United States District Court for the District of Columbia
LINDA BOYD, Plaintiff,
JOHN W. SNOW, Secretary of the Treasury, Defendant.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: ROSEMARY COLLYER, District Judge
Linda Boyd brings this action against her employer, the
Internal Revenue Service ("IRS"), under Title VII of the Civil
Rights Act of 1964, as amended, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et
seq.*fn1 She asserts that her first-level supervisor, Joel
Helke, sexually harassed her; that the agency retaliated against
her after she reported his alleged harassment; and that Mr. Helke
violated the Privacy Act, 5 U.S.C. § 552a(b), by disclosing her
rebuttal statement to her June 1999 performance evaluation to
others in the office. Pending before the Court is the IRS's
motion for summary judgment. For the following reasons, the
motion will be granted in part and denied in part. Judgment will
be granted in the IRS's favor on Ms. Boyd's retaliation claim,
but trial will proceed on her sexual harassment and Privacy Act
On July 6, 1998, Ms. Boyd began working as a trial attorney in
the IRS's Office of Chief Counsel, Field Services Division ("FS
Division"), Financial Institutions and Products Branch ("FIP Branch"). Previously, she had clerked for a judge on the
Maryland Court of Special Appeals, had worked in private
practice, and had served in the Office of the Attorney General of
Maryland According to Ms. Boyd, she was hired at the IRS "at the
grade 13, step 10 and after one year [she was to] be promoted to
a grade 14, step 10." Pl.'s Dep. at 27. From July 6, 1998, to
June 20, 1999, Mr. Helke was Chief of the FIP Branch and thus Ms.
Boyd's first-level supervisor. Deborah Butler, then Assistant
Chief Counsel of the FS Division, and Curtis Wilson, then Deputy
Assistant Chief Counsel, were Ms. Boyd's second-level supervisors
during that same time period.
Ms. Boyd alleges that Mr. Helke "started harassing and
intimidating her, making inappropriate sexual remarks, touching
himself in private areas, and creating a hostile work environment
almost immediately after [she] began working at the agency and
continued for most of the one year period of his supervision of
[her]." Pl.'s Mem. of Pts. & Auths. in Opp. to Def.'s Mot. for
Summ. J. ("Pl.'s Opp.") at 3. Specifically, she asserts that Mr.
Helke backed her into a file cabinet or wall and touched her
shoulders or arms once in October 1998, twice in November 1998,
once in December 1998, once in January 1999, and twice in
February 1999. Pl.'s Dep. at 65-69, 72-79, 79-81, 90-92, 109. Ms.
Boyd also contends that "any time [she] saw [Mr. Helke] he would
invariably make a sexual reference of some sort or he would stand
there and grab his penis and testicles and rearrange himself."
Id. at 53. His remarks allegedly included, "I wish I were
wellhung" and "I'm having trouble getting it up." Id. at 51.
Ms. Boyd initially complained about Mr. Helke's conduct to
Patrick Putzi and Eileen Shatz following the alleged incidents in
October and November 1998 and February 1999, respectively. Mr.
Putzi and Ms. Shatz were senior, non-supervisory attorneys
assigned to Ms. Boyd's section. Ms. Boyd later voiced her
concerns to Teri Culbertson, Technical Assistant for the Assistant Chief Counsel, on March 5, 1999. Ms. Culbertson
suggested that Ms. Boyd talk about her problem with Mr. Wilson,
which she did on March 10 or 11, 1999. During her first meeting
with Mr. Wilson, Ms. Boyd told him "about Helke's harassment,
including the physical part, but downplayed the physical part
because she was terrified of what Helke would do if he found
out." Pl.'s Opp. at 5. She also asked to be transferred out of
the FS Division. Ms. Boyd had two other similar discussions with
Mr. Wilson in March and one in May.
On May 13, 1999, Ms. Boyd met with Ms. Butler and Mr. Wilson
regarding Mr. Helke's treatment of her. Ms. Boyd again asked for
a transfer. The next day, Ms. Butler and Mr. Wilson met with
Carol Nachman, Special Counsel, and Mr. Helke. Both Ms. Nachman
and Mr. Helke denied Ms. Boyd's allegations. On May 17, 1999, Ms.
Butler and Mr. Wilson contacted Judith Dunn, Associate Chief
Counsel, and Daniel Wiles, Deputy Associate Chief Counsel. Mr.
