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Nichols v. Jones Lang Lasalle Americas, Inc.

United States District Court, D. Nebraska

August 20, 2019

TINA L. NICHOLS, Plaintiff,
v.
JONES LANG LASALLE AMERICAS, INC. and FIRST DATA CORPORATION, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          ROBERT F. ROSSITER, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This matter is before the Court on defendant Jones Lang Lasalle Americas, Inc.'s (“JLL”) motion to dismiss (Filing No. 13) plaintiff Tina L. Nichols's (“Nichols”) Amended Complaint (Filing No. 8) pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). For the reasons stated below, JLL's motion is denied subject to reassertion.

         I.

         BACKGROUND [1]

         Defendant First Data Corporation (“First Data”) provides technology and service solutions to merchants and financial institutions, and JLL offers client services and staffing. As described by Nichols, First Data contracted with JLL for “facilities maintenance to provide property and administrative services.” JLL performed those services from the location of First Data's Corporate Solutions Business Unit.

         On March 23, 2016, JLL placed Nichols to work at First Data as an administrative secretary. Nichols's JLL supervisor, Matt Covey (“Covey”), initially gave Nichols positive reviews, deeming her “part of the fabric of the JLL/First Data family.”

         Nichols's husband, Rodney Nichols (“Rodney”), worked directly for First Data. On June 29, 2016, Rodney filed a charge of discrimination against First Data with the Omaha Human Rights and Relations Department (“OHRRD”). Nichols has not alleged the basis for Rodney's discrimination charge.

         First Data's Director of Operations, Mark Jellsey (“Jellsey”), was aware of Rodney's discrimination charge and told First Data's Director of Property, Scott Altic (“Altic”), about it. Altic, who worked in the same location as Nichols, informed Covey of the charge.

         Nichols's subsequent annual-performance review was less glowing than her previous reviews. Nichols says the only thing that changed in the interim was Rodney's discrimination charge. After Rodney's charge, management treated Nichols more abruptly and criticized her for trivial matters.

         On May 1, 2017, Nichols was fired without warning.[2] According to Nichols, First Data told Covey that “today will be Ms. Nichols' last day, ” and Covey informed Nichols that “our client said today will be your last day.”

         Nichols alleges “First Data instructed JLL to terminate Ms. Nichols' employment at First Data . . . based solely on the fact that her husband Rodney filed discrimination charges against First Data.”

         Nichols filed charges of discrimination against First Data and JLL with the Nebraska Equal Opportunity Commission (“NEOC”) and the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”). Nichols says the NEOC “issued its determinations on October 26, 2018, ” (though she does not say what its determinations were), and the EEOC issued her Notices of Right to Sue on December 18, 2018.[3] Nichols filed (Filing No. 1) this action on January 24, 2019, alleging retaliation in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”), 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-3(a), and the Nebraska Fair Employment Practice Act (“NFEPA”), Neb. Rev. Stat. § 48-1114.

         II. DISCUSSION

         A. ...


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