United States District Court, D. Rhode Island
J. McCONNLL JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Orr files this lawsuit against her former employer, The
Claflin Company ("Claflin"). Ms. Orr was hired by
Claflin in May 2010 as an Acute Care Account Manager. ECF No.
1 at 2, ¶6. Claflin terminated Ms. Orr's employment
in April 2019. Id. at ¶10.
brings six claims in her complaint: unlawful age
discrimination in violation of the Rhode Island Civil Rights
Act of 1990, R.I.G.L. §42-112-1, et seq. (Count
One); violation of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act
of 1986, 18 U.S.C. §2510, et seq. (Count Two);
violation of the Rhode Island Interception of Wire and Oral
Communications Act, R.I.G.L. §12-5.1-1, et seq.
(Count Three); violation of the Rhode Island Privacy Act,
R.I.G.L. §9-1-28.1, et seq. (Count Four);
intentional infliction of emotional distress (Count Five);
and negligent infliction of emotional distress (Count Six).
ECF No. 1 at 5-7, ¶¶ 35-40.
moves to dismiss Count One, Count Five, and Count Six. ECF
No. 6 at 2. Ms. Orr objects to the dismissal of Count One but
does not object to the dismissal of Count Five or Count Six.
ECF No. 8 at 1. Claflin's motion to dismiss Count Five
and Count Six will thus be GRANTED by the Court without
2010, Ms. Orr was hired at Claflin as an Acute Care Account
Manager. ECF No. 1 at 2, ¶6. Ms. Orr's performance
in this role was deemed satisfactory as she received
performance bonuses, positive customer reviews, and a raise
in October 2018. Id. at ¶7.
November 2018, Claflin hired two account representatives who
were in their early thirties. Id., at ¶9. As an
Acute Care Account Manager, Ms. Orr's position was senior
to the account representatives. See id.
April 2019, Claflin terminated Ms. Orr's employment.
Id. at ¶IO. Ms. Orr was fifty-seven years old
at the time. Id. at ¶5. In the termination
meeting, Ms. Orr's manager and Claflin's human
resources manager stated that she was being terminated
because (i) she seemed unhappy and (ii) her services would no
longer be needed due to the inevitable loss of Care New
England as a customer following its anticipated merger.
Id. at ¶ll. It is Ms. Orr's understanding
that Claflin did not lose Care New England as a customer as
the merger was never finalized. Id., at ¶12. In
the Termination Report that was included in Ms. Orr's
personnel file, the reason cited for her termination was a
reduction in force. Id. at ¶15.
Ms. Orr's termination, the account representatives who
were hired in November 2018 were promoted to account manager
positions and began to service Ms. Orr's former accounts.
Id. at ¶16.
survive a motion to dismiss under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6), a
plaintiff must allege "enough facts to state a claim to
relief that is plausible on its face." Bell Atl.
Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). And the
court must review the facts as true and in the light most
favorable to the plaintiff, drawing all reasonable
inferences. Gargano v. Liberty Int'l
Underwriters, 572 F.3d 45, 48 (1st Cir. 2009) (citing
Fitzgerald v. Harris, 549 F.3d 46, 52 (1st Cir.
2008)). That said, conclusory statements of the law are
"not entitled the assumption of truth."
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 679 (2009).
Finally, to grant the motion to dismiss, the pleadings must
"show no set of facts which could entitle plaintiff to
relief." Gooley v. Mobil Oil Corp., 851 F.2d
513, 514 (1st Cir. 1988) (citing Conley v. Gibson,
355 U.S. 41, 45-48 (1957)).
Ms. Orr does not allege any direct evidence of age
discrimination, the parties agree that Count One must be
analyzed pursuant to the analysis enunciated in McDonnell
Douglas Corp. v. Green, 411 U.S. 792, 802-05 (1973) and
similarly applied under Rhode Island law. See e.g., Casey
v. Town of Portsmouth, 861 A.2d 1032, 1036 (R.I. 2004).
Using the McDonnell Douglas analysis, the plaintiff
must first establish a prima facie showing of age
establish a prima facie showing of age
discrimination, Ms. Orr must show that (i) she was over the
age of forty, (ii) her work was sufficient to meet her
employer's legitimate expectations, (iii) her employer
took adverse action against her, and (iv) the employer sought
a replacement with roughly equivalent job qualifications,
thus revealing a continued need for ...