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Newton v. Office of Architect of Capitol

United States District Court, District of Columbia

November 21, 2012

Margaret D. NEWTON, Plaintiff,
v.
OFFICE OF THE ARCHITECT OF THE CAPITOL, Defendant.

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[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

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Jeffrey Howard Leib, Washington, DC, for Plaintiff.

Benton Gregory Peterson, United States Attorney's Office, Washington, DC, for Defendant.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

ROYCE C. LAMBERTH, Chief Judge.

I. INTRODUCTION

Before the Court is defendant's Motion to Dismiss or for Summary Judgment. July 30, 2012, ECF No. 6. Upon consideration of defendant's motion, plaintiff's opposition, ECF No. 13, defendant's reply, ECF No. 16, applicable law, and the record in this case, this Court will GRANT defendant's motion to dismiss and will dismiss plaintiff's claims with prejudice.

II. BACKGROUND

This is the third case filed by plaintiff Margaret Newton against her employer, the Office of the Architect of the Capitol (" OAC" ), for employment discrimination and related offenses under the Congressional Accountability Act (" CAA" ), 2 U.S.C. §§ 1311 & 1317. See Newton v. Office of the Architect of the Capitol (" Newton I " ), 840 F.Supp.2d 384 (2012) (granting summary judgment in favor of defendant OAC on discrimination, hostile work environment and retaliation claims); Newton v. Office of the Architect of the Capitol (" Newton II " ), 839 F.Supp.2d 112 (2012) (dismissing later-filed retaliation and hostile work environment claims). The Court presented a more detailed background in its Newton I opinion, see 840 F.Supp.2d at 388-90, and will now review only the facts relevant to this action.

Ms. Newton, an African-American, works as a Human Resources Specialist in the Employee Benefits & Services Branch of the OAC's Human Resources and Management Division (" HRMD" ). Compl. ¶ 3, ECF No. 1. This suit is based on events that occurred between April and August of 2011. During this period, two employment discrimination suits were pending in this Court that Ms. Newton had filed against her employer. Newton I, 840 F.Supp.2d 384 (complaint filed August 18, 2009; case decided March 12, 2012); Newton II, 839 F.Supp.2d 112 (complaint filed September 14, 2010; case decided March 14, 2012).

In April 2011, Mary Yates, Ms. Newton's first line supervisor and Chief of the Employee Benefits and Services Branch, asked Ms. Newton to submit for review two retirement cases she had completed as part of her duties. Compl. ¶¶ 14 & 16; Pl.'s Opp'n at 5. Ms. Newton subsequently learned that a lawyer representing the OAC in the pending Newton cases had communicated with Yates about reviewing her work. Compl. ¶ 17; Pl.'s Opp'n at 2 & 6.

In June 2011, Lisa Maltbie was appointed as acting branch chief while Ms. Yates

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was on leave. Compl. ¶ 20. Ms. Maltbie referred retirement inquiries from some " disgruntled employees" to Ms. Newton— a retirement ...


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