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UNDERWOOD v. ARCHER MGMT. SERVS.
July 11, 1994
PATRICIA UNDERWOOD, Plaintiff,
ARCHER MANAGEMENT SERVICES, INC., Defendant.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: CHARLES R. RICHEY
Before the Court in the above-captioned case are the Defendant's Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's Claims in Their Entirety, the Plaintiff's Opposition, and the Defendant's Reply thereto. Plaintiff Patricia Underwood, a transsexual, brings this action against her former employer, Defendant Archer Management Services, Inc., challenging the Defendant's termination of her employment. More specifically, the Plaintiff alleges that in discharging her, the Defendant (1) violated Section 1-2512(a)(1) of the District of Columbia Human Rights Act ("DCHRA") by terminating her on the bases of her personal appearance, sex, and/or sexual orientation; (2) violated the public policy of the District of Columbia; and (3) committed the tort of Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress.
The "Factual Background" section of the Plaintiff's Complaint sets out Ms. Underwood's underlying allegations giving rise to this action. In its entirety, this section reads as follows:
5. On or about September 21, 1993, Plaintiff Underwood was hired as an employee by Defendant Archer. Plaintiff Underwood commenced her employment on or about October 1, 1993.
6. While in the employ of Defendant Archer, Plaintiff Underwood's duties included answering telephones and other receptionist-oriented tasks.
7. Plaintiff Underwood is a transsexual, meaning that she has undergone surgery and other medical treatment to transform her from a man to a woman.
8. At all times during her tenure with Defendant Archer, Plaintiff Underwood executed her duties in a stellar fashion and was an exemplary employee.
9. On or about November 12, 1993, Defendant Archer terminated Plaintiff Underwood under the guise of eliminating her position. In reality, Defendant Archer discharged Plaintiff Underwood because she is a transsexual and retains some masculine traits.
10. Defendant Archer discharged Plaintiff Underwood because of her personal appearance, sex, and/or sexual orientation.
11. Defendant Archer's dismissal of Plaintiff Underwood cannot be explained or justified by a business necessity.
12. As a direct and proximate result of Defendant Archer's conduct, Plaintiff Underwood has suffered lost wages, damage to her reputation, humiliation, severe emotional distress and mental anguish.
Archer has moved to dismiss these claims pursuant to Rule 12(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. For the purposes of a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, all factual allegations contained in the complaint are construed as true, and all doubts and ambiguities are to be decided in the pleader's favor. Doe v. United States Dept. of Justice, 243 U.S. App. D.C. 354, 753 F.2d 1092, 1102 (D.C. Cir. 1985). However, Fed.R.Civ.P. 8 requires that "a complaint must give the opposing party 'fair notice of what the plaintiff's claim is and the grounds upon which it rests.'" Rochon v. F.B.I., 691 F. Supp. 1548, 1564 (D.D.C. 1988) (quoting Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 48, 2 L. Ed. 2d 80, 78 S. Ct. 99 (1957)).
Upon careful consideration of all the papers filed in this cases, the oral arguments made by counsel before the Court, the applicable law, and the entire record herein, the Court shall deny the Defendant's Motion to Dismiss the Plaintiff's claim for discrimination on the basis of personal appearance under the DCHRA, but shall grant the Defendant's Motion with respect to all of ...
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