Wiles recommended that Ms. Butler contact Elaine Green, Director
of the Equal Employment Opportunity ("EEO") Office. Thereafter,
Ms. Green assigned Bea Bernfeld to interview Ms. Boyd and Mr.
Helke. Both interviews occurred by June 1, 1999. Ms. Bernfeld
apparently concluded that Ms. Boyd's claims did not constitute
sexual harassment, although she did consider them serious. Ms.
Butler and Ms. Bernfeld therefore discussed other available
options. Ms. Green arranged for JoAnn Vaught to consult with Mr.
Helke and make recommendations on how to improve the situation
within the FIP Branch.
In subsequent meetings between Ms. Boyd and Ms. Butler, Ms.
Butler remarked that Ms. Boyd would need a waiver from her union
before being allowed to change positions due to the freeze on
transfers. Ironically, on May 17, 1999, Mr. Helke informed Ms.
Boyd that he was moving her office closer to his. Frightened at
this prospect, Ms. Boyd called Dan Wiles, Deputy Chief Counsel, and arranged a meeting for May 19, 1999. Mr. Wiles said
that he would consider her issues concerning Mr. Helke and her
request for a transfer, and that he would stop her office move.
In addition, he "advised that he wanted to have an EEO
representative look into her allegations." Def.'s Mem. of Pts. &
Auths. in Supp. of Mot. for Summ. J. ("Def.'s Mot.") at 7. A
couple of days later, Mr. Wiles told Ms. Boyd that he wanted her
to stay in the FS Division pending an evaluation by Mr. Helke.
Ms. Boyd received her final evaluation on June 9, 1999. Although
Ms. Boyd's ratings in nine of 24 categories were lower than what
she had been given in April 1999, Pl.'s Dep. at 125, her overall
rating remained the same, "fully successful." On June 11, 1999,
Mr. Wiles and Mr. Wilson met with Ms. Boyd and, with the approval
of the union, offered to transfer her to another division, Branch
On June 16, 1999, Ms. Boyd delivered to Ms. Butler a rebuttal
statement to the June 1999 performance appraisal. Mr. Helke's
supervisors then instructed him to prepare a response to her
allegations of discrimination and harassment. He allegedly showed
the rebuttal statement to several branch attorneys, including
Ms. Boyd contacted an EEO counselor on July 7 or 8, 1999. On
October 22, 1999, she filed a formal administrative complaint
with the IRS's EEO office. A final agency decision was issued on
May 31, 2001.
Summary judgment is appropriate when there is no genuine issue
as to any material fact and the moving party is entitled to a
judgment as a matter of law. FED. R. CIV. P. 56(c); Anderson v.
Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). This procedural
device is not a "disfavored legal shortcut" but a fair and
efficient method of resolving cases expeditiously. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 327 (1986). In determining
whether a genuine issue of material fact exists, the Court must
view all facts and reasonable inferences in the light most
favorable to the nonmoving party. Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v.
Zenith Radio, 475 U.S. 574, 587 (1986); Tao v. Freeh,
27 F.3d 635, 638 (D.C. Cir. 1994).
Only disputes over facts that might affect the
outcome of the suit under the governing law will
properly preclude the entry of summary
judgment. . . . [S]ummary judgment will not lie if
the dispute about a material fact is "genuine," that
is, if the evidence is such that a reasonable jury
could return a verdict for the nonmoving party.
Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248.
The IRS moves for summary judgment on Ms. Boyd's claims of a
hostile work environment, retaliation, and a violation of the
The IRS asserts that Ms. Boyd cannot prevail on her sexual
harassment claim because she is time-barred; Mr. Helke's alleged
conduct does not rise to the level of a hostile work environment;
and the affirmative defense announced in Faragher v. City of
Boca Raton, 524 U.S. 775 (1998), applies to defeat this claim.
The Court finds these three arguments unpersuasive.
Under 29 C.F.R. § 1614.105(a), an "aggrieved person" must
contact an EEO counselor "within 45 days of the date of the
matter alleged to be discriminatory. . . ." The IRS contends that
"there were no . . . alleged incidents [with Mr. Helke] after
[Ms. Boyd] met with Teri Culbertson on March 5, 1999. [Ms. Boyd]
failed to contact an EEO counselor until July 8, 1999, more than
5 months after the last discrete incident." Def.'s Mot. at 10;
see also Nat'l R.R. Passenger Corp. v. Morgan, 536 U.S. 101,
122 (2002) ("A charge alleging a hostile work environment claim . . . will not be time barred so long as all acts which
constitute the claim are part of the same unlawful employment
practice and at least one act falls within the time period.").
