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Robinson v. District of Columbia

United States District Court, D. Columbia

October 15, 2015

MARK E. ROBINSON, Plaintiff,
v.
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, Defendant

          For Mark Robinson, Plaintiff: Kenneth E. McPherson, LEAD ATTORNEY, KENNETH E. MCPHERSON, CHTD., Riverdale, MD USA.

         For District of Columbia, Defendant: Ali Naini, OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, Washington, DC USA.

         Re Document No.: 7

         MEMORANDUM OPINION

         RUDOLPH CONTRERAS, United States District Judge.

         Granting in Part and Denying in Part Defendant's Motion to Dismiss

         I. INTRODUCTION

         Plaintiff Mark Robinson, an employee of the Metropolitan Police Department for the District of Columbia (the " MPD" ) filed this action against Defendant the District of Columbia (the " District" ) under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq. (" Title VII" ), 42 U.S.C. § 1981(a), and the D.C. Human Rights Act, D.C. Code § 2-1402.02 et seq. Plaintiff originally brought this action in Superior Court for the District of Columbia, and the District of Columbia removed to this court. See Notice of Removal, ECF No. 1. Mr. Robinson alleges that the MPD's decision to deny him both assignment to the MPD's Automated Traffic Enforcement Unit (the " ATEU" ) and overtime opportunities within the ATEU was unlawful discrimination based on his race and retaliation for his prior complaints of racial discrimination against the MPD. See Compl. ¶ 5, ECF No. 5-1 at 11-19.

         Before the Court is the District's motion to dismiss the Complaint pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. See Def's Mot. Dismiss, ECF No. 7. The District originally moved to dismiss all counts of Mr. Robinson's Complaint, but, in reply to Mr. Robinson's partial opposition to the motion, withdrew the motion as to Counts I, II, and V. See Def.'s Reply at 1, ECF No. 10.

         II. FACTUAL BACKGROUND

         Mr. Robinson was hired by the MPD in 1990 and was promoted to Sergeant in 2004. See Compl. ¶ 8. Mr. Robinson was assigned a detail with the ATEU in 2004 and was fully assigned to the ATEU in 2008. See id. According to Mr. Robinson, he was transferred out of the ATEU in 2011 because the ATEU was being transformed into a civilian unit. See id. ¶ 10. Mr. Robinson alleges, however, that the MPD never transformed the ATEU into a civilian unit and instead detailed sworn MPD officers of lower seniority and lesser qualifications than Mr. Robinson to the ATEU. See id. ¶ 11. In 2012, Mr. Robinson filed a charge with the Equal Opportunity Commission (" EEOC" ) against the MPD, alleging race discrimination. See id. ¶ 12.

         In October 2013, at the conclusion of the EEOC's administrative process, Mr. Robinson filed a civil complaint in this Court against the MPD for unlawful race discrimination and retaliation. See Am. Compl. at 4-6, Robinson v. District of Columbia, Civ. No. 1:13-cv-1297, ECF No. 11 (D.D.C. Oct. 18, 2013). The Court dismissed that action in January 2014 on the grounds that Mr. Robinson's claims were barred by judicial estoppel because Mr. Robinson received a discharge in bankruptcy while his EEOC claim was pending. See Robinson v. District of Columbia, 10 F.Supp.3d 181, 190 (D.D.C. 2014).

         Mr. Robinson claims that, from February 2014 until at least the filing of his Complaint in this action, he requested reassignment to the ATEU and, in lieu of a permanent assignment to the ATEU, also requested to work overtime assignments in the ATEU while being detailed to another unit. See Compl. ¶ ¶ 13-14. Mr. Robinson claims that, despite his qualifications for work in the ATEU based on his training, experience, and qualifications, the MPD denied all of his requests. See id. ¶ ¶ 13-15. Mr. Robinson claims that non-black officers of lesser qualifications and experience were, however, assigned to the ATEU and were granted overtime requests within the ATEU. See id. Mr. Robinson claims that there was no legitimate, non-discriminatory reason for the MPD to select the non-black officers for each and every regular and overtime shift within the ATEU since February of 2014. See id. ¶ 16.

         Mr. Robinson filed this action in January 2015, asserting six claims against the District (two of which are grouped under Count V): race discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq. (Count I), retaliation under Title VII (Count II), race discrimination under 42 U.S.C. § 1981(a) (Count III), retaliation under § 1981(a) (Count IV), race discrimination under the D.C. Human Rights Act, D.C. Code § 2-1401.01 et seq. (Count V), and retaliation under the D.C Human Rights Act (Count V).

         III. ...


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