United States District Court, D. Nevada
LEEANN E. ARCHULETA; and MICHAEL B. DICKENS, Plaintiffs,
CORRECTIONS CORPORATION OF AMERICA, a Maryland corporation, doing business as NEVADA SOUTHERN DETENTION CENTER, Defendant.
MIRANDA M. DU, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
LeeAnn Archuleta and Michael Dickens
(“Plaintiffs”) claim they were involuntarily
terminated in violation of federal and state law. Defendant
Corrections Corporation of America (“Defendant”
or “CCA”) filed a Second Motion to Dismiss
(“Motion”) (ECF No. 36) pursuant to Federal Rule
of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) after Plaintiffs submitted their
First Amended Complaint (“FAC”) (ECF No. 33). The
Court has reviewed the Motion, Plaintiffs' response (ECF
No. 37) and Defendant's reply (ECF No. 40). For the
reasons discussed below, Defendant's Motion is granted
and Plaintiffs' FAC is dismissed with prejudice.
6, 2016, Plaintiffs Archuleta and Dickens filed their FAC
against CCA after Defendant's first motion to dismiss was
granted with leave for Plaintiffs to amend. (ECF Nos. 30,
31.) In the FAC, Archuleta alleges unlawful retaliation
claims under Title VII and for filing a worker's
compensation claim. (ECF No. 33 at 9-11, 13-15.) Dickens
alleges an unlawful retaliation claim under Title VII, an
unlawful racial discrimination claim under Title VII, and a
claim for violation of NRS § 603.010(1). (Id.
at 11-13, 15-18.) Both Plaintiffs allege that Defendant
negligently hired, trained, and supervised their employees.
(Id. at 18-19.) Plaintiffs claim that they exhausted
their administrative remedies under the Equal Employment
Opportunity Act before seeking judicial review.
following facts are taken from the FAC. Plaintiffs were
employed at Nevada Southern Detention Center
(“NSDC”), a CCA prison. Archuleta asserts that
CCA involuntarily terminated her employment on June 4, 2014,
after roughly ten years of employment. (Id. at 4.)
She was employed in the position of Chief of Unit Management
at the time of her termination. Dickens asserts that CCA
involuntarily terminated his employment on or about June 4,
2014, after roughly twelve years of employment. At the time
of his termination, he was employed as Assistant Warden.
claims that she suffered a significant injury on August 27,
2013, while working at NSDC and was taken via ambulance to a
hospital where she was treated for a concussion and injuries
to her neck and back. Archuleta then acquired worker's
compensation benefits under the Nevada Industrial Insurance
Act (“NIIS”), NRS chapters 616A-616D.
(Id. at 5.) Around that same time, allegations
emerged that Archuleta had been sexually harassed
by Chief Corrections Officer and Executive President Harley
G. Lappin during a site visit he had made to NSDC. On
September 3, 2013, Archuleta was interviewed by an
investigator about the incident; Archuleta informed the
investigator that Mr. Lappin had grabbed her hand while
touring the facility, ostensibly so that Mr. Lappin could
look at a ring on her finger. Based on a video recording of
this incident, Warden Charlotte Collins (“Warden
Collins” or “Collins”) allegedly falsely
accused Archuleta of having an improper relationship with Mr.
on September 9, 2013, Archuleta received a written
disciplinary action, her first while employed by Defendant,
based on allegedly false and spurious allegations that she
had failed to report inmate misconduct at NSDC. (Id.
at 6.) On September 16, 2013, Archuleta filed a complaint
with human resources alleging that the written disciplinary
action was inappropriate and unfounded. No action resulted
from her complaint. On March 31, 2014, CCA placed Archuleta
on administrative leave, but she was not provided with a
reason for the leave. While on administrative leave, an
investigator interviewed Archuleta about an incident
involving the release of a detainee from segregation. The
interview occurred in the public lobby of a hotel, and the
interviewer's son was present during the interview and
participated in the interrogation. Archuleta told the
interviewer that the detainee was not released as scheduled
because a particular sergeant - possibly Sergeant
Harland - convinced Warden Collins to reverse her
prior decision to release the detainee. The interviewer then
asked Archuleta if she believed there was racism at the
facility due to the race of Warden Collins - who is black -
to which Archuleta replied no. Archuleta also told the
interviewer that she had heard rumors that Warden Collins was
involved in an inappropriate relationship with an employee
and that Collins had told Archuleta that she was upset no
disciplinary action had been taken against the person
disseminating the rumors.
detainee incident resulted in the termination of Archuleta on
the basis that she had ordered subordinate officers to
identify themselves as refusing to move a detainee out of
segregation. (Id. at 7.) Dickens wanted to take
disciplinary action against the sergeant involved in the
incident but was told by Warden Collins not to do so. She
allegedly told Dickens that he was “playing with
fire” in trying to hold the particular sergeant
responsible. (Id. at 8.) Collins then ordered
Dickens to write up Archuleta and the investigator who had
asked Archuleta about the touching incident for failure to
report sexual harassment. However, Collins ultimately charged
only Archuleta with an offense. Dickens told Collins he
disagreed with the disparate treatment between Archuleta and
the investigator. On April 6, 2014, Dickens participated in
an investigation into the separate incident regarding failure
to move a detainee out of segregation and affirmed
Archuleta's credibility. Dickens was then terminated on
June 4, 2014.
may dismiss a plaintiff's complaint for “failure to
state a claim upon which relief can be granted.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). A properly pled complaint must provide
“a short and plain statement of the claim showing that
the pleader is entitled to relief.” Fed R. Civ. P.
8(a)(2); Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S.
544, 555 (2007). While Rule 8 does not require detailed
factual allegations it demands more than “labels and
conclusions” or a “formulaic recitation of the
elements of a cause of action.” Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (citing
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). “Factual
allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above
the speculative level.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at
545. Thus, to survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must
contain sufficient factual matter to “state a claim to
relief that is plausible on its face.” Iqbal,
556 U.S. at 678 (internal citation omitted).
Iqbal, the Supreme Court clarified the two-step
approach district courts are to apply when considering
motions to dismiss. First, a district court must accept as
true all well-pleaded factual allegations in the complaint;
however, legal conclusions are not entitled to an assumption
of truth. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679. Mere recitals of
the elements of a cause of action supported only by
conclusory statements do not suffice. Id. at 678.
Second a district court must consider whether the factual
allegations in the complaint allege a plausible claim for
relief. Id. at 679. A claim is facially plausible
when the plaintiff's complaint alleges facts that allow a
court to draw a reasonable inference that the defendant is
liable for the alleged misconduct. Id. at 678. Where
the complaint does not permit the court to infer more than
the mere possibility of misconduct, the complaint “has
alleged - but not show[n] - that the pleader is entitled to
relief.” Id. at 679 (internal quotation marks
omitted). When the claims in a complaint have not crossed the
line from conceivable to plausible, the complaint must be
dismissed. Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570.
complaint must contain either direct or inferential
allegations concerning “all the material elements
necessary to sustain recovery under some viable legal
theory.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 562 (quoting
Car Carriers, Inc. v. Ford Motor Co., 745 F.2d 1101,
1106 (7th Cir. 1989) (emphasis in original)).