Ms. Boyd does not refute this characterization of events, instead
asserting that the 45-day deadline "will be extended when an
individual shows that she was not notified of the time limits and
was not otherwise aware of them." Pl.'s Opp. at 10 (citing
29 C.F.R. § 1614.105(a)(2)).
"[F]iling a timely charge of discrimination with the EEOC is
not a jurisdictional prerequisite to suit in federal court, but a
requirement that, like a statute of limitations, is subject to
waiver, estoppel, and equitable tolling." Zipes v. Trans World
Airlines, Inc., 455 U.S. 385, 393 (1982). However, a "court's
equitable power to toll the statute of limitations will be
exercised only in extraordinary and carefully circumscribed
instances." Mondy v. Sec'y of the Army, 845 F.2d 1051, 1057
(D.C. Cir. 1988).
Tolling is appropriate in this situation. "The requirement that
an individual contact an EEO counselor within 45 days of the
alleged discriminatory incident must be extended when the
plaintiff shows that `he or she was not notified of the time
limits and was not otherwise aware of them. . . .'" Aceto v.
England, No. 02-949, 2004 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15083, at *10 (D.D.C.
Aug. 3, 2004) (quoting 29 C.F.R. § 1614.105(a)(2)). Ms. Boyd
submitted an affidavit declaring that she was unaware of her
obligation to contact an EEO counselor within 45 days of an act
of sexual harassment or retaliation. Pl.'s Opp. Ex. 4. Moreover,
the IRS has not demonstrated that Ms. Boyd ever attended a
training session on EEO procedures or that the agency otherwise
adequately informed her of the 45-day limit. The IRS merely
points to two websites where Ms. Boyd could have obtained such
information provided she knew to look there and focuses on a
belief that she should have known about the deadline because she is an experienced trial
attorney.*fn2 The latter only comes into play, if ever, once
an employer establishes that it took reasonable steps to notify
its workers of the 45-day time limit. See generally O'Neal v.
Johnson, No. 02-172, 2003 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 13348, at *4-6
(D.D.C. July 17, 2003). There is insufficient evidence in this
record to reach that conclusion. In light of Ms. Boyd's affidavit
evincing her apparent lack of actual knowledge, the Court deems
her EEO filing timely.
The next issue is whether a reasonable trier of fact could find
that Mr. Helke sexually harassed Ms. Boyd by creating a hostile
work environment.*fn3 "When the workplace is permeated with
`discriminatory intimidation, ridicule, and insult,' that is
`sufficiently severe or pervasive to alter the conditions of the
victim's employment and create an abusive working environment,'
Title VII is violated." Harris v. Forklift Sys., Inc.,
510 U.S. 17, 21 (1993) (quoting Meritor Savs. Bank, FSB v. Vinson,
477 U.S. 57, 65, 67 (1986)) (citations omitted). A court determines
whether a particular environment is "hostile" or "abusive" by
examining the totality of the circumstances, including "the
frequency of the discriminatory conduct; its severity; whether it
is physically threatening or humiliating, or a mere offensive
utterance; and whether it unreasonably interferes with an
employee's work performance." Id. at 23. This is a rigorous
standard, as Congress did not intend Title VII to be a "general
civility code for the American workplace." Oncale v. Sundowner Offshore Servs., Inc., 523 U.S. 75, 80 (1998). Indeed, there
exists a plethora of socially-unacceptable and uncouth behavior
that Title VII was just not meant to cure. "A recurring point in
[Supreme Court] opinions is that `simple teasing,' offhand
comments, and isolated incidents (unless extremely serious) will
not amount to discriminatory changes in the `terms and conditions
of employment.'" Faragher v. City of Boca Raton, 524 U.S. 775,
788 (1998) (citation omitted).
The IRS asserts that Ms. Boyd, as a matter of law, "cannot
establish that she was subjected to a hostile work environment
prohibited by Title VII." Def.'s Mot. at 13. Assuming that Ms.
