Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Barnes v. Trinity Protection Services, Inc.

United States District Court, Fourth Circuit

August 29, 2013

MERCY BARNES, Plaintiff,
v.
TRINITY PROTECTION SERVICES, INC., Defendant.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

ROGER W. TITUS, District Judge.

On November 13, 2012, Plaintiff Mercy Barnes filed a three-count Complaint against Defendant Trinity Protection Services, Inc. ("Trinity") in the Circuit Court for Prince George's County, Maryland. Compl., ECF No. 2. Parks claims that during the course of her employment as a security officer for Trinity, Trinity discriminated against her on the basis of her national origin (Ghanaian), retaliated against her for opposing such discrimination, and wrongfully terminated her, in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 ("Title VII"), as amended, 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000e-2000e-17, and the Maryland Human Rights act. Compl. ¶¶ 2-26, ECF No. 2. On December 19, 2012, Trinity removed Barnes's action to this Court. ECF No. 1.

BACKGROUND

Trinity is a security corporation organized under the laws of Maryland with its principal office in Upper Marlboro, Maryland. Compl. ¶ 4, ECF No. 2. Mercy Barnes, a Ghanaian female, worked for Trinity as a Lieutenant Security Officer from August 2011 through April 2012. Id. ¶ 3.

On or about February 28, 2012, Barnes informed Trinity management that her supervisor, Akerele Chinweoke, took out at a loan at a Maryland bank using Barnes's payroll stub and payroll information. Id. ¶ 7. Chinweoke allegedly told Barnes that she obtained the loan using Barnes's payroll information. Id. During a meeting on February 29, 2012, Barnes provided "complete information" to Trinity's management about her interaction with Chinweoke concerning the loan. Id. ¶ 8. Trinity's management officials "immediately accused [Barnes] of making false statements about" Chinweoke. Id.

On March 5th and 6th of 2012, Barnes reported the loan incident involving Chinweoke to the police. Id. ¶ 9. The police visited Barnes at her workplace. Id. On March 6, 2012, Barnes received a "Letter of Reprimand" from Trinity indicating that she had made unsubstantiated allegations against Chinweoke. Id. ¶ 10. Barnes was also suspended from work for three days without pay. Id.

On March 8, 2012, while she was at work, Barnes received a call from another supervisor, Madison Agnew. Id. ¶ 11. Barnes alleges that Agnew "repeatedly called [her] a liar, " "continuously made these same remarks to [her] in front of other employees, " and "continuously yelled [at] and monitored her on an ongoing basis." Id. During a conference call with Trinity's human resources and management officials on March 20, 2012, Barnes "expressed to management that they were taking sides" and "said that she had told the truth and now she was being treated unfairly because she" is Ghanaian. Id. ¶ 12. Barnes then stated that "management was discriminating against her." Id. Management officials allegedly told Barnes that "she should not have summoned police to the work place." Id.

On April 2, 2012, Agnew told Barnes that another security officer "wrote her up" because she "had not worn her hair and hat properly on March 19, 2012." Id. ¶ 13. Barnes maintains that "this was false" because she "was in full and proper uniform and hair dress" that day. Id. On April 6, 2012, Barnes received a termination of employment notice, which indicated that she was terminated because of a uniform violation. Id. ¶ 14.

Barnes alleges, however, that the sole basis for her termination was that she "complained about disparate treatment/discrimination and she reported that she had knowledge of a criminal event that had taken place and the police responded to her work place to get additional information from her." Id. She claims that she "fully and competently perform[ed] all duties assigned to her and reported to work in full and proper uniform and hair dress." Id. ¶ 15. Barnes alleges that she "refused to be an accessory to criminal activity and notified law enforcement." Id. ¶ 16.

On July 13, 2012, Barnes filed a complaint of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC"). Id. ¶ 5. On October 18, 2012, she received a Right to Sue notice from the EEOC. Id. ¶ 6.

PROCEDURAL HISTORY

On November 13, 2012, Barnes filed a Complaint in the Circuit Court for Prince George's County, Maryland. ECF No. 2. On December 19, 2012, Trinity removed the action to this Court. ECF No. 1. On December 28, 2012, Trinity filed a Motion to Dismiss the Complaint Pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). ECF No. 8. Barnes filed an Opposition to Defendant's Motion to Dismiss, Nunc Pro Tunc, [1] on January 15, 2013. ECF No. 9. On January 30, 2013, Trinity filed a Reply in Support of its Motion to Dismiss. ECF No. 11.

On January 24, 2013, the Court issued notice of a hearing on Trinity's Motion to Dismiss, scheduled for May 29, 2013, at 10:30 a.m. ECF No. 10. On May 28, 2013, the night before the scheduled hearing, Barnes filed a Motion for Leave to File an Amended Complaint. ECF No. 12. During the hearing on May 29, 2013, the Court did not hear argument on Trinity's Motion to Dismiss in light of Barnes's Motion for Leave to Amend. On June 12, 2013, Trinity filed an Opposition to Barnes's Motion to Amend Complaint. ECF No. 15. Barnes filed a Reply to Trinity Protection Services, Inc.'s Opposition to Plaintiff's Motion for Leave to Amend Her Complaint on June 26, 2013. ECF No. 16. On July 23, 2013, Trinity filed a Motion for Leave to File ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.