Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

TAYLOR v. WASHINGTON METROPOLITAN AREA TRANSIT AUTHORITY

July 10, 2000

JOSEPH E. TAYLOR, PLAINTIFF,
V.
WASHINGTON METROPOLITAN AREA TRANSIT AUTHORITY, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Stanley S. Harris, U.S. District Judge.

OPINION

Before the Court are (1) defendant Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority's ("WMATA") motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction, plaintiff's opposition thereto, WMATA's reply, and supplemental notices of filing, and (2) plaintiff's motion to set a trial date, reconsider the dismissal of common law claims and amend the complaint, and defendant's opposition and plaintiff's reply thereto.*fn1 In light of recent caselaw and upon consideration of the entire record, the Court grants WMATA's motion and denies plaintiff's motion. "Findings of fact and conclusions of law are unnecessary on decisions of motions under Rule 12." Fed. R. Civ. P. 52(a); Summers v. Department of Justice, 140 F.3d 1077, 1079-80 (D.C. Cir. 1998). The Court nonetheless sets forth its reasoning.

Background

The Court dismissed both Counts Two and Three, as well as Count One to the extent that it alleged age discrimination for refusing to promote him. See 922 F. Supp. at 671-75. Only his allegations of age discrimination under the ADEA with respect to demotion and retaliation in Count One remained. On the eve of trial, WMATA and plaintiff filed several motions in limine, which remain pending, and the Court subsequently vacated the trial date.

WMATA thereafter filed the instant motion to dismiss the remaining claims for lack of jurisdiction, contending that it is immune from suit under the Eleventh Amendment because the ADEA failed to abrogate state sovereign immunity.*fn3 On March 26, 1999, the Court stayed decision of WMATA's motion to dismiss, pending the Supreme Court's resolution of the constitutionality of the ADEA.

On January 11, 2000, the Supreme Court held that although the ADEA reflects a clear intent to abrogate the states' sovereign immunity, the abrogation exceeded Congress' authority under Section 5 of the Eleventh Amendment. Kimel v. Florida Board of Regents, 120 S.Ct. 631 (2000). Shortly after that decision was issued, plaintiff filed a motion to set a trial date and to reconsider the Court's dismissal of Counts Two and Three based on subsequent caselaw. Plaintiff also seeks to amend the complaint by adding two new counts: wrongful demotion for reporting age discrimination in violation of public policy of the District of Columbia, and violations of District of Columbia Human Rights Act ("DCHRA"), D.C. Code §§ 1-2512, 2525, for refusal to promote, demotion, and retaliation.

Analysis

I. Count One: Retaliation and Demotion under the ADEA

The Eleventh Amendment protects unconsenting states from suit in federal court by their own citizens as well as those of another state. Pennhurst State School v. Halderman, 465 U.S. 89, 98-9 (1984). This principle, however, is limited by several well-established exceptions. One such exception is that Congress may specifically abrogate state sovereign immunity by enacting legislation that: (1) articulates an unequivocal congressional intent to abrogate state sovereign immunity, and (2) is passed "pursuant to a valid exercise of power." Seminole Tribe of Florida v. Florida, 517 U.S. 44, 55 (1996) (quoting Green v. Mansour, 474 U.S. 64, 68 (1985)).

Plaintiff sued WMATA for age discrimination on the basis of the ADEA, legislation which purportedly abrogated state sovereign immunity. The Supreme Court's decision in Kimel, however, held that the ADEA did not abrogate the states' sovereign immunity. The Kimel decision adequately discusses the rationale for this conclusion, and the Court need not provide further analysis. Furthermore, this Circuit recently decided that, under the reasoning of Kimel, WMATA is immune from suit under the ADEA. Jones v. WMATA, 205 F.3d 428 (D.C. Cir. 2000).*fn4 In light of these decisions, the Court finds that WMATA is immune from ADEA claims in this court, and therefore dismisses the remaining claims in Count One.

II. Reconsideration of Dismissal of Counts Two and Three

A. Count Two: Breach of Contract

Plaintiff moves the Court to reconsider its dismissal of his breach of contract claim. He claims that WMATA's Personnel Policies and Procedures Manual created an contractual right to be heard on allegations of certain offenses before further action is taken, and thus, WMATA breached its contract in demoting plaintiff without interviewing him first. The Court dismissed the count because it found that plaintiff was an ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.