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Chambers v. District of Columbia

United States District Court, District of Columbia

April 6, 2017

MARY E. CHAMBERS, Plaintiff,
v.
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          REGGIE B. WALTON, United States District Judge

         The plaintiff, Mary E. Chambers, filed her amended complaint against the defendant, the District of Columbia (the "District"), on November 13, 2015, alleging that the District retaliated against her for filing a charge of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") in 2011, discriminated against her on the basis of her gender and age, and created a hostile work environment in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000e-2 to -17 (2012) ("Title VII") and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, 29 U.S.C. § 623 (2012) ("ADEA").[1] Amended Complaint ("Am. Compl.") ¶¶ 1, 10-15. Currently before the Court is Defendant the District of Columbia's Motion to Dismiss the Amended Complaint or, in the Alternative, Motion for Summary Judgment ("Defi's Mot.").

         Upon careful consideration of the parties' submissions, [2] the Court concludes for the following reasons that it must grant the District's motion.

         I. BACKGROUND

         The plaintiff is a Support Enforcement Specialist in the Child Support Services Division of the District's Office of the Attorney General. Am. Compl. ¶ 3. According to the plaintiff, the Office of the Attorney General

permitt[ed] male employees under the age of 40 years to transfer to other departments and receive[] incentive awards and special awards after their transfers[, ] but denied [the plaintiff] and another female employee the same opportunity to transfer to other units or receive incentive awards and special awards. . . . [A] male co-worker had communication and performance issues with customers but was not disciplined[, ] but [the plaintiff] was disciplined because she had filed a charge of employment discrimination with the EEOC.

Id. ¶ 10.

         On March 4, 2011, the plaintiff filed a charge of discrimination with the EEOC and the District's Office of Human Rights, alleging that she was discriminated against based on her gender and retaliated against for filing a prior charge of discrimination in August 2010.[3] Def's Mot., Exhibit ("Ex.") 1 (Charge of Discrimination No. 570-2011-00598) at 3. On August 14, 2014, the EEOC mailed to the plaintiff a Dismissal and Notice of Rights, in which the plaintiff was informed that "the EEOC [wa]s closing its file on th[e] charge[s she had filed] . . . [because, b]ased upon its investigation, the EEOC [wa]s unable to conclude that the information obtained establishes violations of the statutes." Complaint ("Compl."), Ex. 1 (Dismissal and Notice of Rights No. 570-2011-00598) at 1.

         On November 20, 2014, the plaintiff filed her Complaint in this case.[4] Id. at 1. On October 23, 2015, the Court granted the District's[5] motion to dismiss all of the plaintiffs claims pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), but did so without prejudice. Order at 1-2 (Oct. 23, 2015), ECF No. 15. Specifically, the Court noted that it was "unable to discern a factual predicate for any of the plaintiffs claims, " Id. at 4, and offered the plaintiff the opportunity to amend her Complaint, Id. at 10. The plaintiff then filed her Amended Complaint on November 13, 2015, alleging discrimination based on gender and age, the creation of a hostile work environment, and retaliation. Am. Compl. ¶¶ 1, 10-15.

         II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

         A Rule 12(b)(6) motion tests whether a complaint "state[s] a claim upon which relief can be granted." Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). "To survive a motion to dismiss [under Rule 12(b)(6)], 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 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twomblv. 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). A claim is facially plausible "when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw [a] reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged." Id. (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556). While the Court must "assume [the] veracity" of any "well-pleaded factual allegations" in a complaint, conclusory allegations "are not entitled to the assumption of truth." Id. at 679. Thus, "[t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice." Id. at 678 (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). "In determining whether a complaint states a claim, the court may consider the facts alleged in the complaint, documents attached thereto or incorporated therein, and matters of which it may take judicial notice." Abhe & Svoboda, Inc. v. Chao, 508 F.3d 1052, 1059 (D.C. Cir. 2007) (citation omitted).

         III. ANALYSIS

         A. The Plaintiffs Age Discrimination & Hostile Work Environment Claims

         The District moves to dismiss the plaintiffs age discrimination claim, contending that she failed to exhaust her administrative remedies as to this claim. See Def's Mem. at 4. Specifically, the District argues that the plaintiffs age discrimination claim fails as a matter of law because she did not include it in her administrative charge of discrimination, as "[t]here is no claim, explicit or implied, in the [c]harge of [discrimination relating to age." Id. The Court agrees with the District that the plaintiff did not exhaust her administrative remedies as to her age discrimination ...


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