The opinion of the court was delivered by: RICARDO URBINA, District Judge
GRANTING THE DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
This case comes before the court on the defendants' motion for
summary judgment. The pro se plaintiff is an African-American
former special agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation
("FBI"). The plaintiff alleges that the defendant maintained a
racially discriminatory hostile work environment that led to his
constructive discharge. The defendant argues that the plaintiff's
claims are barred by res judicata and moves the court for summary
judgment. Because the court concludes that the plaintiff's claims
are barred by previous settlement agreements, the court grants
the defendants' motion for summary judgment. II. BACKGROUND
The plaintiff, an African-American man, was employed as a
special agent for the Department of Justice ("DOJ"), FBI, between
January 15, 1973 and May 3, 1999. Am. Compl. ¶¶ 18-19. In 1991,
the plaintiff, along with other African-American special agents,
brought a class action suit before Chief Judge Hogan in this
court. Id. at ¶ 121. That lawsuit, known as the BADGE lawsuit,
settled on October 14, 1993, when the court approved a settlement
agreement. Id. at ¶ 123. Under the terms of the BADGE
settlement agreement, the plaintiff class waived any then-pending
claims arising out the defendant's discriminatory employment
practices. Defs.' Mot., Ex. 4 ("1993 Settlement Agreement") at
55. The 1993 Settlement Agreement also provided a mechanism for
bringing any retaliation claims that might arise as a result of
the plaintiffs' participation in the BADGE suit. Id. at 58-60.
In 2000, the parties amended the settlement agreement, Defs.'
Mot., Ex. 5 ("Mediation Settlement Agreement") at 1, to "resolve
all outstanding class issues related to promotions, discipline,
and performance evaluations raised by plaintiffs in mediation,"
Defs.' Mot., Ex. 6 ("Notice of Proposed Mediation Settlement
Agreement") at 4.
After the BADGE lawsuit settled, the plaintiff brought another
lawsuit, Johnson v. Reno, 93-cv-2234, before Judge Jackson in
this court, alleging retaliation based on his role as the lead
plaintiff in the BADGE suit. Am. Compl. ¶ 223; Defs.' Mot. at 7.
The parties settled the suit on June 1998. Defs.' Mot. at 5. The
suit was based on Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
("EEOC") complaint F-89-4155. Id.
In addition to EEOC complaint F-89-4155, the plaintiff brought
five other EEOC complaints under the auspices of the BADGE settlement agreement,
namely: (1) F-95-4707, filed on December 14, 1994, (2) F-95-4607,
filed on May 31, 1995, (3) F-96-4784, filed on January 16, 1996,
(4) F-96-4881, filed on October 22, 1996, and (5) F-97-4967,
filed on May 9, 1997. Defs.' Mot. at 7. According to the
defendants, all five EEOC complaints were "administratively
closed." Id. The plaintiff subsequently re-filed F-97-4967 as
F-97-5049 on September 19, 1997. Id.; Defs.' Mot., Ex. 19. The
plaintiff does not dispute that the factual basis for the five
EEOC complaints and the BADGE lawsuit are "identical to those
filed by Plaintiff in the instant action." Defs.' Mot. at 7. The
plaintiff also filed a seventh EEOC charge, F-97-5073, on
November 3, 1997. Defs.' Mot., Ex. 12; Defs.' Mot., Ex. 19.
On December 4, 2000, the DOJ's Complaint Adjudication Office
examined the claims in F-97-5049 and F-97-5073 and concluded that
"the evidence does not support complainant's claim that he was
discriminated against because of his race or prior EEOC
activity." Defs.' Mot., Ex. 12. The plaintiff appealed the
agency's decision, but on May 30, 2002, the Equal Opportunity
Commission ("EEOC") affirmed the DOJ's decision. Defs.' Mot., Ex.
19. On September 6, 2002, the EEOC denied the plaintiff's request
for reconsideration and notified the plaintiff of his right to
file a civil action. Defs.' Mot., Ex. 20.
The plaintiff filed this civil action on September 3, 2002, and
he amended his complaint on August 11, 2003. In contrast to the fifth and sixth EEOC
charges,*fn1 the plaintiff in this action alleges that the
defendant subjected him to a hostile work environment throughout
his 26-year*fn2 career at the FBI. The plaintiff claims that
the hostile work environment led to his constructive discharge.
Am. Compl. ¶¶ 19. Approximately a month after the plaintiff
amended his complaint, the defendants filed a motion to dismiss,
arguing that the plaintiff failed to exhaust his administrative
remedies. In its January 12, 2004 memorandum opinion, the court
declined to dismiss the action because at least one of the
alleged acts took place within the statutory period. The court,
however, emphasized that it was not expressing any opinion as to
whether the plaintiff had proven that an actionable hostile
environment existed. The court now turns to the defendants'
motion for summary judgment.
A. Legal Standard for a Motion for Summary Judgment
Summary judgment is appropriate when "the pleadings,
depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file,
together with the affidavits, if any, show that there is no
genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party
is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law." FED. R. CIV. P.
56(c); see also Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986); Diamond v. Atwood, 43 F.3d 1538, 1540 (D.C. Cir. 1995).
To determine which facts are "material," a court must look to the
substantive law on which each claim rests. Anderson v. Liberty
Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). A "genuine issue" is one