United States District Court, E.D. Arkansas, Western Division
OPINION AND ORDER
LEON HOLMES, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Terry brings this action against her employer, G4S Secure
Solutions (USA), Inc., and supervisors Tracy Parker, Steve
Willis, and David Fillmore, alleging sex discrimination and
retaliation in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act
of 1964. Document #2 at 2. Terry is a private security
officer. The defendants have filed a motion to dismiss
pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). The
defendants correctly argue, as will be explained, that the
complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief may be
granted. Terry's claims against the individual defendants
will be dismissed, but she will be given an opportunity to
amend her complaint against G4S Secure Solutions.
complaint includes the following facts. Document #2 at 4-5.
Terry's supervisor, Tracy Parker, publicly accused her of
stealing. Terry complained about the false
accusation to upper management and human resources. Then,
Parker began harassing Terry. Parker criticized her work and
threatened to write her up, even though she performed her
duties satisfactorily and maintained a perfect attendance
record. Terry reported the harassment to upper management
more than ten times. G4S Secure Solutions did nothing to stop
the harassment. Terry was forced to consult an attorney, who
wrote a letter to G4S Secure Solutions on December 20, 2017.
Document #2 at 6-7. After receiving the letter, G4S Secure
Solutions placed Terry on administrative leave pending an
investigation. Upon completion of the investigation, Terry
was told that Parker confused her with another employee and
that she would be compensated for the two days she missed
while on administrative leave, but that she could not return
to her post. Instead, G4S Secure Solutions offered Terry
another position: special events. Terry says that special
events does not provide a stable income because events take
place only two or three times a month.
complaint must contain “a short and plain statement of
the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to
relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). While Rule 8(a)(2) does
not require a complaint to contain detailed factual
allegations, it does require a plaintiff to state the grounds
of his entitlement to relief, which requires more than labels
and conclusions. Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550
U.S. 544, 555, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 1964-65, 167 L.Ed.2d 929
(2007). In ruling on a motion to dismiss, the
Court must accept as true all factual allegations in the
complaint and review the complaint to determine whether its
allegations show that the pleader is entitled to relief.
Gorog v. Best Buy Co., Inc., 760 F.3d 787, 792 (8th
Cir. 2014). All reasonable inferences from the complaint must
be drawn in favor of the nonmoving party. Id. The
Court need not, however, accept as true legal conclusions,
even those stated as though they are factual allegations.
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678, 129 S.Ct.
1937, 1949-50, 173 L.Ed.2d 868 (2009). A pro se
complaint must be liberally construed, however inartfully
pleaded, and held to less stringent standards than pleadings
drafted by lawyers. Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89,
94, 127 S.Ct. 2197, 2200, 167 L.Ed.2d 1081 (2007);
Jackson v. Nixon, 747 F.3d 537, 541 (8th Cir. 2014).
the pro se complaint liberally, Terry alleges two claims
under Title VII: The defendants discriminated against Terry
based on her sex and retaliated after she complained of
harassment. Neither of these claims are cognizable against
the individual defendants-Tracy Parker, Steve Willis, and
David Fillmore. Employees cannot be held personally liable
under Title VII; only employers are liable for violations of
Title VII. See Schoffstall v. Henderson, 223 F.3d
818, 821, n.2 (8th Cir. 2000) (citing Spencer v. Ripley
Cnty. State Bank, 123 F.3d 690 (8th Cir. 1997));
Lenhardt v. Basic Inst. of Tech., Inc., 55 F.3d 377,
380-81 (8th Cir. 1995) (collecting cases); Smith v. St.
Bernards Reg'l Med. Ctr., 19 F.3d 1254, 1255 (8th
Title VII, an employer may not discriminate against an
employee with respect to her compensation, or the terms,
conditions, or privileges of her employment because of the
employee's sex. 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-2(a)(1). The
elements of a claim of sex discrimination are: (1) plaintiff
was a member of a protected class; (2) she was qualified for
her job; (3) she suffered an adverse employment action; and
(4) there are facts that give rise to an inference of
unlawful sex discrimination. Wells v. SCI Mgmt.,
L.P., 469 F.3d 697, 700 (8th Cir. 2006). Terry has
failed to allege facts that give rise to an inference of
unlawful sex discrimination. She alleges that G4S Secure
Solutions terminated her position. Document #2 at 2. She
checked the box indicating G4S Secure Solutions did so
because of her sex. Id. But in the narrative of
factual allegations, Terry says that G4S Secure Solutions
terminated her position because she complained about
Parker's false accusations and subsequent harassment.
See id. at 4. Nowhere does Terry allege that Parker
or any other defendant discriminated against her because she
is a woman. The complaint fails to state a claim for sex
VII also prohibits an employer from retaliating against an
employee for opposing the employment practices outlawed in
its provisions. 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-3(a). The elements of
a claim of retaliation are: (1) plaintiff engaged in
statutorily-protected conduct; (2) she suffered an adverse
employment action; and (3) a causal connection exists between
the two. Wells, 469 F.3d at 702. Complaining
explicitly about discriminatory treatment is
statutorily-protected conduct. See Green v. Franklin Nat.
Bank of Minneapolis, 459 F.3d 903, 914-15 (8th Cir.
2006). Complaining about a fellow employee but failing to
mention that the undesirable behavior was based on the
plaintiff's membership of a protected class it not
statutorily-protected conduct. See Helton v. Southland
Racing Corp., 600 F.3d 954, 960-61 (8th Cir. 2010)
(finding that because employee did not mention race during
phone call in which she complained about a fellow employee,
the call was not a statutorily protected activity). Terry
says that she complained to various G4S Secure Solutions
supervisors about Parker's false accusation and
subsequent harassment, but as discussed, Terry does not
allege that she was treated differently because she is a
woman or that she complained to supervisors that she was
being treated differently because she is a woman. Absent any
allegations of statutorily-protected conduct, the complaint
fails to state a claim for retaliation.
also mentions a hostile work environment, baldly alleging
that “[t]he harassment continued which made my work
environment hostile.” Document #2 at 4. Even if her
complaint could be construed to allege a hostile work
environment claim, there are not enough facts alleged to
support it. She does not allege the type of severe or
pervasive harassment that would create a hostile work
environment, nor does she allege that the harassment was
based on her membership in a protected group. See Vajdi
v. Mesabi Acad. of KidsPeace, Inc., 484 F.3d 546, 549-50
(8th Cir. 2007). The complaint does not state a claim for
hostile work environment in violation of Title VII.
foregoing reasons, the motion to dismiss is GRANTED IN PART.
Document #14. Angela Terry's claims against Tracy Parker,
Steve Willis, and David Fillmore are dismissed with
prejudice. Terry's complaint also fails to state a claim
upon which relief may be granted against G4S Secure
Solutions, but she will be given an opportunity to file an
amended complaint against G4S Secure Solutions. If she wishes
to file an amended complaint against G4S Secure Solutions,
she must do so within twenty-one days from the entry of this
Opinion and Order. The amended complaint must allege facts
sufficient to show that G4S Secure Solutions discriminated
against her because of her sex, that G4S Secure Solutions
retaliated against her for complaining about discrimination
protected by the Equal Opportunity laws, or both. Failure to
comply with this order will result in dismissal of all of her
claims against G4S Secure Solutions.
 Parker is a male.