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