United States District Court, District of Columbia
BERMAN JACKSON, United States District Judge
Dolores Barot brought this action against the Embassy of the
Republic of Zambia alleging that when defendant terminated
her employment, it discriminated and retaliated against her
in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42
U.S.C. § 2000e, et seq., and the Age
Discrimination in Employment Act, 29 U.S.C. § 621,
et seq ("ADEA"). Compl. [Dkt. # 1] at 4.
Plaintiff later amended her complaint to include an
allegation that defendant also violated the District of
Columbia Wage Payment and Collection Law, D.C. Code §
32-1301, et seq ("DCWPCL"), when it failed
to pay her wages she was owed after her termination. 1st Am.
Compl. [Dkt. # 17-1] ¶¶ 63-65; 2d Am. Compl. [Dkt.
# 60] ¶¶ 87-90. In its answer, defendant asserted
statute of limitations as an affirmative defense to the wage
claim. Am. Answer [Dkt. # 63] ¶ 94.
has moved for partial summary judgment on the DCWPCL claim
(Count IV), arguing that defendant owes her wages and that
her claim is timely. Mot. for Partial Summ. J. [Dkt. # 75]
("Pl.'s Mot."); Mem. in Supp. of Pl.'s Mot.
[Dkt. # 75-2] ("Pl.'s Mem."). Defendant filed a
cross-motion for partial summary judgment, contending that
plaintiffs claim is time-barred and that no equitable remedy
tolls the three-year statute of limitations. Def's
Cross-Mot. for Partial Summ. J. [Dkt. # 78] ("Def.'s
Cross-Mot."); Def.'s Mem. in Opp. to Pl.'s Mot.
& in Supp. of Def.'s Cross-Mot. [Dkt. # 77]
Court finds that plaintiffs DCWPCL claim is time-barred, and
it will grant summary judgment on Count IV in favor of
defendant. Defendant's other pending motion for summary
judgment on Counts I, II, and III remains under advisement,
and it will be addressed in a separate opinion.
following facts are undisputed unless otherwise
Plaintiff began working for defendant as a secretary in
January 1998. Pl.'s SOF ¶¶ 1, 6; Def.'s SOF
¶¶ 1, 6.
time, she took on duties she described as
"accounting" duties, Ex. A to Def.'s Cross-Mot.
[Dkt. # 77-2] ("Barot Dep") at 314:17-317:12, and
she requested an increase in her salary to reflect those
additional duties on September 8, 2009. 2d Am. Compl. ¶
September 10, 2009, defendant placed plaintiff on
administrative leave, during which she was paid fifty-percent
of her regular salary. Pl.'s SOF ¶ 21; Def.'s
SOF ¶ 21
. In a
letter dated November 5, 2009, defendant informed plaintiff
that she had "been terminated with effect from 31st
October 2009, " and that she would be "paid one
month's salary in lieu of notice." See
Pl.'s SOF ¶¶ 5, 26; Def.'s SOF ¶¶
Notwithstanding the date of the letter, defendant mailed it
to plaintiff on November 23, 2009, Pl.'s
SOF ¶ 27; Def.'s SOF ¶ 27; see Ex. 11
to Pl.'s Mot. [Dkt. # 75-4] ("Ex. 11"), and she
received it the next day, on November 24,
2009. Ex. L to Def.'s Cross-Mot [Dkt. # 77-2]
Defendant notified the United States Department of State that
it had terminated plaintiff with a "termination
date" of November 30, 2009. Ex. 12 to
Pl.'s Mot. [Dkt. # 75-4] ("Ex. 12").
November 30, 2009, Frank Mbewe -
defendant's First Secretary of Accounts, to whom
plaintiff reported - submitted a request to Minister
Counselor Alfred Chioza for approval of "final
payments" to be made to plaintiff. Pl.'s SOF
¶¶ 7, 16, 29; Def.'s SOF ¶¶ 7, 16,
29; Ex. 13 to Pl.'s Mot. [Dkt. #75-4].
December 2, 2009, plaintiff sent a letter to
defendant requesting full payment of the money she believed
she was owed and stating that she had consulted with an
attorney. Ex. L.
Chioza approved the final payment amounts in Mr. Mbewe's
letter on December 4, 2009. Def.'s SOF
¶ 32; Pl.'s Resp. SOF ¶ 32.
Plaintiff requested payment again on December 4,
2009. Pl.'s SOF ¶ 30; Def.'s SOF ¶
30; Ex. 14 to Pl.'s Mot. [Dkt. # 75-4] ("Ex.
December 7, 2009, plaintiff received $6,
155.00 from defendant. Pl.'s SOF ¶ 32; Def.'s
SOF ¶ 32. That same day, plaintiff informed Mr.
Mbewe that she believed she had been underpaid. Def.'s
SOF ¶ 32; Pl.'s Resp. SOF ¶ 32.
December 9, 2009, plaintiff sent a letter to
Mr. Chioza, reiterating that she had been underpaid.
Pl.'s SOF ¶ 33; Def.'s SOF ¶ 33; Ex. 15 to
Pl.'s Mot. [Dkt. # 75-4].
December 15, 2009, Mr. Mbewe emailed
plaintiff a calculation of "Final Payments of Leave Days
and Salary in Lieu of Notice." Def.'s SOF ¶ 34;
Pl.'s Resp. SOF ¶ 34; Ex. FF to Def.'s
Cross-Mot. [Dkt. # 77-3] ("Ex. FF"). He stated that
the computations would be submitted to Mr. Chioza as
"final, " and that "the case can be declared
as closed thereafter" unless plaintiff had any other
objections. Def.'s SOF ¶ 34; Pl.'s Resp. SOF
¶ 34; Ex. FF.
next day, December 16, 2009, plaintiff
responded to Mr. Mbewe, confirming that she did "not
dispute this at all." Ex. GG to Def 's Cross-Mot.
[Dkt. # 77-3].
Notwithstanding this exchange, plaintiff states that Mr.
Mbewe informed her on December 23, 2009,
that First Secretary of Political and Administration, Chembo
Felix Mbula, would be reviewing her underpayment claim.
Pl.'s SOF ¶ 34; Decl. of Dolores Barot, Ex. 4 to
Pl.'s Mot. [Dkt. # 75-4] ("Barot Decl.") ¶
Thereafter, on January 10 and
January 24, 2010, plaintiff contacted Mr.
Mbula to request that she be paid the money she believed she
was owed. Pl.'s SOF ¶ 35; Def's SOF ¶ 35;
Ex. 16 to Pl.'s Mot. [Dkt. # 75-4]; Ex. 17 to Pl.'s
Mot. [Dkt. # 75-4].
February 1, 2010, plaintiff received $1,
155.00 from defendant. Pl.'s SOF ¶ ...