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MOORE v. CAPITOL GUIDE BD.

October 21, 1997

SHERRY YVONNE MOORE, Plaintiff,
v.
CAPITOL GUIDE BOARD; OFFICE OF THE SERGEANT-AT-ARMS AND DOORKEEPER OF THE SENATE; OFFICE OF THE SERGEANT-AT-ARMS OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES; OFFICE OF THE ARCHITECT OF THE CAPITOL; COMMITTEE ON RULES AND ADMINISTRATION OF THE SENATE; COMMITTEE ON HOUSE ADMINISTRATION OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES; OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY OF THE SENATE, Defendants.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: KESSLER

 This employment discrimination action arises under the Congressional Accountability Act of 1995 ("CAA"), 2 U.S.C. §§ 1301-1438 (1996). The CAA brings the employing offices of Congress under the provisions of eleven employment and nondiscrimination statutes, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. 2 U.S.C. § 1302(a).

 Plaintiff, a former employee of the Capitol Guide Service, claims that she is disabled and that her employers, in violation of the laws made applicable to Congress by the CAA, discriminated against her because of her disability, intimidated and retaliated against her, sexually harassed her, and constructively discharged her.

 Six of the seven named Defendants have brought Motions to Dismiss, or in the Alternative, for Summary Judgment. *fn1" The Office of the Architect of the Capitol, the House Defendants, *fn2" and the Senate Defendants *fn3" each argue that Plaintiff has failed to exhaust the administrative remedies provided her under the statute. Exhaustion of these remedies is a statutory prerequisite to suit. The Movants also argue that they are improper parties to the instant action, since none of them was the employing office which committed the alleged violation, or in which the alleged violation occurred, as required by the CAA. The Movants thus assert that Moore's action must be dismissed pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(1), for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.

 Upon consideration of the Motions, Oppositions, Replies, and the entire record herein, the Court concludes that Defendants' Motions to Dismiss must be granted.

 I. Background

 Plaintiff Sherry Yvonne Moore worked as an interpreter for the deaf under the supervision of the Capitol Guide Service ("CGS") from November 1994 to October 1996. (Compl. PP 4, 9.) Moore suffers from tobacco smoke-induced asthma and informed her supervisor of her condition when it was diagnosed in 1995. (Compl. PP 8-9.) Moore became pregnant in September 1995. (Compl. P 35.) She complained about the tobacco smoke in her work area and in February 1996 requested that she be provided a smoke-free environment. (Compl. P 38.)

 Moore alleges that after she complained, she suffered continuing harassment, retaliation, and discrimination at the hands of her employer based on her sex and her alleged disability. (Compl. PP 68-74.) She states that she was eventually forced to resign her position in October 1996. (Compl. P 66.)

 II. Procedural Posture

 A. Exhaustion of Administrative Remedies

 The CAA establishes administrative and judicial dispute-resolution procedures for the employees and employing offices of Congress. 2 U.S.C. §§ 1401-1416. An employee must first request counseling from the Office of Compliance ("OC"). *fn4" 2 U.S.C. § 1402. After the end of the counseling period, the employee must file a request for mediation with the OC. 2 U.S.C. § 1403. It is only after completion of mediation that the employee may elect either to file a complaint with the OC or to file a civil action in the U.S. District Court in which the employee is employed or for the District of Columbia. 2 U.S.C. § 1404.

 Moore completed counseling in October 1996. (Pl.'s Consol. Opp'n Attach. C.) She completed mediation in January 1997. (Pl.'s Consol. Opp'n Attach B.) These administrative processes involved some, but not all, of the Defendants. Those who did participate included Moore, the CGS, and Jean Manning in her capacity as counsel for both the Capitol Guide Board ("CGB") and the Senate Sergeant-At-Arms. (Pl.'s Consol. Opp'n Attachs. B-C.)

 Moore's completion of the administrative dispute-resolution procedures satisfied the statutory preconditions to suit with respect to those Defendants who participated in the processes. The contested issue, however, is whether Moore may properly bring suit in this Court against those Defendants who did not participate in the administrative processes below.

 None of the other Movants participated in the counseling or mediation processes. Each Movant (including the Senate Defendants) claims that it received no notice of the counseling or mediation. The Movants thus argue that Moore failed to exhaust the administrative remedies with respect to them and is thus precluded by the CAA from bringing suit against them. (House Mot. at 5; Sen. Mot. at 8; Arch. Mot. at 5.)

 Moore responds that the OC, not complaining employees, should be charged with the duty to identify the proper party respondents. She argues that her right to sue each of the Movants should not be circumscribed by the OC's failure to include all proper parties in the administrative procedures below. (Pl.'s Consol. Opp'n at 16-17.)

 Moore also specifically denies the claim of the Senate Sergeant-At-Arms that it received no notice of her complaint nor participated in the administrative processes. Moore argues that the attorney for the Senate Sergeant-At-Arms "entered an appearance in the administrative process below on [its] behalf". (Id. at 15.) In support of her allegation, Moore produces a November 14, 1996, letter from Manning, attorney for the Senate Sergeant at Arms, to the Executive Director of the OC. The letter, which refers to a "Joint Request to Extend Mediation Period" in ...


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