United States District Court, D. Connecticut
ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT
Jeffrey Alker Meyer, United States District Judge.
Jamilah Langston has filed this lawsuit pro se and
in forma pauperis under Title VII of the Civil
Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000e et
seq. She principally alleges that she was fired from her
job at a supermarket because of her race. The only facts
alleged by Langston to support her claim of race
discrimination are that the persons who took adverse actions
against her are a different race than her. I conclude that
these facts alone do not plausibly suggest discrimination.
Accordingly, I will dismiss the complaint.
complaint names the following three defendants: The Stop and
Shop Supermarket Company (“Stop and Shop”); the
United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 919
(“UFCW”); and the Connecticut Commission on Human
Rights and Opportunities (“CHRO”). The following
facts as alleged in the complaint are accepted as true only
for purposes of this ruling. Doc. #1.
identifies as African-American and Black. Doc. #1-1 at 1. She
worked as a cashier at Stop and Shop in several of its
locations beginning in May 2017. Id. at 2
(¶¶ 1-2, 5). In June 2018, Langston transferred to
a store location in Trumbull where she felt mistreated by her
manager, Laura Bedoya, who made her pick up all the mats and
fix all the coolers as well as made her use crumpled plastic
bags. Id. at 3 (¶ 6). Bedoya rejected
Langston's request for this extra work to be split among
all the cashiers. Ibid. (¶ 7). Bedoya's
supervisor and Langston's union steward took no action
when informed about the situation. Ibid. (¶ 8).
2018, Langston was suspended because customers complained
about how she spoke to Bedoya and because she said aloud that
she felt “treated like a slave.” Ibid.
(¶ 9). Later that month, Langston met with store manager
Michelle and her union representative Shane. Ibid.
(¶ 10). After Langston asked why it was her fault that a
white customer took offense to her comment, Shane pulled her
out of the office and told her to “let him do the
Langston returned to work, she was assigned to self-service
registers. Ibid. (¶ 11). But three or four
customers walked off without paying for merchandise while
Langston was helping other customers, and Langston was
concerned that this could be potential grounds for her
suspension. Ibid. She reported the walk-offs to
management but was concerned that she had been put in a
position where her performance could be called into question.
when she apparently returned to working as a cashier,
Langston had an altercation with a customer who kept placing
items in front of other items on the checkout conveyor belt
while she was trying to ring them up. Id. at 3-4
(¶ 12). When the customer became verbally abusive,
Langston covered her face with her hands and said, “I
am tired of these motherf***ers.” Ibid. She
alleges that her comment was referring to Stop and Shop and
its racism, rather than to the customer, but the customer
apparently complained to a manager. Ibid. After this
incident, a manager asked to meet with Langston and, when she
refused to meet without union representation, the manager
suspended her. Id. at 4 (¶ 13).
meeting in August 2018, a Stop and Shop representative told
Langston that she could not return to the Trumbull location.
Ibid. (¶¶ 14-15). Langston said she would
accept transfer to any of three locations, and her union
representative Jorge Cabrera told her to contact the
King's Highway location. Ibid. (¶ 15). A
manager at the King's Highway location contacted Langston
and told her that a human resources representative said
Langston had “open availability, ” which Langston
denied. Ibid. (¶¶ 15-16). The opportunity
seemed to fall through after this conversation.
September 2018, Langston told Cabrera about the
misinformation as to her availability, and though he said he
would look into it, there was no resolution. Ibid.
(¶ 17). Langston was notified about a week later that
she had been terminated the day before she spoke to Cabrera.
later filed complaints with the CHRO against Stop and Stop
and against UFCW. Id. at 1-12. The CHRO dismissed
both complaints without further investigation on the ground
that there was no reasonable probability that an
investigation of the complaints would result in a finding in
Langston's favor. As to Langston's complaint against
Stop and Shop, the CHRO noted that Langston was the subject
of several customer complaints that she had violated Stop and
Shop's policy of professional conduct, such that an
investigation would not likely conclude that race motivated
the adverse action against her. Id. at 15. As to
Langston's complaint against UFCW, the CHRO determined
that her underlying discrimination claim against Stop and
Shop was not likely to succeed, and that the union had
otherwise acted in her favor by previously filing a grievance
on Langston's behalf. Id. at 18.
throughout Langston's complaint papers she identifies the
persons involved by their race and color. While identifying
herself as “African American” and “Black,
” she identifies most of those who took adverse action
against her as “Caucasian” and “White,
” or “Latina” and “White, ” or
“Latina” and “Brown.” Id. at
alleges she was terminated by Stop and Shop because of her
race and that both UFCW and the CHRO aided and abetted the
discrimination by Stop and Shop. Id. at 4 (¶
18), 11 (¶ 17); Doc. #1 at 4. According to Langston,
UFCW did not properly represent her, and the CHRO did not
investigate her complaint against Stop and Shop. Docs. #1-1
at 11 (¶ 17); #1 at 2.
and Shop and the CHRO have now moved to dismiss the complaint
pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) for failure to state a
claim. Docs. #26, #30. Although UFCW has not moved to dismiss
the complaint, I have separately entered an order to show
cause to allow Langston to explain why the complaint should