United States District Court, District of Columbia
G. Sullivan United States District Judge
before the Court is defendant Chugach Government Services
Incorporated's (“CGSI”) motion for summary
judgment on plaintiff John Daniels' claim of
discrimination under 42 U.S.C. Section 1981. Mr. Daniels
alleges discrimination on the basis of race, ancestry and
ethnic considerations under Section 1981 based on CGSI's
failure to select him for a Senior IT Administrator position
both when the position was posted in September 2011 and when
it was reposted in November of 2011. CGSI moves for summary
judgment, arguing that Mr. Daniels has failed to rebut its
legitimate reasons for not selecting him for the position
and, in the alternative, failed to provide any evidence that
supports a finding of intentional discrimination. Upon
consideration of the motion, the response and reply thereto,
the applicable law, and the entire record, CGSI's motion
for summary judgment is GRANTED.
John Daniels emigrated from Africa, and, in October of 2009,
began working for CGSI at its Potomac Job Corps Center as a
Systems Administrator. See Def.'s Supplemental
Statement of Undisputed Facts (“SOF”), ECF No.
32-2 ¶ 1; see also Pl.'s SOF, ECF No. 33-4.
In 2011, CGSI announced that it was consolidating its Systems
Administrator and Lead Systems Administrator positions into
one position, the Senior Information Technology
(“IT”) Administrator position. Def.'s SOF,
ECF No. 32-2 ¶ 2. CGSI notified Mr. Daniels that due to
the reorganization, the position he currently held would no
longer be funded and that his layoff would be effective
November 2011. Id. ¶ 3. CGSI also notified Mr.
Daniels that he could apply for other available positions as
long as he was qualified. Id.
posted a Senior IT Administrator position on September 13,
2011. Id. ¶ 4. CGSI advertised this position
and posted the opening on the Chugach Job Board. Id.
¶ 32. The mandatory requirements for the position
included a bachelor's degree from an accredited college
or university and “at least three years experience
preferred and demonstrated knowledge of setup, problem
resolution, network support, etc., related to computer
hardware and software; and providing assistance to
users.” CGSI Job Description, ECF No. 32-6 at 4. Mr.
Daniels and two other individuals, Andy Berhe and Keith
Lucas, applied for the position. Def.'s SOF, ECF No. 32-2
¶ 6. All three men were interviewed by two CGSI Human
Resource employees and were scored on a scale of 0-28.
Id. ¶¶ 7-12. Mr. Berhe received scores of
20 and 21 out of 28. Id. ¶¶ 7-8. Mr.
Daniels received scores of 21 and 22 out of 28. Id.
¶¶ 11-12. Mr. Lucas received the highest scores by
both interviewers, 25 and 26 out of 28. Id.
Daniels and Mr. Lucas advanced in the selection process and
proceeded to a final interview with Leslie Neloms, the
Director of Finance and Administration. Id. ¶
13. Ms. Neloms had the ultimate hiring authority for the
Senior IT Administrator position. Id. ¶ 14. Ms.
Neloms interviewed Mr. Lucas at the end of September 2011 and
considered him to be a strong candidate. Id. ¶
15. Specifically, Ms. Neloms was impressed by his many years
of experience in the IT Field. Id. Mr. Lucas had at
least ten more years of relevant experience in the IT Field
than Mr. Daniels, id. ¶ 21, and had received
higher scores based on the initial round of interviews,
id. ¶ 22. It is undisputed that Ms. Neloms, at
the time she selected Mr. Lucas for the position, did not
realize that he did not have a Bachelor's degree, one of
the mandatory requirements for the job. Decl. of Leslie
Neloms (“Neloms Decl.”), ECF No. 32-13
¶¶ 7-9. When Ms. Neloms was deciding between Mr.
Daniels and Mr. Lucas for the position, “race,
ancestry, and national origin did not have any bearing on her
decision.” Def.'s SOF, ECF No. 32-2 ¶ 19. Mr.
Daniels does not dispute this assertion. Compare Id.
with Pl.'s SOF, ECF No. 33-4 ¶ 19. (admitting that
Ms. Neloms did not take into account national origin in her
Lucas was notified that he had been selected for the position
on October 6, 2011 but was terminated shortly
“thereafter for reasons unrelated to his
qualifications”. Def.'s SOF, ECF No. 32-2 ¶
24. Mr. Daniels was made Acting Senior IT Administrator in
November of 2011. Id. ¶ 25. Also in November
2011, CGSI reposted the Senior IT Administrator position.
Id. ¶ 27. CGSI posted the opening on the
Chugach Job Board. Id. ¶ 28. At the time of the
posting, Mr. Daniels was aware of how to check the Chugach
Job Board and had access to the Job Board. Id.
¶ 30. Mr. Daniels had checked the Job Board prior to
November 2011, and used the Job Board in September of 2011
when he submitted his resume for the first Senior IT
Administrator posting. Id. ¶¶ 31-32. Mr.
Daniels did not check to see if the Senior IT Administrator
position was posted a second time, and never applied for the
November 2011 Senior IT Administrator position. Id.
interviewed multiple individuals for the November 2011
posting of the Senior IT Administrator position. Id.
