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Mack v. WP Co., LLC

United States District Court, District of Columbia

February 15, 2013

William A. MACK, Plaintiff,
v.
WP COMPANY, LLC, d/b/a The Washington Post, Defendant.

Page 295

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 296

Morris Eli Fischer, Law Office of Morris E. Fischer, LLC, Silver Spring, MD, for Plaintiff.

Jacqueline M. Holmes, Jones Day, Washington, DC, for Defendant.

OPINION

PAUL L. FRIEDMAN, District Judge.

This employment discrimination matter came before the Court on the defendant's motion for summary judgment. In a previously issued Order, the Court granted the defendant's motion. See Order (Sept. 28, 2012). This Opinion provides the reasoning behind that decision.[1]

Page 297

I. BACKGROUND

Plaintiff William A. Mack brought suit against his former employer, the WP Company, LLC, d/b/a the Washington Post (" the Post" ), alleging violations of the Family and Medical Leave Act, 29 U.S.C. ยงยง 2601 et seq. (" FMLA" ). The Court denied the Post's motion for summary judgment on Mr. Mack's FMLA claims, but concluded that only two genuine issues of material fact exist with respect to those claims: whether the Post retaliated against Mr. Mack for taking medical leave in or about April 2006, and whether the Post unlawfully interfered with his right to take leave that month by terminating him in early May. See Memorandum Opinion and Order at 1-2 (Sept. 29, 2008). The Court found that because Mr. Mack did not give the Post sufficient notice of his intent to take leave prior to April 2006, he could not invoke the protections of the FMLA before that period. Id.

Mr. Mack subsequently filed a second action against the Post, alleging that it discriminated against him on the basis of race, religion, gender, and disability in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. See Complaint, Mack v. WP Company, LLC, Civil Action No. 09-2291 (D.D.C.) (" Complaint" ). The two actions were consolidated for all purposes. The Post moved for summary judgment on Mr. Mack's Title VII claims, contending that he cannot state a claim on any of his claims as a matter of law. In addition, the Post maintains that it is entitled to summary judgment on the maximum amount of damages that Mr. Mack may recover on his surviving FMLA claims.

II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

Summary judgment may be granted if " the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a); see Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 247-48, 106 S.Ct. 2505, 91 L.Ed.2d 202 (1986); Holcomb v. Powell, 433 F.3d 889, 895 (D.C.Cir.2006). " A fact is ‘ material’ if a dispute over it might affect the outcome of a suit under the governing law; factual disputes that are ‘ irrelevant or unnecessary’ do not affect the summary judgment determination." Holcomb v. Powell, 433 F.3d at 895 (quoting Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. at 248, 106 S.Ct. 2505). An issue is " genuine" if the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party. See Scott v. Harris, 550 U.S. 372, 380, 127 S.Ct. 1769, 167 L.Ed.2d 686 (2007); Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. at 248, 106 S.Ct. 2505; Holcomb v. Powell, 433 F.3d at 895.

When a motion for summary judgment is under consideration, " the evidence of the non-movant is to be believed, and all justifiable inferences are to be drawn in his favor." Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. at 255, 106 S.Ct. 2505; see also Mastro v. Potomac Electric Power Co., 447 F.3d 843, 849-50 (D.C.Cir.2006); Aka v. Washington Hospital Center, 156 F.3d 1284, 1288 (D.C.Cir.1998) (en banc); Washington Post Co. v. U.S. Dep't of Health and Human Services, 865 F.2d 320, 325 (D.C.Cir.1989). The non-moving party's opposition, however, must consist of more than mere unsupported allegations or denials and must be supported by affidavits, declarations, deposition testimony, or other competent evidence, setting forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial. Fed.R.Civ.P. ...


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