United States District Court, District of Columbia
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
P. Mehta United States District Judge.
Farisse Moore filed this lawsuit against her employer, the
District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority (“D.C.
Water”) and her direct supervisor, Jonathan Reeves.
Moore alleges that she has been subjected to discriminatory,
harassing, and retaliatory actions on the basis of her race
and gender, leading to her disparate treatment and creation
of a hostile work environment in violation of the District of
Columbia Human Rights Act (“DCHRA”) and 42 U.S.C.
the court is Defendants' Motion to Dismiss. See
generally Defs.' Mot. to Dismiss. Compl., ECF No. 6;
Mem. in Support of Defs.' Mot. [hereinafter Defs.'
Mem.], ECF No. 6-1. For the reasons that follow, the court
denies Defendants' Motion.
the Defendants' arguments border on frivolous, therefore
the court need not spend much time addressing
argument that the court ought to ignore any alleged conduct
that predates February 23, 2017, both misreads the Complaint
and misunderstands the Supreme Court's decision in
National R.R. Passenger Corp. v. Morgan, 536 U.S.
101 (2002). First, Plaintiff has asserted a claim under 42
U.S.C.§ 1981. Such claims have either a three- or
four-year limitations period. See Morris v. Carter Glob.
Lee, Inc., 997 F.Supp.2d 27, 38 (D.D.C. 2013). Under
either limitation period, Plaintiff's section 1981 claim
forecloses the court from walling off events alleged to have
occurred before February 23, 2017.
under Morgan, the alleged conduct pre-dating
February 23, 2017, is relevant to Plaintiff's hostile
work environment claims. Under Morgan, “[if]
an act contributing to the [hostile work environment] claim
occurs within the filing period, the entire time period of
the hostile environment may be considered by a court for the
purposes of determining liability.” Morgan,
536 U.S. at 117; accord Lively v. Flexible Packaging
Ass'n, 830 A.2d 874, 890-93 (D.C. 2003) (applying
Morgan to claims under the DCHRA). Here, Plaintiff
alleges that Defendants subjected her to a hostile work
environment because of her race and gender and in retaliation
for the protected action of reporting Defendant Reeves's
discriminatory treatment. See Not. of Removal, ECF
No. 1, Ex. ECF No. 1-1 [hereinafter Compl.], ¶¶
26-41. One of the final discriminatory acts Reeves is alleged
to have taken against Plaintiff is removing her major job
duties in December 2017, well within the one-year limitations
period. See Compl. ¶ 23. Accordingly, under
Morgan, the court cannot ignore the acts pre-dating
February 23, 2017, even if they would be untimely as discrete
acts of discrimination. See Lively, 830 A.2d at 890
(“It does not matter, for purposes of the [DCHRA], that
some of the component acts of the hostile work environment
fall outside the statutory time period.”) (citation and
internal quotation marks omitted).
court now turns to Defendants' various arguments as to
why Plaintiff has failed to state a claim.
begin, Defendants' insistence that Plaintiff has failed
to allege an adverse action to support her disparate
treatment claims is wrong. Plaintiff alleges that Defendant
Reeves hired a Caucasian male, who was unqualified and known
to come to work drunk, and then, on December 22, 2017,
“assigned all of Ms. Moore's major duties” to
him. Compl. ¶ 23. Stripping Plaintiff of her
“major duties” is a legally cognizable adverse
action. See Czekalski v. Peters, 475 F.3d 360, 364
(D.C. Cir. 2007); cf. Baloch v. Kempthorne, 550 F.3d
1191, 1197 (D.C. Cir. 2008) (holding that the plaintiff had
not suffered an adverse action when his “duties in the
wake of [another's] hiring did not constitute a
qualitatively inferior work requiring any less skill or
knowledge”). Plaintiff has sufficiently pleaded facts
that, if true, would satisfy the adversity requirement.
See Compl. ¶ 23.
contention that “the Complaint is devoid of any
allegations” of discriminatory animus is mystifying.
Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Reeves made a laundry list
of derogatory and inflammatory comments directed to or around
her throughout her employment, including intermittent use of
the n***** word, Compl. ¶¶ 11, 18; use of the term
“crackish” in reference to an all
African-American employee team, id. ¶ 10;
discussion of an African American employee's “hairy
black ass” being on top of Plaintiff in a sexual
manner, id. ¶ 14; and ...