United States District Court, D. Colorado
RONALD OLDHAM, THOMAS ANDERSON, EDWARD FISHER, JR., RICARDO PEÑA, JON RAMIREZ STEPHEN GENT, and BRIAN ROLING, on behalf of themselves and others similarly situated, Plaintiffs,
MEGAN J. BRENNAN, Postmaster General, U.S. Postal Service, Defendant.
ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO DISMISS
William J. Martinez United States District Judge.
putative class action, Plaintiff Ronald Oldham
(“Oldham”) and other named Plaintiffs (together,
“Plaintiffs”), employees of the U.S. Postal
Service, bring claims of workplace age discrimination in
violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, 29
U.S.C. §§ 621 et seq.,
(“ADEA”), along with a related state law claim
for breach of contract. (See generally,
Plaintiff's First Amended Class Action Complaint
(“Complaint”) (ECF No. 33).)
before the Court is the Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's
Amended Complaint pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(1) &
(b)(6), filed by Defendant (the Postmaster General). (ECF No.
34.) For the reasons set forth below, this motion is granted.
Rule 12(b)(1) - Lack of Jurisdiction
12(b)(1) motions to dismiss for lack of subject matter
jurisdiction generally take one of two forms. A facial attack
questions the sufficiency of the complaint as to its subject
matter jurisdiction allegations. Holt v. United
States, 46 F.3d 1000, 1002 (10th Cir. 1995). In
reviewing a facial attack, courts accept all well-pled
allegations as true. Id.
factual attack, on the other hand, goes beyond the
allegations in the complaint and challenges the facts on
which subject matter jurisdiction is based. Id. at
1003. A factual attack does not permit the court to presume
the complaint's factual allegations are true, although
the court does have “wide discretion to allow
affidavits, other documents, and a limited evidentiary
hearing to resolve disputed jurisdictional facts under Rule
12(b)(1).” Id. In such circumstances, the
court's reference to evidence beyond the pleadings will
not convert the motion to one under Rules 56 or 12(b)(6),
unless the jurisdictional question is intertwined with the
merits of the case. Id. “The jurisdictional
question is intertwined with the merits of the case if
subject matter jurisdiction is dependent on the same statute
which provides the substantive claim in the case.”
analyzed below, the Court understands Defendant's
challenge to jurisdiction in this case-particularly as to
administrative exhaustion of Plaintiffs' proposed class
claims-to be in the nature of a factual attack.
Rule 12(b)(6) - Failure to State a Claim
Rule 12(b)(6), a party may move to dismiss a claim in a
complaint for “failure to state a claim upon which
relief can be granted.” The Rule 12(b)(6) standard
requires the Court to “assume the truth of the
plaintiff's well-pleaded factual allegations and view
them in the light most favorable to the plaintiff.”
Ridge at Red Hawk, LLC v. Schneider, 493 F.3d 1174,
1177 (10th Cir. 2007).
ruling on such a motion, the dispositive inquiry is
“whether the complaint contains ‘enough facts to
state a claim to relief that is plausible on its
face.'” Id. (quoting Bell Atl. Corp.
v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). “Thus,
‘a well-pleaded complaint may proceed even if it
strikes a savvy judge that actual proof of those facts is
improbable, and that a recovery is very remote and
unlikely.'” Id. (quoting Twombly,
550 U.S. at 556).
following factual allegations are gathered from
Plaintiff's Complaint' (ECF No. 33), and, as cited,
from additional background documents filed by the parties,
which either establish the facts relevant to the Court's
determination of jurisdiction, and/or are documents that are
referenced in Plaintiffs' Complaint and central to their
General Factual Background
are past and present employees of the U.S. Postal Service.
(Id. ¶ 6.) Defendant, the Postmaster General,
is the head of the U.S. Postal Service and Plaintiffs'
employer within the meaning of the ADEA. (Id. ¶
7.) Plaintiffs are all over 40 years old (id.), and
have been employees of the Postal Service since at least
March 2012 (id. ¶ 20). More specifically,
Plaintiffs are drivers for the Postal Vehicle Service
(“PVS”). (Id. ¶¶ 3, 5; ECF No.
34 at 2, ¶ 1.)
and other PVS drivers are subject to a Collective Bargaining
Agreement (the “CBA”) between the Postal Service
and the American Postal Workers Union, AFL-CIO
(“APWU”). (See ECF No. 33 ¶¶
23, 35; ECF No. 34 at 2, ¶ 2; ECF No.
34-1.)The CBA recognizes Postal Support Employees
(“PSEs”), a classification of non-career
employees. (ECF No. 33 ¶ 16; ECF No. 34 at 2, ¶ 2;
ECF No. 34-1 at 7.)
age discrimination allegations relate to their own treatment
relative to that of PSEs under the age of 40. (ECF No. 33
¶ 16.) Plaintiffs and similarly-situated employees were
hired before these younger PSEs. (Id. ¶ 17.)
Plaintiffs allege that these PSEs have the same job duties or
descriptions as the Plaintiffs, but receive a higher rate of
pay than the Plaintiffs and others over age 40. (Id.
¶ 16.) Put another way, Plaintiffs allege they have the
same qualifications, job duties, and job titles as the
younger and more recently hired PSEs, but historically have
been and/or continue to be paid less than the younger PSEs.
(Id. ¶¶ 17-18, 31.)
allege that Defendants “have a policy or practice of
giving higher starting salaries to younger PSEs or temporary
laborers which causes older employees to be discriminated
against.” (Id. ¶ 22.) They further allege
that Defendant has “failed to pay Plaintiffs the same
wages as younger, newly, or recently hired postal employees,
” despite requests by Plaintiffs and the APWU
(id. ¶ 23); and, that Defendant has paid back
wages due to employees under 40 when requested ...