Boyd can prove all of her allegations at trial, the Court
disagrees with this contention. Ms. Boyd attested at her
deposition that Mr. Helke "always referred to his penis, his
crotch. He always made some reference about the sexual act. It
was second nature to him. He did it all the time." Pl.'s Dep.
at 51 (emphasis added). She further explained, "He would make
[sexual remarks] if you passed him in the hallways. He'd make
them in the middle of the bay. He made them in every branch
meeting we had." Id. at 53. As an example, Ms. Boyd recalled
that Mr. Helke allegedly "had a stapler and said, [`]Boy,
wouldn't this be interesting in a sexual act? Do you think that
so-and-so might want to get it on?[']" Id. at 51. She
characterized him as "the kind of man who walks down the hall
. . . grabbing his testicles and crotch and rearranging himself
while he stares another woman in the face[,]" and noted that she
had seen him do this to others. Id. at 55. Combined with his
apparently overbearing persona and his position of authority as
Ms. Boyd's superior, a reasonable juror could conclude that Mr.
Helke's conduct gave rise to a hostile work environment.
The Faragher affirmative defense does not support summary
judgment on this claim. Under Faragher, an employer can avoid
vicarious liability for "an actionable hostile environment created by a supervisor" if it can prove "(a) that the employer
exercised reasonable care to prevent and correct promptly any
sexually harassing behavior, and (b) that the plaintiff employee
unreasonably failed to take advantage of any preventative or
corrective opportunities provided by the employer or to avoid
harm otherwise." Faragher v. City of Boca Raton, 524 U.S. 775,
807 (1998). Based on the current record, the Court cannot rule
that either of the "two necessary elements" have been fulfilled
as a matter of law. Id. A reasonable juror could find that the
IRS did not promptly take reasonable corrective action and/or
that Ms. Boyd took reasonable measures to avoid harassment.
First, Ms. Boyd complained to Mr. Wilson, Deputy Assistant Chief
Counsel, about Mr. Helke's alleged behavior as early as March 11,
1999. Pl.'s Dep. at 103. Although she admittedly "downplayed
. . . the actual physical part[,]" she still "told him what had
been going on [and] told him about the physical part of it."
Id. at 104. She also asked for a transfer. The IRS did not
offer to remove Ms. Boyd from the allegedly abusive environment
which the Court must assume existed for purposes of the
Faragher defense until June 11, 1999. While the IRS may have
sound reasons for not acting more quickly, they are not so
obvious as to command summary judgment on this issue. Second,
there is no evidence that Ms. Boyd was advised of the EEO policy.
The IRS argues that "the Chief Counsel enforces a strict
anti-harassment policy . . . [which] can be found on the IRS
intranet website[.]" Def.'s Mot. at 17. However, there is no
indication that the agency ever furnished Ms. Boyd with a copy of
the policy or directed her to the website.*fn4 Such actions,
of course, are not a requirement under Faragher but their
absence may inform the reasonableness of Ms. Boyd's response.
Prior to talking with Mr. Wilson, Ms. Boyd discussed the alleged sexual harassment with Mr. Putzi, Ms. Shatz, and Ms.
Culbertson. She believed that these people were "in management."
Pl.'s Dep. at 93. In addition, she apparently requested a
transfer from Mr. Helke's branch "orally at least 25, 30 times
. . . [a]nd in writing probably another ten times." Id. at 120.
Viewed in a favorable light, a reasonable juror could find that
Ms. Boyd acted reasonably in attempting to prevent further
It is . . . unlawful under Title VII "for an employer
to discriminate against any of [its] employees . . .
because [she] has opposed any practice made an
unlawful employment practice by this subchapter, or
because [she] has made a charge . . . or participated
in any manner in an investigation, proceeding, or
hearing under this subchapter."
42 U.S.C. § 2000e-3(a). To establish a prima facie case of
unlawful retaliation, the plaintiff must show: "`1)
that [she] engaged in a statutorily protected
activity; 2) that the employer took an adverse
personnel action; and 3) that a causal connection
existed between the two.'" Morgan v. Federal Home
Loan Mortgage Corp., 356 U.S. App. D.C. 109,
328 F.3d 647, 651 (D.C. Cir. 2003) (quoting Mitchell v.
Baldrige, 245 U.S. App. D.C. 60, 759 F.2d 80, 86
(D.C. Cir. 1985)).
Singletary v. District of Columbia, 351 F.3d 519
, 524 (D.C.