¶ 37. Justin Thomas, an African-American man, applied
for the position on January 8, 2012, by submitting his
application online. Id. ¶ 38. Mr. Thomas
participated in a telephone interview for the position on
January 25, 2012, and was hired on February 3, 2012.
Id. ¶¶ 39-40. Mr. Daniels was terminated
from his acting position and he was offered a position as
Substitute Instructor.Id. ¶ 42.
Daniels filed an administrative complaint with the Office of
Federal Contract Compliance Program (“OFCCP”)
alleging that CGSI violated Executive Order 11246. OFCCP
Compl., ECF No. 30-2 at 7. EO 11246 prohibits government
contractors from discriminating against employees on the
basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation,
gender identity, or national origin. See Executive Action
11246, available at
http://www.dol.gov/ofccp/regs/statutes/eo11246.htm. In his
complaint, Mr. Daniels alleged that CGSI violated EO 11246 by
failing to hire him over a less qualified candidate.
See OFCCP Compl., ECF No. 30-2 at 7. The OFCCP
agreed and stated that CGSI “violated Executive Order
11246 when it hired the Selected Candidate, who did not meet
the minimum requirements for the position, over the
Complainant.” Id. at 11. Specifically, the
OFCCP found that the selected candidate did not meet one of
the mandatory requirements for the Senior IT Administrator
position which was a Bachelor's degree or higher.
Id. at 9. OFCCP further explained that CGSI stated
that selected candidate provided conflicting information
about this requirement, and that Ms. Neloms did not catch the
significance of the candidate's education in relation to
the mandatory requirements. Id. at 10. Ms. Neloms
stated that the candidate should not have been considered.
Id. OFCCP found that the “Selected Candidate
was hired without meeting the minimum qualifications and over
a more qualified applicant, the Complainant.”
Mr. Daniels brought this suit alleging several claims against
CGSI. See generally, Amended Compl., ECF No. 13.
This Court granted in part CGSI's motion to dismiss, and
the sole claim that remains is the Section 1981 claim for
intentional discrimination. See Daniels v. Chugach
Government Serv.'s, Inc., 149 F.Supp.3d 183 (D.D.C
2016). The parties have engaged in discovery pursuant to this
Court's scheduling order issued September 22, 2016.
See ECF No. 23. CGSI served interrogatories,
requests for production of documents, and requests for
admissions on December 9, 2016. See Pl.'s Mot.
To Withdraw Admissions (“Mot. to Withdraw”), ECF
No. 25. Mr. Daniels, for his part, served interrogatories and
requests for production of documents, but did not seek to
depose any potential witnesses. Id. Mr. Daniels also
failed to respond to CGSI's request for admissions,
interrogatories, and production of documents in a timely
filed a motion for summary judgment prior to the completion
of discovery, Def.'s Mot., ECF No. 28, and subsequently
filed a supplemental motion for summary judgment after
discovery closed, Def.'s Supp. Mot., ECF No. 32. Mr.
Daniels has opposed both motions, Pl.'s Opp'n, ECF
No. 30; Pl.'s Supp. Opp'n, ECF No. 33, and the
motions are ripe for adjudication.
may grant summary judgment when “the movant shows that
there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the
movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). A “material” fact is one
capable of affecting the substantive outcome of the
litigation. See Liberty Lobby, 477 U.S. at 248. A
dispute is “genuine” if there is enough evidence
for a reasonable jury to return a verdict for the nonmovant.
See Scott v. Harris, 550 U.S. 372, 380 (2007).
faced with a motion for summary judgment, the district court
may not make credibility determinations or weigh the
evidence; instead, the evidence must be analyzed in the light
most favorable to the non-movant, with all justifiable
inferences drawn in his favor. Liberty Lobby, 477
U.S. at 255. If material facts are genuinely in dispute, or
undisputed facts are susceptible to divergent yet justifiable
inferences, summary judgment is inappropriate. Moore v.
Hartman, 571 F.3d 62, 66 (D.C. Cir. 2009). In the end,
the district court's task is to determine “whether
the evidence presents a sufficient disagreement to require
submission to a jury or whether it is so one-sided that one
party must prevail as a matter of law.” Liberty
Lobby, 477 U.S. at 251-52 (internal quotation marks
omitted). In this regard, the non-movant must “do more
than simply show that there is some metaphysical doubt as to
the material facts, ” Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co.,
Ltd. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586 (1986);
“[i]f the evidence is merely colorable, or is not
significantly probative, summary judgment may be
granted.” Liberty Lobby, 477 U.S. at 249-50
(internal citations omitted).
1981 prohibits racial discrimination in the “making,
performance, modification, and termination of
contracts” and protects classes of persons from
intentional discrimination based on their ancestry or ethnic
characteristics. 42 U.S.C. § 1981(b); St. Francis
College v. Al- Khazraji, 481 U.S. 604, 613
(1987)(defining race as used in § 1981 as including
ancestry and ethnicity claims). To establish a claim under
Section 1981, a plaintiff must show that (1) he is a member
of a racial minority group; (2) the defendant intended to
discriminate on the basis of race; and (3) the discrimination
pertained to one of the activities enumerated in the statute.
Dickerson v. District of Columbia, 806 F.Supp.2d
116, 119 (D.D.C. 2011). A successful Section 1981 claim
alleges discrimination ...