United States District Court, District of Columbia
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
COLLEEN KOLLAR KOTELLY, UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT JUDGE.
matter is before the Court on the Defendant American
Airlines' Motion to Partially Dismiss Plaintiffs
Complaint [ECF No. 7] and plaintiffs Motion to Amend the
Complaint [ECF No. 10]. For the reasons discussed below, the
Court grants the former and denies the latter.
Mychael Powell, age 58, is an African American male, Compl.
at 1, who "has been diagnosed with a [p]sychiatric
[d]isability (stress disorder), " id. at 2. He
also is a former employee of American Airlines, Inc.,
id. at 1, which "employs more than 100, 000
individuals, " Def. Am. Airlines' Statement of P.
& A. in Support of its Mot. to Partial Dismiss Pl.'s
Compl. ("Def.'s Mot.") at 2.
was assigned to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in
Arlington, Virginia as an Airport Customer Care Manager from
2016 until his termination on May 5, 2017. Compl. at 1.
According to plaintiff, although he had "performed his
job in a satisfactory manner, " id., he had
"continually [been] treated with general hostility about
trips to visit his children in New York on his scheduled days
off, " id. at 2. Defendant, "looking for
[a] reason to terminate [plaintiffs] employment, "
allegedly "asked him to write an incident report
[regarding the] arrival [of an] aircraft [on] April 9[, ]
2017." Id. The manager on duty "waited ten
days . . . before asking [plaintiff[ to write" the
report, and because plaintiff "was under extreme stress
due to two deaths in his family over a two week period,
" he "was unable to remember all of the intricate
details to include in the report." Id.
Nevertheless, a supervisor directed plaintiff "to write
what he could remember." Id. Defendant then
"terminated [plaintiffs] employment... because [the
manager] deemed the report not credible." Id.
alleges that defendant discriminated against him on the bases
of his age, race, color and disability. Id. He
brings this action under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of
1964, as amended ("Title VII"), see 42
U.S.C. §§ 2000e et seq., the Americans
with Disabilities Act ("ADA"), see 42
U.S.C. §§ 12101 et seq., the Age
Discrimination in Employment Act ("ADEA"),
see 29 U.S.C. §§ 621 et seq., and
the Virginia Human Rights Act ("VHRA"),
see Va. Code Ann. §§ 2.2-3900 et
relevant part, the VHRA provides:
No employer employing more than five but less than 15
persons shall discharge any such employee on the basis
of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, pregnancy,
childbirth or related medical conditions[.] No. employer
employing more than five but less than 20persons
shall discharge any such employee on the basis of age if the
employee is 40 years of age or older.
Va. Code Ann. § 2.2-3903(B) (emphasis added). Defendant
moves to dismiss plaintiffs claim under the VHRA with
prejudice. Def. Am. Airlines' Statement of P. & A. in
Support of its Mot. to Partial Dismiss Pl.'s Compl.
("Def.'s Mot.") at 3-4. "The VHRA .. .
creates a limited private cause of action that does not apply
to employers with more than fifteen employees, "
id. at 3, and, defendant argues, the VHRA does not
apply to it, id. at 4.
plaintiff does not have a cause of action under the VHRA
unless the conditions of § 2.2-2639(B) and (C) have been
met." Blankenship v. City of Portsmouth, 372
F.Supp.2d 496, 501 (E.D. Va. 2005). Here, because defendant
employs far more than 15 individuals, plaintiffs complaint
fails to state a claim under the VHRA. See Jones v.
Kroger Ltd. P'ship, 80 F.Supp.3d 709, 716 (W.D. Va.
2015); Walton v. Sch. Bd. of Gloucester Cnty., No.
4:06cv75, 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 87477, at *16 (E.D. Va. Dec.
"understand[s] the dismissal of the Virginia Human
Rights Act" claim, and moves to amend his complaint by
adding a claim under the District of Columbia Human Rights
Act. Mot. to Am. the Compl. at 1,  He reasons that District of
Columbia law applies because the alleged discriminatory
actions "occurred at the Reagan Airport which is located
at: Ronald Reagan Washington - Airport Washington DC
20001." Id. at 1-2. Plaintiff is mistaken.
National Airport primarily serves Washington, D.C., it is
located in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The DCRA's
intent is "to secure an end in the District of
Columbia to discrimination" based on a person's
race, color or age, among other characteristics. D.C. Code
§ 2-1401.01 (emphasis added); see Monteilh v.
AFSCME, 982 A.2d 301, 305 (D.C. 2009) (finding that the
DCHRA applies where "[e]ither the decision must be made,
or its effects must be felt, or both must have occurred, in
the District of Columbia"). It "is not
extraterritorial; it does not and cannot secure an end to
discrimination in jurisdictions outside of the District of
Columbia." Cole v. Boeing Co., 845 F.Supp.2d
277, 284 (D.D.C. 2012). Absent any allegation that any
discriminatory action occurred in the District or that its
effects were felt in the District, plaintiff cannot sustain a
DCHRA claim. See Webster v. Potter, 185 F.Supp.3d
74, 77 (D.D.C. 2016) (dismissing DCHRA claim brought by
Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority law enforcement
officer who worked at National Airport); cf. Pfister v.
Dir., Office of Workers Comp. Programs, 675 F.2d 1314
(D.C. Cir. 1982) (per curiam) (affirming denial of claim
under District of Columbia Workmen's Compensation Act by
Delta Airlines mechanic who worked at maintenance facility at
Washington National Airport).
district court may deny a motion to amend a complaint as
futile if the proposed claim would not survive a motion to
dismiss." Hettinga v. United States, 677 F.3d
471, 480 (D.C. Cir. 2012) (citation omitted), cert,
denied,568 U.S. 1088 (2013). The plaintiffs DCHRA claim
cannot survive a ...