United States District Court, District of Columbia
Kessler United States District Judge.
Timothy Skrynnikov ("Plaintiff" or
"Skrynnikov") brings this action against Defendant
Federal National Mortgage Association ("Defendant"
or "Fannie Mae") alleging retaliation under the
Federal False Claims Act ("FCA"), 31 U.S.C. §
3729 et seq., and interference with his rights under
both the Federal Family and Medical Leave Act
("FMLA"), 29 U.S.C. § 2601 et seq.,
and the related District of Columbia Family and Medical Leave
Act ("DCFMLA"), D.C. Code § 32-501 et
matter is before the Court on Plaintiff's Motion for
Summary Judgment ("Mot.") [Dkt. No. 54] and
Defendant's Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment
("Cross-Mot.") [Dkt. No. 55] . Upon consideration
of the Motion, the Cross-Motion, Oppositions [Dkt. Nos. 55
and 57], and Replies [Dkt. Nos. 57 and 59], and the entire
record herein, and for the reasons set forth below,
Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment is denied, and
Defendant's Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment is denied.
Mae is a government-sponsored corporation chartered by
Congress, with its headquarters in the District of Columbia.
Second Amended Complaint § 5 ("SAC") [Dkt. No.
23] . Mr. Skrynnikov was employed by Fannie Mae as a Senior
Financial Analyst in the Financial Planning & Analysts
group ("FP&A") from October 9, 2007 until
November 13, 2009, when his employment was terminated. SAC
¶¶ 6, 38. Mr. Skrynnikov's job responsibilities
included preparing a monthly document known as the Business
Segment Allocation Report ("BSA Report").
Plaintiff's Statement of Undisputed Material Facts ¶
5 ("Pl's SMF") [Dkt. No. 54-1]. The BSA Reports
included information on "Executive Incentive
Compensation." Id. ¶ 7.
March 18, 2009, United States Senator Charles Grassley
requested "Fannie Mae and Fredie Mac to account for
their retention bonus programs" ("the Grassley
Request"). Pl's Ex. 36 [Dkt. No. 54-8] . Fannie Mae
submitted its response to Senator Grassley on March 27, 2009.
Def.'s Ex. 87 [Dkt. No. 55-29]. At some point in March
2009, Mr. Skrynnikov learned of the Grassley Request and
Fannie Mae's response through a daily news blast emailed
to Fannie Mae employees. Arbitration Transcript at 134-35
("Tr.") [Dkt. No. 54-3] .
Skrynnikov alleges that he became concerned that the
executive retention bonus data that Fannie Mae reported to
Sen. Grassley did not match the numbers in the BSA Reports he
had seen. Mot. at 2; Pl's SMF ¶ 12. He alleges that
he raised these concerns with his supervisor at the time, Ms.
Kristin DeMent Harrison. Id. He also claims that Ms.
Harrison told him that the reported numbers would be updated
in the next quarter. Id.
Skrynnikov claims that he raised these concerns again with
Ms. Harrison on April 28, 2009. Mot. at 3; Pl's SMF
¶ 14. According to Mr. Skrynnikov, Ms. Harrison
responded to his concerns with "agitation and
anger." Id. Defendant denies that these
conversations between Ms. Harrison and Mr. Skrynnikov took
place. Cross-Mot. at 14; Tr. at 571-72. Mr. Skrynnikov
alleges that after he raised his concerns about the Grassley
Request with Ms. Harrison, she began to question his job
performance. Mot. at 3. Defendant disputes this assertion.
1, 2009, Ms. Harrison gave Mr. Skrynnikov a Written Warning
for Unsatisfactory Job Performance informing him that Fannie
Mae would terminate him if he did not improve within a
reasonable time period. Pl's SMF ¶ 16.
9, 2009, Mr. Skrynnikov sought permission from Ms. Carrie
Lee, Fannie Mae's Human Resources representative, to take
medical leave because of the stress he claims stemmed from
his poor working relationship with Ms. Harrison. Pl's SMF
¶ 19. Ms. Lee directed Mr. Skrynnikov to contact the
Reed Group, an independent company contracted by Fannie Mae
to administer medical leaves of absence. Id.
Reed Group approved Mr. Skrynnikov's application for
FMLA/DCFMLA leave. Id. ¶ 29. The Parties
disagree on the original date until which Mr. Skrynnikov was
originally granted leave. Nevertheless, after what appears to
be extensive communication between Mr. Skrynnikov, his
doctors, the Reed Group, and Fannie Mae's HR team, Mr.
