United States District Court, D. Nebraska
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Richard G. Kopf Senior United States District Judge
matter is before the court on initial review of
Plaintiff's Complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e). The court will allow this action to proceed to
service of process.
APPLICABLE STANDARDS ON INITIAL REVIEW
court is required to review in forma pauperis complaints to
determine whether summary dismissal is appropriate.
See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e). The court must dismiss
a complaint or any portion of it that states a frivolous or
malicious claim, that fails to state a claim upon which
relief may be granted, or that seeks monetary relief from a
defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. §
plaintiffs must set forth enough factual allegations to
“nudge their claims across the line from conceivable
to plausible, ” or “their complaint must be
dismissed.” Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly,
550 U.S. 544, 569-70 (2007); see also Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (“A claim has
facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content
that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that
the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged”).
essential function of a complaint under the Federal Rules of
Civil Procedure is to give the opposing party ‘fair
notice of the nature and basis or grounds for a claim, and a
general indication of the type of litigation
involved.'” Topchian v. JPMorgan Chase Bank,
N.A., 760 F.3d 843, 848 (8th Cir. 2014) (quoting
Hopkins v. Saunders, 199 F.3d 968, 973 (8th Cir.
1999)). However, “[a] pro se complaint must be
liberally construed, and pro se litigants are held to a
lesser pleading standard than other parties.”
Topchian, 760 F.3d at 849 (internal quotation marks
and citations omitted).
SUMMARY OF COMPLAINT
construed, Plaintiff maintains that Defendants are labor
unions, and that at all times relevant to this action,
Plaintiff was a dues-paying member. (Filing No. 1.)
Plaintiff alleges that while he was employed by Bridgeport
Public Schools, he informed Defendants that he was suffering
from a hostile work environment. Plaintiff claims that
Defendants did not act to remedy the situation, and
ultimately declined to represent him in a hostile work
environment claim against Bridgeport Public Schools.
alleges that he filed a charge of discrimination against
Defendants with the EEOC and NEOC on August 11, 2014.
Thereafter, on August 28, 2014, Defendants held a members
meeting, of which Plaintiff was not notified. At the meeting,
union members purportedly discussed Plaintiff's
discrimination claim and made disparaging comments about him.
alleges he was suspended from his employment with Bridgeport
Public Schools on September 4, 2014, and that his employment
contract was terminated shortly thereafter. Following his
termination, Plaintiff filed another charge of discrimination
with the EEOC and NEOC against Defendants, asserting he was
retaliated against for filing a charge of discrimination. He
received a right-to-sue notice on May 31, 2016. Plaintiff
filed this action on August 19, 2016, within 90 days of
receiving the right-to-sue notice.
construed, Plaintiff claims he was retaliated against for
filing a charge of discrimination with the EEOC and NEOC.
Under Title VII, it is unlawful for “a labor
organization to discriminate against any member thereof . . .
because he has made a charge, testified, assisted, or
participated in any manner in an investigation, proceeding,
or hearing under this subchapter.” 42 U.S.C. §
2000e-3. In order to establish a prima facie case of
retaliation, Plaintiff must show that (1) he filed a charge
of unlawful discrimination, (2) Defendants took adverse
action against him, and (3) that the adverse action was
linked to the filing of the charge of discrimination.
Martin v. Local 1513, 859 F.2d 581, 585
alleges that shortly after he filed a charge of
discrimination, Defendants conspired with Bridgeport Public
Schools and held a members-only meeting from which he was
purposefully excluded. At that meeting, Defendants'
members discussed Plaintiff's discrimination claim and
made disparaging comments about him. Shortly following the