Wynn v. Fla. Auto. Servs., LLC, Case No. 3:12-cv-133-J-32MCR

CourtUnited States District Courts. 11th Circuit. United States District Court of Middle District of Florida
Writing for the CourtTIMOTHT J. CORRIGAN
PartiesJENNY WYNN, Plaintiff, v. FLORIDA AUTOMOTIVE SERVICES, LLC, et al., Defendants.
Docket NumberCase No. 3:12-cv-133-J-32MCR
Decision Date10 October 2012

JENNY WYNN, Plaintiff,

Case No. 3:12-cv-133-J-32MCR


Dated: October 10, 2012


Plaintiff Jenny Wynn filed this case against Defendants Florida Automotive Services, LLC, CN Motors, Ltd. d/b/a Coggin Nissan, and Avenues Motors, Ltd. d/b/a Coggin Nissan at the Avenues, claiming pregnancy and sex discrimination in violation of the Florida Civil Rights Act ("FCRA") and Title VII. (Doc. 22.) This case is before the Court on Defendants' Motion to Dismiss Count I of the Second Amended Complaint. (Doc. 23.) The Court considers Defendants' motion, Wynn's response and exhibits, and Wynn's notice of supplemental authority. (Docs. 23, 24, 25.)

I. Standard of Review

When considering a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the Court must accept all factual allegations in the complaint as true and construe them in the light most favorable to the plaintiff. Castro v. Sec'y of Homeland Sec., 472 F.3d 1334, 1336 (11th Cir. 2006); Hill v. White, 321 F.3d 1334, 1335 (11th Cir. 2003). The Court should dismiss a claim where a party fails to plead facts that make the claim facially plausible.

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Sinaltrainal v. Coca-Cola Co., 578 F.3d 1252, 1260 (11th Cir. 2009) (citing Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. 1937, 1950 (2009)). A claim is facially plausible where the Court can draw a reasonable inference based on the facts pled that the opposing party is liable for the alleged misconduct. Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. at 1949 (citing Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 556 (2007)). This "plausibility standard" requires "more than a sheer possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully," and where the complaint only alleges facts "merely consistent with" liability, it "stops short of the line between possibility and plausibility of entitlement to relief." Id. (internal quotation omitted).

II. Discussion

Defendants move to dismiss Count I of the Second Amended Complaint "on the basis that the [FCRA] does not prohibit discrimination based upon pregnancy[,]" relying upon O'Loughlin v. Pinback, 579 So. 2d 788 (Fla. 1st DCA 1991), Fernandez v. Copperleaf Golf Club Community Association, Inc., No. 2:05-CV-286-FTM29SPC, 2005 WL 2277591 (M.D. Fla. Sept. 19, 2005), and DuChateau v. Camp Dresser & McKee, Inc., 822 F. Supp. 2d 1325 (S.D. Fla. 2011). (Doc. 23 at 5.) Wynn counters that the cases Defendants rely on are "objectively incorrect" and that "pregnancy discrimination is indeed prohibited by the [FCRA]," citing Carsillo v. City of Lake Worth, 995 So. 2d 1118 (Fla. 4th DCA 2008) and a slew of federal district court cases. (See Doc. 24 at 1, 5-10.) Additionally, Wynn filed a notice of supplemental authority alerting the Court to the recent decision of the Third District Court of Appeal in Delva v. The Continental Group, Inc., No. 11-2964, 2012 Fla. App. LEXIS 11966 (Fla. 3d DCA July 25, 2012), which held that the FCRA does not prohibit employment discrimination on the basis of pregnancy and certified conflict with Carsillo. (Doc. 25.)

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However, Wynn criticizes the Delva opinion and maintains her position that the FCRA prohibits pregnancy discrimination. (See id. at 2-3.)

In O'Loughlin, the First District Court of Appeal affirmed the decision of the Florida Commission on Human Relations finding pregnancy discrimination under the Florida Human Rights Act of 1977 (now the FCRA) and remanded for a back pay award calculation. 579 So. 2d at 796. In doing so, the court found that the FHRA was preempted by Title VII, to the extent that the state law afforded less protection than federal law. Id. at 792. This finding by the court in O'Loughlin has resulted in much conflict in both the Florida and federal courts1 in determining whether the FCRA prohibits...

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