United States District Court, D. Massachusetts
MARLYNE M. CAMPBELL, Plaintiff,
BRISTOL COMMUNITY COLLEGE, Defendant.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER ON MOTION TO DISMISS
Dennis Saylor IV United States District Judge
a workplace discrimination and retaliation action. Plaintiff
Marlyne Campbell has brought suit against her former
employer, defendant Bristol Community College. The complaint
alleges claims for hostile work environment, discrimination
on the basis of race, and retaliation in violation of Title
VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e
et seq, as well as state-law claims arising out of
the same facts. Plaintiff is proceeding pro se.
has moved to dismiss the complaint for failure to state a
claim upon which relief can be granted under Fed.R.Civ.P.
12(b)(6) and for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction under
Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(1). For the following reasons, the motion
will be granted in part and denied in part.
otherwise noted, the facts are set forth as alleged in the
complaint. Bristol Community College (“BCC”) is a
public institution of higher education established under
Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 15A, § 5. Marlyne Campbell is an
African-American woman and former employee of BCC. (Compl.
2012, Campbell worked as a Career Development Counselor at
BCC. (Id.). BCC was one of fifteen state community
colleges that benefitted from a $20 million federal
educational grant entitled the Massachusetts Community
College and Workforce Development Transformation Agenda, or
the MCCWDTA grant. (Id. ¶ 6). The complaint
alleges that from August 28, through October 10, 2012, staff
members at BCC informally referred to the MCCWDTA grant as
the “Mack Daddy” grant. (Id.). The
complaint characterizes that term as an “insulting
racial slur.” (Id. ¶¶ 7, 9).
November 17, 2012, Campbell met with unspecified personnel in
the human resources department to complain about what she
viewed as harassment and an excessive workload. (Id.
¶ 8). Two days later, on November 19, she received a
poor work-performance review. (Id.). On December 11,
2012, BCC allegedly took away resources that Campbell needed
to perform her responsibilities, including her computer,
desk, phone extension, and office space. (Id. ¶
7). The following week, she reported to “[an]
appropriate manager, human resources, and faculty” that
employees were referring to the MCCWDTA grant as the
“Mack Daddy” grant. (Id. ¶ 9).
Shortly thereafter, on December 26, 2012, Campbell was
terminated. (Id.). The complaint alleges that BCC
terminated her without conducting a fair investigation and
without any verbal or written warning. (Id.).
September 13, 2013, Campbell filed a claim with the
Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination
(“MCAD”) alleging employment discrimination on
the basis of age and race, as well as retaliation. (Campbell
MCAD Charge, Def. Mot., Ex. A, 3). After an investigation and
preliminary hearing, the MCAD determined that there was
insufficient evidence to determine that Campbell had been
discriminated against. (MCAD Notice of Lack of Probable Cause
Finding, Def. Mot, Ex. C).
23, 2016, Campbell brought this lawsuit alleging violations
of state and federal law arising out of what she viewed as
BCC's discriminatory and retaliatory conduct. BCC has
moved to dismiss the complaint pursuant to Rule 12(b)(1) and
Standard of Review
motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim made pursuant
to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6), the Court “must assume the
truth of all well-plead[ed] facts and give the plaintiff the
benefit of all reasonable inferences therefrom.”
Ruiz v. Bally Total Fitness Holding Corp., 496 F.3d
1, 5 (1st Cir. 2007) (citing Rogan v. Menino, 175
F.3d 75, 77 (1st Cir. 1999)). To survive a motion to dismiss,
the complaint must state a claim that is “plausible on
its face.” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550
U.S. 544, 570 (2007). That is, “[f]actual allegations
must be enough to raise a right to relief above the
speculative level . . . on the assumption that all the
allegations in the complaint are true (even if doubtful in
fact).” Id. at 555 (citations omitted).
Dismissal is appropriate if the complaint fails to set forth
“factual allegations, either direct or inferential,
respecting each material element necessary to sustain
recovery under some actionable legal theory.”
Gagliardi v. Sullivan, 513 F.3d 301, 305 (1st Cir.
2008) (quoting Centro Médico del Turabo, Inc. v.
Feliciano de Melecio, 406 F.3d 1, 6 (1st Cir. 2005)).
motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction
made pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(1), “‘the
party invoking the jurisdiction of a federal court carries
the burden of proving its existence.” Murphy v.
United States, 45 F.3d 520, 522 (1st Cir. 1995) (quoting
Taber Partners, I v. Merit Builders, Inc., 987 F.2d
57, 60 (1st Cir. 1993)). When ruling on a 12(b)(1) motion the
Court “must credit the plaintiff's well-[pleaded]
factual allegations and draw all reasonable inferences in the
plaintiff's favor.” Merlonghi v. United
States, 620 F.3d 50, 54 (1st Cir. 2010).
not entirely clear, the pro se complaint appears to
allege six claims arising under Title VII and state law. The
Title VII claims include (1) hostile work environment, (2)
race discrimination, and (3) retaliation. The state law
claims include (1) breach of contract, (2) ...