Jacobs v. Biando, 112414 FED11, 13-13405

Docket Nº:13-13405
Opinion Judge:PER CURIAM:
Party Name:ERIKA JACOBS, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. TRICIA BIANDO, LIBERTY TAX, KRISTY FREITAS, et al. Defendants-Appellees.
Judge Panel:Before TJOFLAT, HULL and WILSON, Circuit Judges.
Case Date:November 24, 2014
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit

ERIKA JACOBS, Plaintiff-Appellant,



No. 13-13405

United States Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit

November 24, 2014


Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia D.C. Docket No. 1:12-cv-04437-WSD

Before TJOFLAT, HULL and WILSON, Circuit Judges.


Erika Jacobs, proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis, appeals the district court's dismissal of her pro se amended complaint against her former employer, Tricia Biando, owner of the fanchise Liberty Tax. Jacob's pro se amended complaint alleged, inter alia, racially discriminatory discharge and racially hostile work environment, pursuant to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-2(a)(1), as well as various state law claims.1 The district court dismissed Jacob's amended complaint sua sponte and without prejudice for failure to state a claim, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii). After review, we affirm.


According to her amended complaint, during the 2011 and 2012 tax seasons, Plaintiff Jacobs, who is African American, worked as a tax preparer at one of Biando's Liberty Tax offices. During this time, Jacob's supervisor was Defendant Kristy Freitas, and one of her coworkers was Defendant Snowden.2 Biando, Freitas and Snowden are white.3

According to the amended complaint, Freitas engaged in various conduct to undermine Plaintiff Jacobs at work, including: (1) intentionally withholding from Jacobs information Freitas told "all other employee's [sic], " such as new procedures for processing state tax returns or cell phone usage; (2) instructing Jacobs to give customer discounts, but then later claiming Jacobs gave too many customer discounts; (3) falsely claiming that Jacobs had violated work policies, such as attendance, and had demanded more work hours and a promotion; and (4) treating other employees "with favoritism: they were trusted more, were well informed of all changes, and were received in a more pleasant manner" by Freitas and Biando.4 Freitas was '[h]ostile to questions [Jacobs] ask[ed], " and interpreted Jacobs's "feeling in a negative way." Additionally, Freitas's "tone toward [Jacobs] before customers [was] demeaning on a couple of occasions."

In addition to these general allegations of mistreatment, Jacobs's amended alleged two incidents of "Racism." First, in the 2011 tax season, Jacobs had an "altercation" with Snowden when "Snowden went against policy for tax preparers and they're [sic] customers." During the altercation, Snowden "stated he was better than [Jacobs], attempted to fire [Jacobs] without authority and [made] a physical demonstration of racial dislike." Jacobs does not say what Snowden did physically. Although Jacobs had never had problems with Snowden before, Defendant Biando "used that one incident and fictionalized all [Jacobs's] past interactions with Snowden."

Second, during a ten-week training course and the 2012 tax season, Freitas "made racial comments/inference." Specifically, Freitas made comments "about how African American females should get along, [Jacobs's] character, and etc."

In early February 2012, things came to a head when Freitas falsely accused Jacobs of mishandling two customers—when in fact it was Freitas who was to blame—and then decreased the number of hours Jacobs was scheduled to work, claiming that "peak season" was over—when in fact peak season did not end for another week. When Jacobs discovered on February 22, 2012 that Freitas had again...

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