The IRS argues that Ms. Boyd did not suffer an adverse
employment action so that this cause of action fails as a matter
of law. In response, Ms. Boyd enumerates three actions that she
considers to be adverse: her June 1999 performance appraisal, the
failure to promote her to a grade 14, step 10 after one year, and
the delay in transferring her to another branch. The Court agrees
with the IRS that none of these actions forms the basis for a
With respect to her second evaluation by Mr. Helke, Ms. Boyd
"complains of . . . the significant lowering of the individual
ratings from her interim evaluation in April 1999. . . ." Pl.'s
Opp. at 19. As the IRS points out, however, her overall rating on
the June 1999 performance appraisal was "fully successful," the second-highest available
and the same as she received in April 1999. The fact that various
categories were rated lower than in her previous evaluation did
not cause a "significant change in [her] employment status."
Burlington Indus., Inc. v. Ellerth, 524 U.S. 742, 761 (1998).
To the contrary, "since [Ms. Boyd] was serving a one-year
probationary period, the `fully satisfactory' performance
appraisal insured that she would acquire tenure in the federal
service and be retained with IRS." Def.'s Mot. at 22. "[A] . . .
thick body of precedent . . . refutes the notion that formal
criticism or poor performance evaluations are necessarily adverse
actions" and Ms. Boyd's June 1999 evaluation "was not adverse in
an absolute sense." Brown v. Brody, 199 F.3d 446, 458 (D.C.
Mr. Helke's failure to keep his alleged promise to promote Ms.
Boyd after one year also was not an adverse employment action.
Ms. Boyd does not dispute that "[a]gency procedures for promotion
within the attorney series required 104 weeks at the GS-13 level
as a prerequisite for promotion to the GS-14 level and only when
warranted due to exceptional performance far exceeding the
performance typically expected of an attorney at his or her
level." Def.'s St. of Mat. Facts Not in Disp. ¶ 7. Nor does she
argue that her performance was exceptional. It is therefore
irrelevant to this analysis that Mr. Helke (and others) may have
falsely told Ms. Boyd that she would be promoted more quickly.
Because he was not authorized to take such action for 104 weeks,
maintaining Ms. Boyd's status at grade 13, step 10 could not have
been retaliatory. She would not have been promoted before 104
weeks of employment in any event, given her "fully satisfactory"
mid-year rating, which she does not challenge here. Finally, Ms. Boyd erroneously contends that the IRS's delay in
transferring her from the FS Division "was an adverse action
because it subjected [her] to several additional months of
harassment and intimidation by her supervisor." Pl.'s Opp. at 20.
As a general rule:
[A] plaintiff . . . who is denied a lateral transfer
that is, one in which she suffers no diminution in
pay or benefits does not suffer an actionable
injury unless there are some other materially adverse
consequences affecting the terms, conditions, or
privileges of her employment or her future employment
opportunities such that a reasonable trier of fact
could conclude that the plaintiff has suffered
objectively tangible harm.
Brody, 199 F.3d at 457. Here, Mr. Wiles actually offered to
transfer Ms. Boyd approximately three months after her request of
Mr. Wilson on May 11, 1999. The IRS presents legitimate,
nondiscriminatory reasons for this delay:*fn5
In order for her to receive an annual performance
appraisal at the end of her probationary period, she
had to remain in Mr. Helke's Branch. Federal
Personnel regulations preclude an extension of the
probationary period and require that supervisors
supervise an employee for three months before giving
them an appraisal. There simply was insufficient time
for a new supervisor to evaluate [Ms. Boyd's]
performance before the probationary period ended. In
addition, due to the agreement with the union, all
transfers were frozen, which required the Office of
Chief Counsel to obtain permission for her transfer.
Once [she] received her performance evaluation and
the Office of Chief Counsel received permission from
the union, [she] was transferred within days.
Def.'s Mot. at 25 (citations omitted). Although Ms. Boyd
questions whether these procedural hurdles really necessitated a
delay, she does not proffer evidence that Mr. Wiles, the senior
official with the power to transfer her, harbored discriminatory
animus or resentment toward her. See Guerrero v. Univ. of the
District of Columbia, 251 F. Supp. 2d 13
, 25 (D.D.C. 2003)
("[P]laintiff `must prove both that the defendant's reason is false, and that
discrimination was the real reason' for the action taken against
her." (quoting Hastie v. Henderson, 121 F. Supp. 2d 72
(D.D.C. 2000), aff'd, 2001 U.S. App. LEXIS 18022, No. 00-5423
(D.C. Cir. June 28, 2001))). Absent some proof of an illicit
motive or intent on the part of Mr. Wiles (who is distinct from
Mr. Helke), a reasonable juror could not conclude that Mr. Wiles
was retaliating against Ms. Boyd when he declined to transfer her
"Enacted to `safeguard the public from unwarranted . . .
dissemination of personal information contained in agency
records,' the Privacy Act generally prohibits `nonconsensual
disclosure of any information that has been retrieved from a
protected record,' unless that information falls into one of a
number of statutory exceptions[.]" Doe v. United States Postal
Serv., 317 F.3d 339, 342 (D.C. Cir. 2003) (quoting Bartel v.
