Martin v. O’Fallon Modern Dentistry

Full title: SHAWN MARTIN, Plaintiff, v. O’FALLON MODERN DENTISTRY, et al., Defendants.

Court: UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT EASTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI EASTERN DIVISION

Date published: Jun 3, 2019

Facts

Plaintiff brings this action for employment discrimination against two defendants: his previous employer, O’Fallon Modern Dentistry, and its parent company, Pacific Dental Services. The plaintiff, who was born in 1972, alleges that the defendants discriminated against him based on his age during the period of December 2015 to April 6, 2018. According to the plaintiff’s complaint, the defendants’ discriminatory conduct included termination from employment, retaliation, and harassment. The plaintiff describes the circumstances as follows.

The plaintiff was terminated from his employment with O’Fallon Modern Dentistry on April 6, 2018, by regional manager Katie Orschlen, with Dr. David King present. The plaintiff “believe[s]”  that his termination was “under the direct direction of Simon Abrahms,” a regional partner at O’Fallon Dentistry. ECF No. 1 at 6. According to the plaintiff, Abrahms had previously complained about the plaintiff’s “lack of treatment primary crowns not done” and about the plaintiff’s dental assistants. The plaintiff alleges that Abrahms told him numerous times in front of other employees to fire the lead dental assistant because she was making too much money and she “wasn’t making the doctors produce more treatment.” Id. at 6-7. Abrahms also made statements about doctors of certain races and national origins not being “good fits” in certain office locations. Id. at 7.

In a mid-2017 closed-door meeting with Abrahms and former regional manager, Nick Dillard, plaintiff expressed to Abrahms “how hard [Abrahms] made it working at O’Fallon Modern Dentistry.” Id. Plaintiff also spoke with Dr. David King in early 2018 about his concerns. Dr. King had started at O’Fallon Modern Dentistry in June 2017 and he was an “owner doctor.” Id. Dr. King informed plaintiff that he told Abrahms and Orschlen that plaintiff “was the right person for the job” and that plaintiff “could lead the office into the future.” Id.

Plaintiff alleges that he was told by Dillard that his termination was at the direction of Abrahms. Id. at 5. Approximately two months prior to plaintiff’s termination, Dillard had a meeting with Abrahms in which the two decided that Dillard should give his two weeks’ notice of resignation. Plaintiff alleges that Dillard informed him that during this meeting, Abrahms told him that he did not like plaintiff and that plaintiff needed to find another job. Abrahms said that the new regional manager “would be a ‘Yes’ manager and would follow Simon [Abrahms’] direction.” Id. at 6. Orschlen started as the new regional manager on March 8, 2018. Plaintiff states that he worked under her supervision for twenty-one business days – five of which he took as vacation days – before Orschlen terminated his employment. 

Plaintiff asserts that he filed a charge of discrimination with the EEOC in October 2018, however, the charge of discrimination documents attached to the complaint indicate that plaintiff signed them on November 30, 2018. See ECF Nos. 1 at 3, 1-1 at 3, 5. On those documents, plaintiff specified the time period for the alleged discrimination as being between “04-06-2018” and “04-06-2018.” ECF No. 1-1 at 3. In the particulars of the charge, plaintiff explains that he was hired by defendants as an office manager around October 8, 2015, and then terminated by Orschlen and Dr. King on April 6, 2018. He was told at the time of termination that “his services were no longer required.” Id. Plaintiff alleges that, prior to his termination, regional partner Abrahms had been overheard “discussing about employees who make to[o] much [money], and [that] those employees should be fired.” Id. Plaintiff believes that at the time of his termination, he was the oldest and highest paid office manager within the regional area supervised by Abrahms. Based on this belief, plaintiff alleges that he was discharged because of his age.

On December 4, 2018, plaintiff received a right-to-sue letter from the EEOC, which he also attached to the complaint. ECF No. 1-1 at 1-2. Plaintiff filed this suit on March 1, 2019, seeking an unspecified amount of monetary relief.

Issue

Decision

IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiff’s motion to proceed in forma pauperis [ECF No. 2] is GRANTED. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a), the filing fee is waived.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that this case is DISMISSED, without prejudice.

IT IS HEREBY CERTIFIED that an appeal from this dismissal would not be taken in good faith.

A separate Order of Dismissal will accompany this Memorandum and Order.

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