United States District Court, D. Columbia
November 21, 2005.
AMANDA U. AJULUCHUKU, Plaintiff,
ACCOUNTEMPS OF ROBERT HALF INTERNATIONAL, Defendant.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: EMMET SULLIVAN, District Judge
In this action filed pro se, plaintiff alleges that defendant
discriminated against her based on her disability and race. She
also accuses defendant of slander and libel. Defendant moves to
dismiss under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(1) and (b)(6) on the grounds
of statute of limitations and, with respect to the discrimination
claims, failure to exhaust administrative remedies. Upon
consideration of the parties' submissions, the Court will grant
Plaintiff's claims are based on alleged events surrounding her
termination from a temporary employment position. She alleges
that in September 2001, defendant assigned her to a four-month
position with a non-profit organization in Arlington, Virginia.
She "was hired as Acting Finance Director until a permanent
replacement was found." Complaint at 2. On the third day of her
placement, however, plaintiff alleges that defendant left a
message at her home telling her not to return to the job because
it had ended. Id. When she called from her job site the
following morning for confirmation of the message, defendant told
her that she was fired for disobeying orders. Id. On October 1, 2001, plaintiff filed a
charge of race and national origin discrimination with the
Arlington County Human Rights Commission, which cross filed the
petition with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. See
Deft's Ex. 1. Plaintiff withdrew the charge on February 26, 2002.
Deft's Ex. 2. She initiated this action on January 26, 2005.
Plaintiff's federal claims arise under Title VII of the Civil
Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. 2000e, et seq., and the Americans
With Disabilities Act ("ADA"), 42 U.S.C. § 12101, et seq.
Before suing under either Act, an aggrieved employee must exhaust
administrative remedies. Bowden v. United States, 106 F.3d 433,
437 (D.C. Cir. 1997) (Title VII); 42 U.S.C. § 12117(a) (ADA
incorporating Title VII's enforcement procedures set forth at
42 U.S.C. § 2000e-5). "Failure to exhaust administrative remedies
deprives a district court of subject matter jurisdiction." Artis
v. Greenspan, 223 F. Supp.2d 149, 152 (D.D.C. 2002). The purpose
of this strict requirement is to allow "the agency an opportunity
to resolve the matter internally and to avoid unnecessarily
burdening the courts." Wilson v. Pena, 79 F.3d 154, 165 (D.C.
Cir. 1996). It is appropriate to grant a defendant's motion for
summary judgment when a plaintiff fails to demonstrate exhaustion
of administrative remedies. See Siegel v. Kreps, 654 F.2d 773
(D.C. Cir. 1981). "A Title VII lawsuit following the EEOC charge
is limited in scope to claims that are `like or reasonably
related to the allegations of the charge and growing out of such
allegations.'" Park v. Howard University, 71 F.3d 904, 907
(D.C. Cir. 1995), cert. denied, 519 U.S. 811 (1996) (quoting
Cheek v. Western and Southern Life Ins. Co., 31 F.3d 497, 500
(7th Cir. 1994) (omitting other citations)). Defendant asserts correctly that plaintiff's ADA claim cannot
proceed because her administrative charge did not include
disability discrimination. See Deft's Ex. 1 (plaintiff's
administrative charge based on race and national
origin).*fn1 Defendant asserts that the Title VII claim
cannot proceed because plaintiff withdrew the administrative
charge before receiving a right to sue notice. "Only after the
EEOC has notified the aggrieved person of its decision to dismiss
or its inability to bring a civil action within the requisite
time period can that person bring a civil action herself." Park
v. Howard University, 71 F.3d at 904 (citing
42 U.S.C. § 2000e-5(f)(1)).*fn2 The Court will grant the motion to
dismiss the ADA and Title VII claims for failure to exhaust.
Defendant suggests, and the Court agrees, that any effort by
plaintiff to cure these deficiencies by now proceeding through
the administrative process would be futile because Title VII
requires the bringing of an administrative charge 300 days from
the alleged unlawful practice. See 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-5(e)(1).
Here, the unlawful practice is alleged to have occurred on
September 20, 2001. Deft's Ex. 1. Any charges stemming therefrom
certainly would be untimely. As for the common law claims of
slander and libel alleged to have occurred sometime in September
2001, defendant asserts correctly they are barred by the District
of Columbia's one-year statute of limitations. See Thompson v.
Jasas Corp. 212 F. Supp.2d 21, 26 (D.D.C. 2002) (citing D.C.
Code § 12-301(4)). For the reasons stated above, the Court grants defendant's
motion to dismiss the complaint. A separate Order accompanies
this Memorandum Opinion.
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