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Jideani v. Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Auth.

United States District Court, District of Columbia

October 8, 2013

ONYINYE JIDEANI, Plaintiff,
v.
WASHINGTON METROPOLITAN AREA TRANSIT AUTHORITY, Defendant

Page 78

ONYINYE JIDEANI, Plaintiff, Pro se, Washington, DC.

For WASHINGTON METROPOLITAN AREA TRANSIT AUTHORITY, Defendant: Gerard Joseph Stief, LEAD ATTORNEY, WASHINGTON METROPOLITAN AREA TRANSIT AUTHORITY, Washington, DC.

OPINION

Page 79

MEMORANDUM OPINION

BERYL A. HOWELL, United States District Judge.

This matter is before the Court on Defendant WMATA's Motion for Summary Judgment [ECF No. 32], and Plaintiff's Motion to Grant Continuance, Extension of Time on Interrogatory and Deposition [ECF No. 30], Motions for an Order Compelling Disclosure and Discovery Response Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 37 [ECF No. 34], and Motion to Obtain Response from the Judge on Why It Has Not Issued a Ruling or an Order on Motion for Summary Judgment and Plaintiff's Opposition with Accompanying Affidavit Filed Thereto [ECF No. 46]. For the reasons discussed below, WMATA's motion will be granted and Plaintiff's motions will be denied.

I. BACKGROUND

A. Plaintiff's Allegations[1]

According to Plaintiff, she began her employment at WMATA as a contractor in September of 2007. Am. Compl. at 1. [2] She became a permanent employee in March 2008, id., as an administrative assistant in WMATA's Office of Long Range Planning. Mem. of P. & A. in Supp. of Def. WMATA's Mot. for Summ. J. (" Def.'s Mem." ), Aff. of Thomas Harrington (" Harrington Aff." ) ¶ 3. Thereafter, she allegedly " was retaliated against by the Human Resource department in the form of gossip and defamation." Am. Compl. at 2. For example, she claimed to have been " investigated by Human Resource in an attempt to retrieve incriminating information that will humiliate and defame [her] character." Id.

Page 80

Plaintiff heard other employees discussing " personal information such as . . . years in college and financial status," and other alleged " rumors" about her. Id. She allegedly was subjected to unspecified verbal insults, harassment, and attempts by other employees " to humiliate [her] and defame [her] character" and to " hinder [her] progress/promotion within the company." Id. at 2. Her efforts at securing " employment outside of WMATA" allegedly were unsuccessful, she claimed, after prospective employers received " unfavorable employment verification by WMATA['s] Human Resource department." Id. at 3.

" On or around September 2011, [Plaintiff] contacted the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to investigate [her] allegations and seek compliance with the law against [WMATA] after consulting with fellow co-workers who confirmed that they too heard personal information and rumors" about her. Id. She filed a charge of discrimination on October 17, 2011. Id. She alleged acts of retaliation occurring between March 1, 2008 and October 17, 2011:

On or around November 2007, I was hired by [WMATA] as an Administrative assistant . . . . On or around March 2008, I reported to an HR Representative of WMATA that another employee had cheated on an exam we needed to take. After reporting the incident, I have been subject to gossip and defamation of character. I have also gotten several recommendations for advancement but have not been allowed to advance my position. On or around September of 2011, I interviewed for different positions in different companies and have favorable interviews; however, I was not selected. I believe that my employer gave unfavorable references in retaliation for my earlier complaint. I believe I have been discriminated against because of retaliation in violation of Title VII . . . .

Compl., Ex. 1 (Charge of Discrimination, Charge No. 570-2012-00092) (exhibit number designated by the Court).

After the filing of this charge of discrimination, Plaintiff allegedly " was subject[ed] to an even greater harassment; threats of violence with the intent to kill as a result of the illegal criminal acts that had [befallen her]; an economic and non-economic harm as a result of the illegal civil acts against [her], and violation of [her] legal or constitutional rights." Am. Compl. at 3. For example, Plaintiff allegedly " was overcome by harsh, hostile, and aggressive work environment in which [she] was followed and intimidated on several occasions by Transit police when riding or serving as Metro Information Person" at various subway stations. Id. at 4. In addition, transit police allegedly followed her and monitored her at work; her work duties were increased; a salary adjustment was rescinded; and she " was constantly being harassed to provide documentation for vacation and medical leaves." Id. The EEOC closed its file on Plaintiff's charge of discrimination upon its conclusion that the information obtained established no violation of the relevant statute. Compl., Ex. 2 (Dismissal and Notice of Rights, EEOC Charge No. 570-2012-00092 dated November 16, 2011) (exhibit number designated by the Court). WMATA terminated her employment on June 14, 2012. Am. Compl. at 5.

After her termination, Plaintiff filed a second charge of discrimination which in relevant part stated:

On or about October 2011, I filed an EEOC complaint alleging a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended. After filing the complaint I have been subjected to ...

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