United States District Court, District of Columbia
Document No.: 39
RUDOLPH CONTRERAS UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
in Part and Denying in Part Defendant’s Motion for
Wayne Bing has sued his former employer, the Architect of the
Capitol (“AOC”), for racial discrimination,
retaliation, and a hostile work environment in violation of
Title VII, 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000e et seq., and
the Congressional Accountability Act (“CAA”), 2
U.S.C. §§ 1301 et seq. With discovery
complete, the AOC has now moved for summary judgment as to
all claims. Because Mr. Bing has put forward evidence from
which a jury could reasonably find in his favor on one claim
but not on others, the Court will grant the motion in part
and deny the motion in part.
Bing worked as a Laborer (Recycler) prior to his termination.
Def.’s Mot. Summ. J. at 2, ECF No. 39. AOC employees
Ronald LeGrand and William Contee supervised Mr. Bing and
eight or nine others working as recyclers alongside him.
Id. Mr. Bing, his two supervisors, and his fellow
Laborers (Recyclers) were all African-American. Id.
his time at the AOC, Mr. Bing was occasionally subject to
disciplinary action. In November 2009, he was suspended for
being absent without leave, and in January 2012, he was
suspended for sleeping on the job and failing to perform his
duties in a satisfactory manner. Id. at 3. In both
instances, Mr. Bing was warned that future misconduct could
result in the termination of his employment. Id.
further incident occurred on March 31, 2015, when Mr. Bing
interrupted a safety briefing led by Mr. Contee and Mr.
LeGrand. Id. at 3–4. Specifically, according
to an Incident Report dated March 31 and signed by both
supervisors on April 2, Mr. Bing “became very
disruptive and made outbursts, ” repeatedly used
profanity, and finally walked out of the meeting altogether.
Id. at 4; see also Incident Report (Mar.
31, 2015), Def.’s Mot. Summ. Judg. Attach.
(“Def.’s Attach.”) (Ex. 9) at 91, ECF No.
April 29, 2015, Mr. LeGrand sent a memorandum proposing Mr.
Bing’s termination to Roy Thomas Jr., the Night
Building Superintendent, and Robert Washington Jr., the
Facility Supervisor, who subsequently proposed termination to
Lawrence Barr, the AOC’s Deputy Superintendent.
Def.’s Mot. Summ. J. at 4. The basis for the
recommendation was Mr. Bing’s “disruptive
behavior.” Termination Proposal (Apr. 29, 2015),
Def.’s Attach. (Ex. 10) at 94. Specifically, the
memorandum stated that, on March 31, 2015, “Mr. Bing
displayed disruptive behavior, used inappropriate and
offensive language towards his supervision, and refused to
follow the directives of a supervisor.” Id. at
96. For support, the memorandum included the March 31
Incident Report, as well as records of Mr. Bing’s
disciplinary issues in 2009 and 2012. See Id . at
1, 2015, an Assistant Superintendent, acting on behalf of Mr.
Barr, accepted the memorandum’s recommendation and
initiated the proposed termination. Id. The proposal
was shared with Mr. Bing around July 8, 2015; as
justification for the termination, it again cited his
disruptive behavior and his failure to follow the directive
of a supervisor on March 31, 2015. Id. It also
referenced the prior 2012 disciplinary incident. Proposal to
Remove (July 8, 2015), Def.’s Attach. (Ex. 12) at 110.
August 25, 2015, Mr. Bing met with Stephen Ayers, the
Architect of the Capitol, to respond to the proposed removal.
Def.’s Mot. Summ. J. at 4. At the meeting, Mr. Bing
disputed some of the details of the events on March 31, but
admitted to becoming angry, saying inappropriate things, and
walking out of the safety briefing. Id. at
4–5. Mr. Bing also provided a written statement from a
colleague, David Mosier, which detailed workplace episodes in
which Mr. LeGrand had allegedly been untruthful. Id.
at 5. Mr. Mosier’s statement did not, however, include
any mention of the March 31 safety briefing or Mr.
Bing’s earlier infractions. Id.; see
also Mosier Statement (Aug. 4, 2015), Def.’s
Attach. (Ex. 15) at 120. The Superintendent of the Senate
Office Buildings, after reviewing the proposed removal and
Mr. Bing’s response, ultimately decided that removal
was appropriate. Def.’s Mot. Summ. J. at 5. On
September 4, Mr. Ayers subsequently issued the final decision
to remove Mr. Bing, which became effective on September 18,
2015. Id. Mr. Bing invoked the AOC’s grievance
procedures to challenge his removal, but his request was
Bing does not challenge these facts, but highlights some
additional ones. First, sometime after the March 31, 2015
incident, Mr. Bing initiated a meeting with Mr. Thomas and
another AOC employee, Ms. Joyner, who were questioning Mr.
Bing’s colleagues about what happened at the safety
briefing. See Pl.’s Opp’n Def.’s
Mot. Summ. J. (“Pl.’s Opp’n”) at 4,
ECF No. 42. The precise timing of this meeting is somewhat
unclear; at his deposition, Mr. Bing could not “recall
the exact date, ” but suggested it was “maybe a
month or two after the March incident.” Bing Dep.,
Def.’s Attach. (Ex. 3) at 38. At that meeting, after
Mr. Bing apologized and expressed remorse for his conduct at
the safety briefing, Mr. Thomas told him that the matter
could be handled “in house.” Pl.’s
Opp’n at 6. Mr. Bing understood this to mean that no
formal discipline would be forthcoming and that the matter
was closed. Id.
again at some point after the March 31, 2015 incident, Mr.
Bing spoke up at a staff meeting, expressing the view that
he, as an African-American male, was not treated as favorably
as other employees by the AOC’s management. Pl.’s
Opp’n at 4–5. At his deposition, Mr. Bing was
similarly unsure of exactly when this meeting occurred. At
times, he suggested or agreed it took place “a few
months” or “a couple of months” after March
31. Bing Dep., Def.’s Attach. (Ex. 3) at 43,
48–49, 52. At other points in the deposition, he stated
or agreed that it was in “April or May.”
Id. at 44, 46, 52. In his briefing here, Mr. Bing
takes the position that the meeting took place before Mr.
Bing was internally recommended for termination on April 29,
2015. See Pl.’s Opp’n at 5 (“After
making this statement [about discrimination] to AOC
management, Mr. Bing was internally recommended for
termination on April 29, 2015 by Mr. LeGrande [sic] based
upon the incidents of March 31, 2015 which had already
previously been addressed by Mr. Thomas and Ms.
Mr. Bing points to two additional Incident Reports, dated
July 8, 2015 and July 16, 2015, which, according to Mr. Bing,
reflect incidents of misconduct that did not actually occur.
See Pl.’s Opp’n at 6.