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Omene v. Accenture Federal Services

United States District Court, District of Columbia

September 30, 2019

BREE OMENE, Plaintiff,
v.
ACCENTURE FEDERAL SERVICES, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          TREVOR N. MCFADDEN, U.S.D.J.

         Bree Omene has sued her former employer, Accenture Federal Services (“Accenture”), alleging that it subjected her to unlawful discrimination, retaliation, and harassment. Accenture moves to dismiss Ms. Omene's Second Amended Complaint. As Ms. Omene largely fails to rebut or even address Accenture's arguments, the Court will grant Accenture's motion and dismiss Ms. Omene's Second Amended Complaint. But the Court will grant Ms. Omene leave to file another amended complaint.

         I.

         Accenture provides management and technology services to government clients. Second Am. Compl. ¶ 5, ECF No. 32. Ms. Omene began working as a software developer specialist with Accenture in late 2014, and in June 2015, Accenture assigned her to a project for the U.S. Postal Service. Id. ¶ 11. Johnny Wen was Ms. Omene's manager on the Postal Service project. Id. ¶ 12.

         According to Ms. Omene, working under Mr. Wen was unpleasant, and “on multiple occasions, ” he “expressed a desire to remove [her] from his team.” Id. ¶¶ 14, 16. Ms. Omene is African American, and Mr. Wen, who is Asian, allegedly wanted to build an all-Asian team. Id. ¶¶ 12-13, 15. Mr. Wen allegedly also complained that Ms. Omene, who was around 50 at the time, was too old and was not a man. Id. ¶ 15, 17. According to Ms. Omene, Mr. Wen reassigned her projects “to younger team members who were . . . 30 and under, male, and Asian.” Id. ¶ 17. Ms. Omene complained to Human Resources, but they allegedly took no action. Id. ¶ 21. Accenture eventually removed Ms. Omene from the Postal Service project- allegedly at Mr. Wen's direction-and reassigned her to a new project for “PCORI.” Id. ¶¶ 17, 27, 29.

         But she had a bad experience there, too. She alleges that her new supervisor subjected her to “daily abuse, intimidation, and harassment.” Id. ¶ 30. A different PCORI team member, Kim Vay, allegedly “supervised and scrutinized [Ms. Omene's] work unlike any other team members, ” “yelled at and belittled [Ms. Omene] in the presence of other employees, ” “assigned deadlines for tasks that she knew were impossible” for Ms. Omene to complete, and took other unspecified “steps to ensure that [Ms. Omene] failed in [her] position.” Id. ¶ 31. Ms. Vay allegedly wanted to replace Ms. Omene. Id. ¶ 35. According to Ms. Omene, when she asked why Ms. Vay wanted to replace her, “[Ms. Vay] had no answer other than ‘because I can.'” Id. ¶ 36. Ms. Omene alleges that she again complained to Human Resources to no avail. Id. ¶¶ 40- 41, 43.

         Ms. Omene alleges that the stress from work took a toll on her health. Id. ¶ 44. She sought treatment for stress and anxiety, and her doctor placed her on disability leave. Id. ¶¶ 44- 45. Her doctor confirmed, she claims, that she suffered from “neck stiffness . . . and pain in her arm [and] neck.” Id. ¶ 46. In November 2016, Ms. Omene's doctor allegedly “updated [Accenture] with information concerning [Mr. Omene's] medical condition.” Id. ¶ 45.

         While Ms. Omene was “out on disability” in November 2016, Accenture terminated her. Id. ¶ 49. She filed a Charge of Discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) exactly 300 days later, alleging that Accenture terminated her because of her “age, race, national origin, and disability, retaliation, and color.” Id. ¶ 7. Ninety days after the EEOC issued a Notice of Right-to-Sue, Ms. Omene filed this action. Id. ¶ 8.

         Ms. Omene raises many claims for relief under six counts. First, she raises an age discrimination claim under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (“ADEA”). Id. ¶¶ 51-57. Second, she claims discrimination based on race, gender, color, and national origin under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Id. ¶¶ 58-64. Third, she claims discrimination based on her disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”). Id. ¶¶ 65-74. Fourth, she claims that Accenture interfered with her rights under the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) and its local counterpart (“DCFMLA”). Id. ¶¶ 75-80.[1] Fifth, she claims Accenture retaliated against her for exercising her rights under the FMLA and DCFMLA. Id. ¶¶ 81-86. Finally, she claims that Accenture wrongfully terminated her employment. Id. ¶¶ 87- 90. Accenture has moved to dismiss all six counts. See Def.'s Mot. to Dismiss, ECF No. 33; Def.'s Mem. in Supp. of Mot. to Dismiss (“Def.'s Mem.”), ECF No. 34.[2]

         II.

         Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) provides for the dismissal of an action where a complaint fails “to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.” To survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must state a claim that is “plausible on its face.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). To meet the “plausibility standard” and survive dismissal, a plaintiff must “plead factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Id.

         In evaluating a motion to dismiss, courts must “treat the complaint's factual allegations as true . . . and must grant [the] plaintiff the benefit of all inferences that can be derived from the facts alleged.” Sparrow v. United Air Lines, Inc., 216 F.3d 1111, 1113 (D.C. Cir. 2000) (cleaned up). But courts need not accept as true legal conclusions couched as factual allegations or draw inferences unsupported by the facts set forth in the complaint. Grant v. Ent. Cruises, Inc., 282 F.Supp.3d 114, 116 (D.D.C. 2017). Ultimately, applying the motion to dismiss standard is a “context-specific task that requires the reviewing court to draw on its judicial experience and common sense.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679.

         III.

         Ms. Omene has conceded the claims in her Second Amended Complaint by failing to address Accenture's arguments for dismissal. First, Ms. Omene has conceded her claim for wrongful termination. Accenture persuasively argued that Ms. Omene failed to allege a connection between her termination and a public policy not already protected by another statute, as required to state a claim for wrongful termination in the District of Columbia. See Def.'s Mem. at 23-24 (citing Jones v. D.C. Water & Sewer Auth., 943 F.Supp.2d 90, 94 (D.D.C. 2013)). Ms. Omene did not respond. See generally ...


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