United States District Court, District of Columbia
BERMAN JACKSON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
16, 2018, pro se plaintiff Ibin Qadir Jackson
brought this action in the Superior Court for the District of
Columbia against defendant District Hospital Partners, LP,
d/b/a The George Washington University Hospital
("GWUH"), alleging that he "was wrongfully
terminated for briefly . . . raising [his] voice in relation
to being coerced and forced to work on 1 of the only 2
official holidays in the Mulsim [sic] religion." Ex. A
to Notice of Removal [Dkt. # 1-2] ("Compl.") at 1.
He attached to his complaint an unsworn and undated U.S.
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission "Charge of
Discrimination" form that accused defendant of
discriminating against him based on race, sex, religion, and
retaliation in violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as
amended ("Title VII"), 42 U.S.C. § 2000e,
et seq. Id. at 4. Plaintiff seeks lost wages from
July 2016 to November 2017. Id. at 1; Resp. to Def
's Mot. [Dkt. # 9] ("Pl.'s Opp.") at 2.
August 23, 2018, defendant removed this action pursuant to
the Court's federal question jurisdiction, and it
simultaneously moved to dismiss the complaint for failure to
state a claim under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6).
Notice of Removal [Dkt. # 1] ¶ 9; Civil Cover Sheet
[Dkt. # 1-1]. Plaintiff opposed that motion, maintaining that
he stated a claim against defendant under Title VII of the
Civil Rights Act and "religious accommodation law."
Pl.'s Opp. At 1. Defendant did not file a reply in
support of its motion. For the reasons stated below, the
Court will deny defendant's motion to dismiss and will
allow plaintiffs Title VII disparate treatment claim,
42U.S.C. § 2000e-2(a)(1), and retaliation claim, 42
U.S.C. § 2000e-3(a), to move forward.
Court accepts the following factual allegations in
prose plaintiff s filings as true, as it must at
this stage. Sparrow v. United Air Lines, Inc., 216
F.3d 1111, 1113 (D.C. Cir. 2000). Plaintiff is a Muslim,
African-American male who was formerly employed as an
orderly, also known as a "float technician," by
GWUH. Ex. B to Notice of Removal [Dkt. # 1-3] ("Charge
of Discrimination") at 1. In his three-sentence
complaint, plaintiff alleges that he was wrongfully
terminated in July 2016:
I was wrongfully terminated for briefly (10 seconds) raising
my voice in relation to being coerced and forced to work on 1
of the only 2 official holidays in the Mulsim [sic] religion,
Eid-al-fitr. I routinely worked 64-80 hours weekly and was
refuse [sic] my only religious accommodation request in my 3
year tenure. ... I was unemployed from July 2016-Nov[.] 2017
and seeking lost wages.
Compl. at 1. Defendant attached to his complaint his unsworn
and undated "Charge of Discrimination," form which
identifies the cause of discrimination as race, sex,
religion, and retaliation. Charge of Discrimination at 1.
attached Charge of Discrimination, plaintiff expands upon the
three-sentence complaint. He alleges that he was scheduled to
work from 7:00 pm to 7:00 am on July 6, 2016, which coincided
with "Eid-el Fatir," a Muslim holiday to celebrate
the end of Ramadan. Charge of Discrimination at 1. He called
his manager on that day to ask if he could take the day off,
but his manager declined his request, and told him he needed
to work at "4S Medical Surgery," an assignment
plaintiff described as requiring "technical skill."
Id. However, once plaintiff arrived for his shift on
July 6, he was told he would be a "sitter" in the
Emergency Department, which required him "to simply
observe the patients." Id. at 2. According to
plaintiff, he "was fine with working at 4S [Medical
Surgery] as [he] liked the challenging environment,"
id. at 1, but the "sitter" assignment
"felt like this was further punishment and retaliation
for [his] religious beliefs." Id. at 2. Given
the importance of religious observance on that day, plaintiff
considered it "demeaning for . . . GWU[H] to not give
[him] the day off, [and] to tell [him] that [his] services
were needed in the emergency room, only to be now told, that
[he] was to sit and observe patients." Id.
went to the staffing specialist and hospital operations
supervisor and raised his voice stating that he "needed
the day off to celebrate Eid" and complaining
that "[he] work[s] really hard, and not be getting the
day off and for what? For this? Anybody can be sitting at the
Emergency Department." Charge of Discrimination at 2.
The hospital operations specialist asked plaintiff to
"calm down," sent him home because of his
"state of mind," and took his badge away.
Id. He was suspended from July 7, 2016, to July 10,
2016, and was told by his manager that GWUH was
"conducting an investigation" into the incident.
20, 2016, plaintiff attended a meeting with his manager and
the human resources supervisor where he was terminated.
Charge of Discrimination at 2. He was told that his behavior
on July 6 was "unprofessional and disruptive" and
that he was being terminated because that was his third
incident of misconduct. Id. According to plaintiff,
the first incident occurred in 2014 when a patient was found
sitting on the floor in his absence, and the second incident
occurred in May 2016 when he briefly left his post to go to
an ATM. Id.
states that he "believe[s] [he] was discriminated and
retaliated against by GWU[H] for exercising [his] religious
rights for accommodations," and he asked the EEOC to
"enforce all [his] federal rights." Charge of
Discrimination at 2. He claims that "other non-Muslim,
non-Male, non-African American individuals have been treated
better than [him], and were not terminated for 'raising
their voice.'" Id.
appears that plaintiff signed a copy of the Charge of
Discrimination form on July 27, 2016, and submitted it to the
EEOC. Ex. C to Notice of Removal [Dkt. # 1-4] ("Signed
-Charge of Discrimination"). Defendant attached a copy
of this signed document with its Notice of Removal as well as
a letter from the EEOC dated October 6, 2016, which informed
defendant that plaintiff had filed a charge of discrimination
against it "based on religion, retaliation, race and
sex, and involv[ing] issues of discharge that are alleged to
have occurred on or about July 20, 2016." Ex. Cto Notice
of Removal [Dkt. # 1-4] ("EEOC Notice of Charge of
EEOC case was dismissed approximately two years later on
April 18, 2018. EEOC Dismissal and Notice of Rights [Dkt. #
1-2]. Plaintiff attached to his complaint the EEOC order
titled "Dismissal and Notice of Rights" which
informed him that the agency was closing his case because it
was "unable to conclude that the information obtained
establishes violations of the statutes." Id.
16, 2018, plaintiff filed his discrimination suit in Superior
Court for the District of Columbia, see Compl., and
on August 23, 2018, defendant removed the case to federal
court and simultaneously moved to dismiss the suit for
failure to state a claim. Notice of Removal [Dkt. # 1];
Def's Mot. at Dismiss Pl.'s Compl. [Dkt. #8]