aggrieved and within ninety days after the giving of such
notice a civil action may be brought against the respondent named in the charge[ ]
by the person claiming to be aggrieved[.]” Id. (emphasis supplied).
informed Williams that “Your lawsuit must be filed WITHIN 90 DAYS of
your receipt of this notice[,] or your right to sue based on this charge will
be lost.” See Doc. 7, Ex. 2. Williams has not offered any evidence that
demonstrates he is not to blame for the untimely filing of the suit.
Accordingly, the court finds that dismissal of Williams’ disabilitydiscrimination claim is appropriate. O’Donnell v. Punta Gorda HMA, LLC,
2011 WL 3168144, *2 (M.D. Fla. Jul. 27, 2011) (“Under the Americans with
Disabilities Act [ ] and Title VII, a plaintiff must bring a suit within 90 days
of receiving a right-to-sue letter from the EEOC . . . When the plaintiff fails to
do so, dismissal is appropriate, unless [ ] he shows that the delay was
through no fault of [his] own.”).
It appears that Williams filed his motion to amend the complaint in
an attempt to circumvent this result. Williams seeks to amend his complaint
to assert claims against the “Defendant pursuant to the civil rights statute 42
U.S.C. § 1981, which does not contain the same Title VII requirements as the
original claims alleged by the Plaintiff.”3 See Doc. 21-1 at 1. Raymond &
Associates argue that granting Williams’ leave to amend will result in
The court construes Williams’ amendment as asserting claims under 42 U.S.C. §
1981a. As Raymond & Associates pointed out, it appears that Williams confused two
similarly named statues. See King v. Fulton County Ga., 2009 WL 1322341, *1 (N.D.
Ga. 2009) (citing Olmstead v. Taco Bell Corp., 141 F.3d 1457, 1462 (11th Cir. 1998)
(acknowledging the potential confusion for plaintiffs in differentiating between 42
U.S.C. 1981 and 42 U.S.C. § 1981a)). “42 U.S.C. § 1981 is a post-Civil War race
discrimination statute that is separate and independent from Title VII.” Id.
(footnotes omitted). “In contrast, 42 U.S.C. § 1981a was part of the Civil Rights Act
of 1991 and amends Title VII.” Id. Since Williams states that the amendment “arises
out of the same facts, circumstances and allegations” asserted in his claim for
disability discrimination in violation of the ADA, it is logical to conclude that he
intended to bring his proposed amended claim pursuant to § 1981a, not the racediscrimination statute of § 1981.
prejudice, undue delay, and further burden on the judicial system because
the amended claim is meritless. The court agrees. Section 1981a does not
provide discrimination plaintiffs with a separate cause of action. King, 2009
WL 1322341, *2. It merely “authorizes the recovery of compensatory and
punitive damages to remedy intentional employment discrimination” in
addition to the “equitable relief provided under Title VII.” Id. Because
Williams’ claim asserted pursuant to Title I of the ADA is dismissed, the
allegations contained in the amended complaint will also be dismissed, as
§ 1981a does not provide an independent cause of action for claims of
disability discrimination. Thus, the court finds that Williams’ motion to
amend the complaint is due to be denied.
For the reasons stated above, the Magistrate Judge’s report and
recommendation (Doc. 18) is ADOPTED. It is ORDERED that Raymond &
Associates’ motion to dismiss (Doc. 6) is GRANTED. Williams’ motions to
amend the complaint are DENIED (Docs. 20 & 21).
DONE and ORDERED this 29th day of May, 2014 .
/s/ Callie V. S. Granade
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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