Skrynnikov was granted an extension of his FMLA leave through
October 1, 2009, which represents the full twelve weeks
permitted under the statute. Pl's SMF ¶ 29;
Def.'s Resp. to Pl's SMF ¶ 29 [Dkt. No. 55-30].
Skrynnikov asserts that the communication between Fannie Mae
and the Reed Group regarding the paperwork supporting his
leave differed from Fannie Mae's normal practices
regarding its involvement in the Reed Group's approval of
employee leave. Mot. at 5-8. Defendant denies these
October 26, after receiving additional paperwork from Mr.
Skrynnikov's doctors justifying an extension of his
leave, the Reed Group retroactively approved an extension of
his leave under the DCFMLA which permits a maximum of 16
weeks leave, and Fannie Mae's short-term disability leave
(STD), which is not protected leave. Cross-Mot. at 1;
Pl's SMF ¶ 29; Def.'s Resp. to Pl's SMF
Skrynnikov claims that he was ready and able to return to
work after recovering from his depression and stress on
October 26, 2009. Pl's Opp. at 12-13, n. 12. However, on
October 21, 2009, he wrote to Ms. Lee requesting to use
vacation time for up to a week because of a newly sustained
rib injury. Pl's. SMF ¶ 4 0; Pl's Ex. 68 [Dkt.
No. 54-22]. Ms. Lee informed Mr. Skrynnikov that he would
have to speak to management and the Reed Group regarding his
request. Pl's SMF ¶ 43. Ms. Lee also stated that he
could not return to work "unless [he was] cleared to
return to work for both conditions" by the Reed Group.
approved return-to-work date of October 26, 2009 came and
went without Mr. Skrynnikov providing the Reed Group with a
new return-to-work clearance from a doctor. He did not return
to work on that date. Pl's SMF ¶48. Fannie Mae
instructed the Reed Group to place "the highest level of
scrutiny" on Mr. Skrynnikov's return-to-work
certification regarding his rib injury. Pl's SMF ¶
50; Def. Resp. to Pl's SMF ¶ 50. On October 30,
2009, Mr. Skrynnikov finally sent the Reed Group a
return-to-work certification from a doctor indicating that he
would be ready to return to work on November 2, 2009.
Pl's SMF ¶¶ 52, 54; Def. Resp. to Pl's SMF
¶¶ 52, 54. That same day, Mr. Skrynnikov was
retroactively approved for DCFMLA leave through October 29,
2009 and for STD through November 1, 2009, with a return to
work date of November 2, 2009. Pl's SMF ¶ 55; Def.
Resp. to Pl's SMF ¶ 55; Pl's Ex. 74 [Dkt. No.
October 30, 2009, Mr. Skrynnikov received a letter from
Fannie Mae saying that he had exhausted his FMLA and DCFMLA
leave and that Fannie Mae made a business decision not to
hold his position open. Pl's SMF ¶ 58; Def. Resp. to
Pl's SMF ¶ 58. Mr. Skrynnikov was terminated a few
days later when his STD leave expired.
November 15, 2009, Mr. Skrynnikov faxed a letter to Sen.
Grassley detailing his concerns regarding Fannie Mae's
reporting of executive incentive compensation. Pl's SMF
¶ 60; Pl's Ex. 61 [Dkt. No. 54-18].
Skrynnikov filed his Complaint with this Court on March 23,
2011. [Dkt. No. 1]. On June 12, 2012, Mr. Skrynnikov filed
his First Amended Complaint. [Dkt. No. 21]. On October 11,
2012, Mr. Skrynnikov filed a Motion to Amend his Complaint
[Dkt. No. 22], which the Court granted by Minute Order on
October 15, 2012. On October 15, 2012, Mr. Skrynnikov filed
his Second Amended Complaint, which is the operative
Complaint in these proceedings.
December 6, 2012, Defendant filed a Motion to Dismiss and to
Compel Arbitration. [Dkt. No. 26]. On May 8, 2013, the Court
denied Defendant's Motion to Dismiss without prejudice,
but granted Defendant's Motion to Compel Arbitration and
stayed the case pending the results of arbitration. May 8,
2013 Order [Dkt. No. 31] .
November 4, 2014, the Arbitrator issued a final award finding
that Mr. Skrynnikov failed to prove the claims of both Count
1 (Retaliation under the False Claims Act) and Count 2
(Family and Medical Leave Interference). November 24, 2014
Joint Status Report at 1 [Dkt. No. 48] . On November 13,
2014, Mr. Skrynnikov rejected the ...