United States District Court, D. New Hampshire
N. Dore, Esq., Michael J. Iacopino, Esq., H. Jonathan Meyer,
A. DiClerico, Jr., United States District Judge
Leclair brought suit against her former employer, Donovan
Spring Co., alleging state and federal claims of sexual
harassment and retaliation. Donovan Spring moves to dismiss
the claims as untimely and on the ground that Leclair fails
to allege retaliation. Leclair objects.
motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim, under Federal
Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), challenges the sufficiency
of the plaintiff's allegations to support of her claims.
A plaintiff will survive a motion to dismiss if her factual
allegations are sufficient to “state a claim to relief
that is plausible on its fact.” Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). In considering the
motion, the court accepts the plaintiff's factual
allegations as true and draws all reasonable inferences in
her favor. Lemelson v. Bloomberg L.P., 903 F.3d 19,
23 (1st Cir. 2018).
alleges that she was hired by Donovan Spring in 2007 to run
the parts counter. Her supervisor was Frank Mangan. Soon
after she started the job, an employee, named Ken Goodwin,
grabbed her breast. Leclair complained to Rod Hudoba, the
manager, and gave a written statement about the incident.
Goodwin was given a “write-up, ” but no other
action was taken.
employee, Jack Gilles, repeatedly called Leclair a
“whore”. Leclair complained about Gilles to
Mangan and said that she would press charges if the
harassment did not stop. Gilles then complained about Leclair
because she had reprimanded Gilles's son who was
supervised by Leclair. Donovan Spring's vice president,
John Chakmakas, met with Leclair, Gilles, and Gilles's
son about their complaints. He told them that if Leclair
filed a sexual harassment complaint she would be fired and if
Gilles complained to the Labor Board he would be fired.
Chakmakas's threat of firing kept Leclair from making any
further complaint about Gilles.
Goodwin, who apparently is not related to Ken Goodwin, was
the first floor supervisor. Leclair alleges that he made
sexually harassing comments to her. As an example, Leclair
alleges that he asked her to go to his camp with him when his
wife was away and made remarks about his sexual prowess. In
late October of 2014, Goodwin came up behind Leclair in the
warehouse and grabbed her bra strap through her shirt,
twisting it until it came undone. Leclair was upset and
crying and immediately complained to Mangan. An hour later,
Goodwin approached Leclair and tapped her buttocks.
stopped Leclair in the hallway and asked about the bra strap
incident. Their conversation was not conducted privately.
Other people walked by, and Hudoba joined the conversation in
the hallway. Chakmakas said that he would investigate, which
he predicted could take months.
Leclair was excluded from meetings about work matters.
Donovan Spring took no action to protect Leclair, and she was
required to have contact with Goodwin multiple times during
each work day. Leclair left her job with Donovan Spring on
January 9, 2015, because she was afraid of Goodwin and
Donovan Spring had done nothing to protect her. When she
called Chakmakas on April 15 to ask about the investigation,
he said she would receive a letter. She then received a
letter that said Donovan Spring had not found sufficient
evidence to support her complaints and that no action would
filed a complaint with the New Hampshire Human Rights
Commission (“Commission”) and the EEOC on April
16, 2015. The Commission issued its investigative report on
June 23, 2017, in which it found probable cause to support
her charges of sexual harassment and retaliation. She
received a right to sue letter on May 7, 2018.
provided under RSA chapter 354-A, Donovan Spring removed the
case from the Commission to Rockingham County Superior Court.
Leclair filed an amended complaint in state court, alleging
violations of RSA chapter 354-A, and filed this action in
federal court, alleging violations of Title VII, 42 U.S.C.
§ 2000e-2(a)(1) and § 2000e-3(a), along with the
same claims under RSA chapter 354-A. As a result, two
parallel cases are being litigated on the state law claims,
one in state court and one in federal court.
this court realized that the parties were litigating a
parallel case on the same state claims in state court, it
declined to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over the state
law claims in this case. The claims under RSA chapter 354-A,
Counts III and IV, therefore, have been dismissed for lack of
jurisdiction. The remaining claims in this case are the
claims under Title VII for discrimination due to harassment
and retaliation, Counts ...