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Ordahl v. Toro

United States District Court, D. Minnesota

July 28, 2015

Dennis Ordahl, Plaintiff,
Toro, Defendant.

Dennis Ordahl, 908 West 80-1/2 Street, Bloomington, MN 55420, pro se.

Douglas R. Christensen, Esq., Emily A. McNee, Esq. and Littler Mendelson, PC, 80 South 8th Street, Suite 1300, Minneapolis, MN 55402, counsel for defendant.


DAVID S. DOTY, District Judge.

This matter is before the court upon the motion for judgment on the pleadings by defendant The Toro Company. Based on a review of the file, record, and proceedings herein, and for the following reasons, the court grants the motion.


This employment dispute arises out of pro se plaintiff Dennis Ordahl's eventual termination from Toro on March 12, 2013. Ordahl began working as a machinist for Toro on August 4, 2004. Ordahl requested an accommodation in the form of a ten-minute walking break every two hours. Toro granted the request. In June 2007, Ordahl became a tool and die maker for the company. On April 20, 2010, Toro informed Ordahl that his position as a tool and die maker was being eliminated for economic reasons. Toro then moved Ordahl back to a machinist position for the same pay he received as a tool and die maker. Ordahl seems to allege that the tool and die position required only minimal accommodation, but that the machinist position required more extensive accommodation.[1] Am. Compl. ΒΆ 14.

On May 27, 2011, Ordahl filed a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which he cross-filed with the Minnesota Department of Human Rights (MDHR), alleging that he was removed from the tool and die position because of his disability. Christensen Aff. Ex. A. He also alleged that Toro denied his reasonable accommodation request to return to the tool and die position, but admits that he did not apply for two posted positions within that department following his reassignment back to the machinist position. Id .; id. Ex. C, at 1. The EEOC dismissed the charge as untimely on March 11, 2014, and the MDHR determined that the charge lacked probable cause on March 29, 2013.[2] Id . Exs. D, F.

On February 26, 2013, Ordahl filed a second charge of discrimination with the MDHR, alleging that Toro failed to reasonably accommodate his disability in 2012 and 2013 and that Toro's failure to do so was, at least in part, in retaliation for his previous charge of discrimination. Id . Ex. G. The MDHR dismissed the charge on May 15, 2014, concluding that there was no probable cause to support a finding that Toro discriminated or retaliated against Ordahl.[3] Id . Ex. H.

Toro placed Ordahl on short-term disability on March 14, 2012, and terminated his employment on March 14, 2013. Ordahl then commenced the instant action on May 28, 2014. Ordahl alleged no facts or legal theories supporting his complaint, but attached the EEOC and MDHR documents dismissing his first charge of discrimination. On June 26, 2014, Ordahl filed an amended complaint asserting claims for disability discrimination and reprisal under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The amended complaint specifically references alleged discrimination and reprisal occurring in 2012 and 2013. Toro now moves for judgment on the pleadings.


I. Standard of Review

The same standard of review applies to motions under Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 12(c) and 12(b)(6). Ashley Cnty., Ark. v. Pfizer, Inc., 552 F.3d 659, 665 (8th Cir. 2009). Thus, to survive a motion for judgment on the pleadings, "a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face." Braden v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 588 F.3d 585, 594 (8th Cir. 2009) (citation and internal quotation marks omitted). "A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff [has pleaded] factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). Although a complaint need not contain detailed factual allegations, it must raise a right to relief above the speculative level. Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). "[L]abels and conclusions or a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action" are not sufficient to state a claim. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (citation and internal quotation marks omitted).

The court does not consider matters outside of the pleadings under Rule 12(c). Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(d). The court, however, may consider matters of public record and materials that do not contradict the complaint, as well as materials that are "necessarily embraced by the pleadings." Porous Media Corp. v. Pall Corp., 186 F.3d 1077, 1079 (8th Cir. 1999) (citation and internal quotation marks omitted). In this case, the ...

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