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Crockett v. SRA Int'l

United States District Court, D. Maryland

May 1, 2013

KIMBERLY CROCKETT, Plaintiff,
v.
SRA INTERNATIONAL, Defendant

Page 566

For Kimberly Crockett, Plaintiff: Barron L Stroud, Jr, LEAD ATTORNEY, Wong Fleming PC, Baltimore, MD; Eric A Stroud, PRO HAC VICE, Stroud and Priest LLC, Washington, DC.

For SRA International, Defendant: Michelle Bodley Radcliffe, LEAD ATTORNEY, Edward Lee Isler, PRO HAC VICE, Isler Dare Ray Radcliffe and Connolly PC, Vienna, VA.

OPINION

Page 567

MEMORANDUM OPINION

Alexander Williams, Jr., United States District Judge.

Pending before the Court is Defendant's Motion to Dismiss. The Court has reviewed

Page 568

the record and deems a hearing unnecessary. For the following reasons, the Court GRANTS Defendant's Motion to Dismiss.

I. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

Plaintiff Kimberly Crockett is an African-American female who resides in Maryland. Defendant SRA International is an international corporate and government consulting company that does business in Maryland. Plaintiff worked for Defendant from September 2003 until August 2011.

In 2003, Defendant hired Plaintiff as a senior member of the professional staff. In June 2005, Plaintiff became a project manager, though retaining the classification of senior member. Plaintiff met or exceeded all company benchmarks and performance requirements in these capacities. However, Defendant did not promote Plaintiff to principal in 2005-2006. The classification of principal is one step above a senior member.

Plaintiff grew concerned about Defendant's failure to promote her. In May 2006, she told Shirl Jenkins, vice president of human resources, that very few African Americans advanced to the level of principal. Jenkins " acknowledged that the promotion of African Americans and Asians was a problem at SRA." Doc. No. 2 ¶ 21.

Plaintiff's concerns were relayed to Don Hirsch, Defendant's vice president. Hirsch met with Plaintiff. Hirsch " acknowledged that SRA had very few African Americans at the Principal level, and was personally able to identify only one." Id. ¶ 26. Plaintiff told Hirsch that she believed she deserved to be promoted to principal.

Following the meeting, on or about May 9, 2006, Jenkins sent Plaintiff an email stating that Hirsch had told her that someone had written a principal recommendation for Plaintiff in 2005 but that " corporate" failed to receive the nomination. The day after, Hirsch met with Plaintiff and told her that he had just found the principal nomination form, which was unsigned and undated. The form gave Plaintiff a very favorable recommendation.

Based on this discovery, Defendant gave Plaintiff a $2,000 raise. Plaintiff alleges that she would have received more compensation had Defendant " fairly and timely promoted her to Principal." Id. ¶ 30.

Defendant promoted Plaintiff to principal in 2007. Plaintiff alleges that Defendant should have promoted her to principal in 2005-2006, and that she " lost many interim opportunities for advancement and development." Id. ¶ 31.

Starting in October 2007, Plaintiff alleges that Defendant began to harass her. From October 2007 to April 2009, Plaintiff served as a project manager for a " NARA contract" as a principal. During this period, Plaintiff alleges that Defendant ignored another employee's efforts to drive her off of the NARA project by plotting against her and micromanaging her work. Plaintiff adds that the employee did not treat non-African Americans in a similar manner. Thereafter, in September 2009, Plaintiff alleges that Defendant assigned her to an undesirable contract with the DOJ.

From February 2010 to March 2011, Plaintiff, as principal, served as project manager for an " FDIC contract." In this role, Plaintiff alleges that Defendant harassed her by: (i) giving her inadequate " bench support and support for team integration" ; (ii) excluding her from project meetings and withholding important information; (iii) failing to " consider her recommendations" ; and (iv) generally marginalizing her on the project. Id. ¶ 34.

Page 569

On January 5, 2011, Robert Smallwood, Plaintiff's supervisor on the FDIC contract, asked Plaintiff to present on the FDIC contract. Plaintiff alleges that Smallwood sabotaged her presentation by making her discuss content [1] that Defendant's protocols prohibited. An FDIC representative halted Plaintiff's presentation based on its inappropriate content . On January 11, 2011, another FDIC representative told Plaintiff the same. Smallwood eventually admitted that " more preparation work should have been done prior to the meeting." Id. ¶ 37. After consulting at least one higher-up, Smallwood ordered Plaintiff to terminate her involvement with the FDIC contract effective March 18, 2011.

Consequently, Plaintiff " was left without an ongoing assignment." Id. ¶ 40. Although Plaintiff had difficulty securing other assignments, she eventually accepted a " diminished role on a National Security Team Project." Id. ¶ 41. In this role, Mark Tramontozzi, a senior principal, contacted Kurt Bolland, the manager of the National Security project, " and made several false and disparaging remarks" concerning Plaintiff's work ethic. Id. Plaintiff adds that she had discussed her problems with Smallwood to Tramontozzi and alleges that Tramontozzi's actions appeared to be part of a conspiracy to deny her the same opportunities as her ...


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