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Maynard v. St. Stephens Reformed Episcopal Church

United States District Court, D. Maryland

May 12, 2016

DOREEN MAYNARD Plaintiff
v.
ST. STEPHEN’S REFORMED EPISCOPAL CHURCH Defendant

MEMORANDUM

William M. Nickerson, Senior United States District Judge.

On November 20, 2015, Plaintiff Doreen Maynard, acting pro se, filed a Complaint against Defendant St. Stephen’s Reformed Episcopal Church, her former employer. ECF No. 1. Plaintiff’s Complaint was drafted on a form template provided by this Court titled “Complaint for Employment Discrimination.” Id. Under “[t]his action is brought pursuant to (check all that apply)” Plaintiff checked the following two boxes:

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000e, et seq., for employment discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.
Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, as amended, 29 U.S.C. §§ 621, et seq., for employment discrimination on the basis of age.

Id. Before the Court is Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss all claims purporting to arise under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). ECF No. 9. Defendant does not, at this time, seek dismissal of Plaintiff’s claims brought under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act (Title VII). Id. Upon review of the parties’ submissions and the applicable case law, the Court determines that no hearing is necessary, Local Rule 105.6, and that Defendant’s motion will be granted.

Plaintiff contracted to work as a full time teacher at St. Stephen’s Classical Christian Academy for the September 2014-May 2015 school year. It appears Plaintiff’s troubles began when two superiors at the school, Headmaster John Dykes and Special Education Director Johanna Judy, modified the terms of her contract, allegedly without her consent. On October 9, 2014, Plaintiff filed an internal discrimination complaint with Reverend Eric Jorgensen concerning the actions of Dykes and Judy. Later that same day, Jorgensen requested that Plaintiff take leave with pay while her complaint was being investigated. Three days later, on October 12, 2014, Jorgensen terminated Plaintiff’s employment with the school, reasoning that Plaintiff’s grievance caused a “spiritually unhealthy work environment.” ECF No. 1-13. On November 14, 2014, Plaintiff filed a Charge of Discrimination, 12F-2015-00061, with the Maryland Commission on Civil Rights (MCCR) alleging discrimination based on retaliation in regards to her suspension and discharge. ECF No. 9-1 at 2. On the charge sheet, under “the particulars are, ” Plaintiff stated:

I believe that I was retaliated against for opposing a discriminatory activity in the workplace, because:
I began my employment with Respondent in September 2013 as a Teacher. My immediate supervisor was Johanna Judy. My work performance was satisfactory and I had no disciplinary actions.
On October 9, 2014, I filed an internal discrimination complaint against Ms. Judy and John Dykes, Headmaster on the basis of my age and sex. Later that same day, during a conference call with Eric Jorgensen, Pastor, and Mr. Frye, Board Member, to discuss my complaint, Mr. Jorgensen requested that I take leave with pay pending investigation because my complaint caused “tension” in school.
On October 12, 2014, Mr. Jorgensen terminated my employment allegedly because I had caused tension within the workplace due to filing a complaint. I believe that I was suspended and discharged in retaliation for opposing a discriminatory activity in the workplace.

Id.

After Plaintiff’s employment with Defendant was terminated, she interviewed for a position with Mt. Airy Bible Church as an After School Coordinator. During the hiring process, Plaintiff was informed that Mt. Airy Bible Church received an unsolicited and unfavorable reference from Pastor Jorgensen which the church planned to investigate in order “to make an informed decision.” ECF No. 1-17. Subsequently, on December 17, 2014, Plaintiff was notified that the position would be filled by another candidate. On January 15, 2015, Plaintiff filed a second Charge of Discrimination, 12F-2015-00174, with the MCCR based on retaliation related to Jorgensen’s unsolicited reference. ECF No. 9-1 at 3. Under “the particulars are, ” Plaintiff stated:

I believe that I was discriminated against in retaliation for opposing a discriminatory activity in the workplace because:
On November 7, 2014, I filed a complaint of discrimination against Respondent with the Maryland Commission on ...

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