United States District Court, D. Massachusetts
Sorokin United States District Judge
reasons that follow, Defendant Gordon Campbell's Motion
to Dismiss (Doc. 13) Counts One, Two, Seven, Eight, Nine, and
Ten of the Amended Complaint is DENIED.
September 1, 2016, Plaintiff Elliott Eichenholz filed a
complaint against Defendants Brink's Incorporated
(“Brink's”) and Campbell. Doc. 1. Campbell
filed a motion to dismiss (Doc. 8), after which Plaintiff
filed the instant Amended Complaint (Doc. 12), rendering that
motion moot. Campbell then filed the instant Motion. Doc. 13.
who was a Brink's employee and supervised by Campbell,
claims Defendants discriminated and retaliated against him in
violation of various state and federal laws. Essentially,
Plaintiff alleges that Defendants (1) mistreated him because
he requested medical leave; and (2) treated him differently
than similarly situated younger and female employees, in
particular one such employee with whom Campbell was allegedly
“having an affair.” Doc. 12 at 5, 11, 16. In
Counts One and Two, Plaintiff sues Defendants for violating
his rights under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), 29
U.S.C. § 2601 et seq. Doc. 12 at 13. In Counts
Seven through Ten, Plaintiff sues Defendants for violating
his rights under Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 151B (hereinafter,
“151B”). Doc. 12 at 16-17. Campbell has moved to
dismiss these counts against him. Doc. 13.
COUNTS ONE AND TWO
argues he may not be named as a defendant in Counts One and
Two, which arise under the FMLA, because the FMLA does
“not allow claims against individual
defendants.” Doc. 14 at 15. The Court rejects this
argument. Liability under the FMLA may attach to any
“employer, ” which includes “any person who
acts, directly or indirectly, in the interest of an employer
to any of the employees of such employer.” 29 U.S.C.
§ 2611(4)(A). The First Circuit has yet to decide
whether an individual can be held liable under this
definition. However, it has held that individuals may be sued
under the Federal Labor Standards Act (FLSA), whose
definition of “employer” is “materially
identical” to the FLSA's. Manning v. Boston
Med. Cntr. Corp., 725 F.3d 34, 47 (1st Cir. 2013);
Haybarger v. Lawrence County Probation, 667 F.3d
408, 414 (3d Cir. 2012) (citations and internal quotation
marks omitted). In large part because of this similarity, the
majority of federal courts that have addressed “the
issue of private supervisor liability [under the FMLA] have
concluded that such liability exists, ” a conclusion
which this Court has implicitly adopted. Chacon v.
Brigham & Women's Hosp., 99 F.Supp.3d 207, 213
n.5 (D. Mass. 2015) (citations and internal quotation marks
omitted); see also Haybarger, 667 F.3d at 414-15
& n.4. Thus, Campbell's argument that he
cannot be sued under the FMLA is unavailing.
COUNTS SEVEN THROUGH TEN
argues that he may not be named as a defendant in Counts
Seven through Ten, which arise under 151B, because Plaintiff
“failed to administratively exhaust any claims
against” him. Doc. 13 at 1. Campbell argues that
Plaintiff's 151B claims against him are barred because
Plaintiff “fail[ed] to name Mr. Campbell as a
respondent” in an Equal Employment Opportunity
Commission (EEOC) charge, thus depriving Campbell of
“notice of personal claims against him and the
possibility he would face a lawsuit in his individual
capacity, the opportunity to participate in the EEOC process,
and the opportunity to potentially conciliate the
claims.” Doc. 14 at 6-7. Campbell argues that
“civil claims against individual managers should be
dismissed even if the manager was identified in the charge of
discrimination's factual allegations or statement of
particulars as having been involved in the wrongful
conduct.” Id. at 8. As the Court will explain
infra, this argument contradicts both state and
November 11, 2015, Campbell, who was Plaintiff's
supervisor, gave Plaintiff a Performance Improvement Plan
letter (“PIP letter”) containing various demands
that Plaintiff needed to meet within the next thirty to
ninety days. Doc. 12 at 6. Campbell alleges this letter was
“patently contrary to” various laws because he
was on disability leave when the letter was issued.
November 24, 2015, Plaintiff filled out an Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission (EEOC) intake questionnaire, in which
he stated that Campbell had discriminated against him. Doc.
1-2 at 2. This questionnaire “was provided to”
Campbell. Doc. 12 at 12.
January 29, 2016, Campbell sent Plaintiff an email stating,
“Now that you have returned from your FMLA [leave] . .
. I expect you to develop a plan to address the [areas of
improvement specified in the PIP letter].” Doc. 1-3. On
February 1, 2016, Plaintiff resigned, giving two weeks'
notice, to “ensure that he was no longer subjected to
unlawful harassment . . . [and] a hostile work
environment.” Doc. 12 at 8; Doc. 1-4 at 2. On February
2, 2016, Brink's terminated Plaintiff's employment.
February 10, 2016, Plaintiff filed a charge of discrimination
against Brink's with the EEOC. Doc. 14-5 at 3-4. The charge
asked Plaintiff to name “the Employer, Labor
Organization, Employment Agency, Apprenticeship Committee, or
State or Local Government Agency” that he believed
discriminated against him. Id. Plaintiff named only
Brink's. Id. In explaining “the
particulars” of his ...