United States District Court, D. Massachusetts
RAYMOND R. MASON, SR, Plaintiff,
CENTRAL MASS TRANSIT MANAGEMENT, INC., WORCESTER REGIONAL TRANSIT AUTHORITY, DAVID TRABUCCO, JAMES PARKER, JONATHAN CHURCH, AMALGAMATED TRANSIT UNION LOCAL 22, & KENNETH KEPHART, Defendants.
ORDER AND MEMORANDUM ON DEFENDANTS CENTRAL MASS
TRANSIT MANAGEMENT, INC., DAVID TRABUCCO, WORCESTER REGIONAL
TRANSIT AUTHORITY, AND JONATHAN CHURCH’S MOTION TO
DISMISS (DOCKET NO. 34)
TIMOTHY S. HILLMAN, DISTRICT JUDGE.
R. Mason, Sr. (“Plaintiff”) filed this action
alleging state and federal law claims related to the
termination of his employment. Central Mass. Transit
Management, Inc. (“CMTM”), David Trabucco
(“Mr. Trabucco”), Worcester Regional Transit
Authority (“WRTA”), and Jonathan Church
(“Mr. Church”) (collectively,
“Defendants”) move to dismiss all claims against
them. (Docket No. 34). For the following reasons, the Court
grants Defendants’ motion.
following facts are taken from Plaintiff’s First
Amended Complaint (Docket No. 14) and assumed true for the
purposes of this motion.
5, 2003, Plaintiff began working for WRTA and CMTM as a
part-time van driver. (Docket No. 14 at 3). On December 23,
2015, CMTM entered into a Supplemental Agreement with
Amalgamated Transit Union Local 22 (the “Union”)
that stated, “if [an] employee is found to be using a
personal electronic device and the employee is in front of
the yellow line in a fixed route bus or in front of the curb
side door well stanchion in a lift equipped van, the
consequence will be immediate termination of employment by
the Company.” (Docket No. 14-1 at 6). Under that
agreement, “an employee cannot challenge the discipline
imposed for an employee’s use of a personal electronic
device while on duty.” (Docket No. 14-1 at 6). Neither
the Union nor CMTM circulated this agreement to their
employees. (Docket No. 14 at 3–4).
April 3, 2017, Plaintiff returned to work after a medical
emergency at his home. (Docket No. 14 at 5). At 2:23 p.m., as
he was leaving the parking lot of WRTA in his van, he
received a call on his cell phone from Francesca Jandrow
(“Ms. Jandrow”), Transportation Coordinator for
CMTM. (Docket No. 14 at 6). Unsure if the call was related to
the previous emergency, Plaintiff answered. (Docket No. 14 at
5). Ms. Jandrow offered him a night-time position at the WRTA
Van Division. (Docket No. 14 at 5).
next day, Mr. Trabucco, Assistant General Manager for CMTM,
notified Plaintiff that CMTM was investigating
Plaintiff’s improper cell phone use while on duty.
(Docket No. 14 at 10). Mr. Trabucco spoke with Business Agent
Kenneth Kephart (“Mr. Kephart”) and scheduled a
disciplinary hearing for that day. (Docket No. 14 at 10). Mr.
Kephart attended the hearing on Plaintiff’s behalf
because Plaintiff allegedly refused to be present. (Docket
No. 14 at 10). However, Plaintiff claims that “there is
absolutely no truth to Mr. Trabuco’s account that
‘Plaintiff refused to attend or be present at a
hearing.’” (Docket No. 14 at 11).
the hearing, Mr. Kephart asked Plaintiff to report to the
company building. (Docket No. 14 at 1). Mr. Kephart met with
Plaintiff and told him, “you have two choices, either
to resign or be fired and lose everything.” (Docket No.
14 at 12). Mr. Kephart alluded to a video showing Plaintiff
using his phone while on duty, although he refused to let
Plaintiff view this video. (Docket No. 14 at 12).
then met with Mr. Trabucco at the office of Jo-Ann Clougherty
in Human Resources. (Docket No. 14 at 12). Mr. Trabucco
instructed Plaintiff to sign the Notice of Termination.
(Docket No. 14 at 12). Plaintiff signed the notice and was
terminated from his position. (Docket No. 14 at 12).
Plaintiff believes the word “resignation” was
added to the notice after he signed it. (Docket No. 14 at
his termination, Plaintiff filed claims with the National
Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”). Plaintiff
provided the Court with a response letter from the NLRB,
dated July 26, 2018, that references a March 9th, 2018,
letter from Plaintiff to the NLRB, “requesting, for a
second time, reconsideration of [the NLRB’s] decision
denying [Plaintiff’s] appeal in the captioned cases,
” i.e., two cases against CMTM and WRTA and one against
the Union (Docket No. 14-1 at 18).
evaluating a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, the court must
accept all factual allegations in the complaint as true and
draw all reasonable inferences in the plaintiff’s
favor. Langadinos v. American Airlines, Inc., 199
F.3d 68, 69 (1st Cir. 2000). To survive the motion, the
complaint must allege “a plausible entitlement to
relief.” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S.
544, 559 (2007). “[A] plaintiff’s obligation to
provide the ‘grounds’ of his ‘entitle[ment]
to relief’ requires more than labels and conclusions,
and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of
action will not do.” Id. at 555. “The
relevant inquiry focuses on the reasonableness of the
inference of liability that the plaintiff is asking the court
to draw from the facts alleged in the complaint.”
Ocasio-Hernandez v. Fortuno-Burset, 640 F.3d 1, 13
(1st Cir. 2011). “[W]here the well-pleaded facts do not
permit the court to infer more than the mere possibility of
misconduct, the complaint has alleged-but it has not
‘show[n]’-that the pleader is entitled to
relief.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 679
(2009) (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2)).
Plaintiff appears pro se, the Court construes his
pleadings more favorably than it would those drafted by an
attorney. See Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94
(2007). Nevertheless, Plaintiff must comply with procedural