United States District Court, District of Columbia
C. Lamberth United States District Judge
before the Court are plaintiffs Motion to Remand to State
Court [ECF No. 7] and defendant's Motion to Dismiss [ECF
No. 13]. Upon consideration, plaintiffs Motion to Remand to
State Court is DENIED. Furthermore, defendant's Motion to
Dismiss is GRANTED. Counts I and III of plaintiff s complaint
are DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE. Counts II and IV of the
complaint are DISMISSED WITHOUT PREJUDICE.
Oluwarotimi Odutola, worked for defendant, Branch Banking and
Trust Company, as a personal banker from October 17, 2015 to
November 22, 2016. Am. Compl. ¶ 6. In October of 2016,
plaintiff had several incidents at work. See Id.
plaintiff became concerned when his superiors attempted to
convince plaintiff to violate defendant's corporate
policy by leaving a branch of the bank with only one teller
working. Id. ¶¶ 9-12. Plaintiff attempted
to raise his concerns in a meeting with his manager the next
day. Id. ¶ 13. But the manager reprimanded
plaintiff for not doing as he was told and used
discriminatory language in the process. Id. ¶
few days later, plaintiff had an altercation with a customer.
Id. ¶¶ 27-46. The customer came into the
bank and approached plaintiffs window at the teller counter,
trying to cash a suspicious check. Id. ¶¶
24-25. When plaintiff told the customer that he needed to
provide verification, the customer became enraged at
plaintiff. Id. ¶¶ 25-32. Plaintiff asked
the customer to leave the premises, further angering the
customer and causing him to make serious threats to
plaintiffs life. Id. ¶¶ 33-35. Plaintiff
came around the teller line window to try to alert the branch
manager, but the customer blocked his path. Id.
¶¶ 36-41. A coworker tried to deescalate the
situation, grabbing the customer's check and ID in order
to notify the authorities. Id. ¶¶ 42-43.
Finally, the branch manager came out of her office; she
returned the check and ID to the customer, who left the
store. Id. ¶¶ 44-46.
was incredibly disturbed by the whole incident and the fact
that the branch manager never intervened or even reported the
customer. Id. ¶¶ 47-50. In a meeting with
the branch manager, he told the manager that he planned to
report both the incident with the customer and the
discriminatory language from the earlier meeting to the Equal
Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") and the
Occupational Safety and Health Administration
("OSHA"). Id. ¶ 55. Additionally, he
wished to file a grievance report with defendant's human
resources department. Id. ¶ 57. The branch
manager responded by making discriminatory remarks to
plaintiff and threatening to terminate his employment if he
reported the incident. Id. ¶¶ 55-60.
eventually called the police to report the altercation with
the customer. Id. ¶¶ 77-85. Immediately
after an officer came to question the branch manager,
plaintiff was placed on administrative leave. Id.
¶ 86. On October 19, 2016, he filed a claim with the
EEOC. And on November 22, 2016, the plaintiffs employment
with the defendant was terminated. Id. ¶ 94.
October 27, 2017, plaintiff filed the instant lawsuit in D.C.
Superior Court. On December 22, 2017, plaintiff amended his
complaint seeking $4.3 million in damages and listing four
counts: (1) negligence; (2) hostile work environment; (3)
violation of public policy; and (4) retaliation. Am. Compl.
¶¶ 95-209. Plaintiff is proceeding pro se.
Plaintiffs Motion to Remand to State Court is Denied
originally filed this suit in D.C. Superior Court. On January
16, 2018, defendant filed a notice of removal, removing the
case to this Court. Plaintiff now moves to remand the case to
Superior Court. For the reasons set forth below, plaintiffs
motion is denied.
actions filed in state court may be removed to a United
States district court by the defendant so long as the case
could have originally been filed in federal court. 28 U.S.C.
§ 1441(a) (2012). However, "[i]f at any time before
final judgment it appears that the district court lacks
subject matter jurisdiction, the case shall be
remanded." Id. § 1447(c). A challenge to
subject matter jurisdiction may be raised on a motion to
remand by the parties. Id. A "party opposing a
motion to remand bears the burden of establishing that
subject matter jurisdiction exists in federal ...