FAA, 725 F.2d 1403, 1407, 1408 (D.C. Cir. 1984)). To receive a
statutory award under 5 U.S.C. § 552a(g)(4), a plaintiff must
prove an intentional or willful violation and actual damages.
Doe v. Chao, 124 S. Ct. 1204 (2004).
Ms. Boyd claims that Mr. Helke violated the Privacy Act,
5 U.S.C. § 552a(b), "when [he] impermissibly, wilfully and
intentionally disclosed [her] rebuttal statement to her June 1999
performance evaluation, a record that was maintained by the
agency regarding her employment and contained [her] name." Am.
Compl. ¶ 112. She asserts that, "[i]n the report of investigation
by the agency EEO office, . . . agency attorney Elizabeth Handler
notes Helke showed her [Ms. Boyd's] rebuttal to her evaluation
and indicated that he could be fired for showing it to her."
Pl.'s Opp. at 20. The IRS contends that Mr. Helke was permitted
to reveal sections of the rebuttal statement pursuant to the
"need to know" exception, which authorizes the disclosure of
personnel records to "officers and employees of the agency which maintains the record
who have a need for the record in the performance of their
duties[.]" 5 U.S.C. § 552(b)(1). According to the IRS:
In order to prepare a response to [Ms. Boyd's]
allegations for his supervisors, [the Treasury
Inspector General for Tax Administration ("TIGTA")]
and the EEO counselor, he showed discrete portions of
[her] rebuttal to various attorneys named in those
sections. Mr. Helke's only purpose in disclosing this
information was to ensure that the facts in his
response were accurate and that he did not misstate
incidents involving those attorneys on issue about
which they may have had information.
Def.'s Mot. at 28. The IRS also argues that Ms. Boyd has not
established that she sustained actual harm from the disclosure to
Ms. Handler, as her "claim of subjective distress loses all
credibility when viewed in light of her prior actions." Def.'s
Reply at 17.
It is far from clear that Mr. Helke disclosed Ms. Boyd's
rebuttal statement for the reason offered by the IRS. During an
interview by special agents of the TIGTA, Ms. Handler relayed
[In a]pproximately February or March 1999, HELKE
called HANDLER into his office, and said, `I can be
fired for what I'm about to show you', [sic] and
while covering a portion of a report, he than [sic]
showed her a report containing approximately 42 pages
in length. . . . HANDLER believed that what HELKE was
showing her was BOYD's EEO complaint. . . . HANDLER
felt that HELKE was trying to gather her support if
there were any investigations conducted as a result
of BOYD's allegations against him. . . . HELKE never
told HANDLER how he obtained the report.*fn6
Pl.'s Opp. Ex. E. The memorandum containing these statements
raises serious questions about whether the IRS may properly rely
on the "need to know" exception. It also supports Ms. Boyd's allegation that Mr. Helke "committ[ed] the act without grounds
for believing it to be lawful, or . . . flagrantly disregard[ed
Ms. Boyd's] rights under the Act." Albright v. United States,
732 F.2d 181, 189 (D.C. Cir. 1984).
The Court is unsure how this disclosure caused Ms. Boyd "severe
emotional and physical harm, stress, sleeplessness and
nightmares" above and beyond any injuries sustained from the
alleged sexual harassment. Am. Compl. ¶ 113. However, the Court
will allow Ms. Boyd to attempt to prove such "actual damages" at
trial and will not enter summary judgment on this claim. See
id. ¶ 82 (describing Ms. Boyd's alleged emotional trauma).
The IRS's motion for summary judgment will be granted in part
and denied in part. Judgment will be entered in favor of the IRS
on Ms. Boyd's retaliation claim, but her hostile work environment
and Privacy Act claims will continue to trial. A separate order
accompanies this memorandum opinion. ORDER
For the reasons stated in the memorandum opinion that
accompanies this order, it is hereby
ORDERED that  motion for summary judgment is GRANTED in
part and DENIED in part. It is
FURTHER ORDERED that JUDGMENT is entered in favor of
defendant on count III (retaliation claim) of the amended