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Redmon v. United States Capitol Police

United States District Court, D. Columbia.

February 18, 2015

SHELLIE D. REDMON, Plaintiff,
v.
UNITED STATES CAPITOL POLICE, Defendant

For SHELLIE D. REDMON, Plaintiff: Joseph D. Gebhardt, Katherine Atkinson Dave, LEAD ATTORNEYS, LAW OFFICES OF GARY M. GILBERT AND ASSOCIATES, P.C., Silver Spring, MD.

For UNITED STATES CAPITOL POLICE, Defendant: Frederick Michael Herrera, LEAD ATTORNEY, UNITED STATES CAPITOL POLICE, Washington, DC.

MEMORANDUM OPINION (REDACTED)

TANYA S. CHUTKAN, United States District Judge.

Before the Court is Defendant United States Capitol Police's motion to dismiss Plaintiff Shellie Redmon's Complaint. Redmon alleges a variety of discrimination and other claims based on Defendant denying her requests for a teleworking arrangement. Defendant moves to dismiss the Complaint in its entirety on a number of grounds, including that some of the claims are barred by the doctrine of res judicata, and that Redmon has failed to state a claim for which relief can be granted.[1] Upon consideration of the motion, the response and the reply thereto, and for the following reasons, the motion is granted.

I. BACKGROUND

The Complaint alleges the following facts, which will be assumed to be true for purposes of the motion to dismiss. Plaintiff Redmon is an Intelligence Research Specialist within the Protective Services Bureau (" PSB" ) of the U.S. Capitol Police (" Capitol Police" ). (Compl. ¶ 6). She is an African-American woman and is over the age of 40. ( Id. at ¶ 4). Redmon suffers from a medical condition called sarcoidosis and has suffered from this condition since before her employment with the Capitol Police. ( Id. at ¶ 8). Redmon's sarcoidosis causes severe lower leg pain and makes her feet swell. ( Id.). It also affects her eyes, nose, and musculoskeletal system. ( Id.). Redmon's symptoms are not always present--they occur in " flare ups" from time to time. ( Id. at ¶ 9). Because of her condition, Redmon has asked to be allowed to telework on an intermittent basis when she has a flare up. ( Id.). Her requests have consistently been denied.[2] ( Id. at ¶ 10). As a result, Redmon has used her sick leave, annual leave, and compensatory time on the days when she cannot come to work because of a sarcoidosis flare up. ( Id. at ¶ 25). She estimates that as of September 25, 2012, she has used 675.5 hours of leave. ( Id.). However, less than 200 hours of this leave time is attributable to the sarcoidosis flare ups. ( Id.).

Redmon works with another Intelligence Research Specialist named Eric Hoar, who is a white male in his early thirties. ( Id. at ¶ 15). Hoar was paralyzed in an automobile accident in March of 2010. ( Id.). Previously, Hoar was a Capitol Police Officer; he become an Intelligence Research Specialist in July 2012. ( Id. at ¶ ¶ 15, 19). Hoar has been allowed to telework from home since becoming paralyzed in March 2010, although he does not have a telework agreement in place. ( Id. at ¶ ¶ 17, 24). According to Plaintiff, as of September 25, 2012, Hoar has not been required to take any annual leave, sick leave, or compensatory time. ( Id. at ¶ 24).

In August or September of 2012, Plaintiff submitted a written request for permission to telework to her supervisor, Norman Grahe. ( Id. at ¶ 11). He neither approved nor denied the request. ( Id.). Donald Rouiller, Deputy Chief of the PSB, formally denied Redmon's request on September 20, 2012 (the " September 2012 Denial" ). ( Id.). On September 25, 2012, Plaintiff formally complained to Congress' Office of Compliance (" OOC" ) regarding the September 2012 Denial, as required by the Congressional Accountability Act (" CAA" ).[3] ( Id. at ΒΆ 12). [______]

On December 20, 2012, after filing her formal complaint regarding the September 2012 Denial with the OOC, Plaintiff made another request to telework. This request was supported by a doctor's letter dated December 5, 2012, and signed by Jess D. Edison, M.D. ( Id. at ¶ 13). On January 3, 2013, Rouiller denied this request (the " January 2013 Denial" ). ( Id. at ¶ 14). On February 7, 2013, Plaintiff filed for counseling regarding the January 2013 Denial. ( Id. at ¶ 27). On March 18, 2013, Plaintiff filed a request for mediation regarding the January 2013 Denial. ( Id. at ¶ 28). On May 31, 2013, the Office of Compliance issued an End of Mediation Notice for the January 2013 Denial. ( Id. at ¶ 29). Plaintiff received the notice on June 5, 2013, and filed her Complaint in the present case on August 30, 2013. ( Id. at ¶ 29). In her Complaint, Redmon alleges race and sex discrimination under Title VII (42 U.S.C. § 2000e-2); age discrimination under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (" ADEA" ) (29 U.S.C. § 633a)[4]; and disability discrimination under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. § 791) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (" ADA" ) (42 U.S.C. § 12112),[5] each of the foregoing statutes having been applied to Congressional employees through the CAA. 2 U.S.C. § 1311.

II. LEGAL STANDARD

a. Rule 12(b)(6)

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) permits a party to move for dismissal on the grounds that the plaintiff has failed " to state a claim upon which relief can be granted." Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). " To survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 173 L.Ed.2d 868 (2009) (internal quotation marks and citation omitted). " The plausibility standard is not akin to a 'probability requirement,' but it asks for more than a sheer possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully." Id. (citation omitted). Although a plaintiff may survive a Rule 12(b)(6) motion even where " recovery is very remote and unlikely[,]" the facts alleged in the complaint " must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level[.]" Bell A. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555-56, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 167 L.Ed.2d 929 (2007) (internal quotation marks and citation omitted). Moreover, a pleading must offer more than " labels and conclusions" or a " formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action[.]" Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). If the facts as alleged, which must be taken as true, fail to establish that a plaintiff has stated a claim upon which relief can be granted, the Rule 12(b)(6) motion must be granted. See, e.g., Am. Chemistry Council, Inc. v. U.S. Dep't of Health & Human Servs., 922 F.Supp.2d 56, 61 (D.D.C. 2013).

" In ruling on a motion to dismiss, the Court may consider not only the facts alleged in the complaint, but also documents attached to or incorporated by reference in the complaint and documents attached to a motion to dismiss for which no party contests authenticity." Demissie v. Starbucks Corporate Office & Headquarters, 19 F.Supp.3d 321, 324 (D.D.C. 2014). Therefore, " 'where a document is referred to in the complaint and is central to the plaintiff's claim, such a document attached to the motion papers may be considered without converting the motion to one for summary judgment' . . . 'Otherwise, a plaintiff with a legally deficient claim could survive a motion to dismiss simply by failing to attach a dispositive document on which it relied' . . . . Moreover, a document need not be mentioned by name to be considered 'referred to' or 'incorporated by reference' into the complaint." S ...


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