United States District Court, D. Maryland
W. TITUS UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
13, 2015, Desiree Walker, acting pro se, filed a
Title VII complaint alleging that her former employer,
GlaxoSmithKline LLC (“GSK”) discriminated against
her on the basis of race and color. ECF No. 1, at 1. Walker
claims that her supervisor at GSK transferred her to another
group with different hours, removed her from job duties,
isolated her from co-workers, and verbally harassed her.
Id. at 2. She further alleges that she was turned
down for two positions and was told that GSK would not
promote black people. Id. at 3. GSK filed a Motion
to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim on October 14, 2015.
ECF No. 10. The issues have been briefed, and no hearing is
necessary. Local Rule 105.6. For the reasons that follow,
GSK’s Motion shall be granted, and Walker’s
Complaint shall be dismissed.
Response,  Walker alleges that that she began working
for GSK in July 2012 after it acquired her employer, Human
Genome Services. ECF No. 14-1, at 2. Despite being content in
her current position and having a good relationship with
Grace Hu, her supervisor, Walker applied unsuccessfully for
other positions. Id. at 2-3. Walker concedes that
out of the two positions for which she applied, she was
unqualified for one and the other was turned into a volunteer
position. Id. at 3, 8. Walker contends that after
she applied for the positions, her relationship with Hu
deteriorated, allegedly because Hu “was not happy that
[Walker] was seeking to leave the group.” ECF No. 14-1,
at 3. Walker asked Hu’s manager for permission to
shadow another employee. Id. She attempted to shadow
during her lunch period or before work, but Hu allegedly
reprimanded her “for abandoning [her] team” and
“for trying to steal company secrets.”
alleges that Hu “began to verbally harass [her] . . .
slap [her] back or arm [, ] say [she] was lazy or being a
bad influence, ” insinuating that she did not believe
that Walker had allergies to specific chemicals or legitimate
doctor appointments, and that she was gay. Id. at 4.
Walker also alleges that she was no longer given additional
responsibilities, other employees were receiving credit for
her work, and she was being accused of not completing all of
her work. ECF No. 14-1, at 4. Walker went to Hu’s
supervisor, Sue Currie, to report how Hu was treating her.
Id. Walker alleges that soon after Currie spoke to
Hu, Hu cursed at Walker and told her she “was not ready
for the position [she was applying for] and that GSK would
not promote black people so why [did she] keep trying.”
Id. Walker alleges that Hu also said “the
person that was going to hire for the position that [she] was
attempting to shadow, was not going to hire me as he did not
like black people at all.” Id. Walker
confronted the hiring supervisor. Id. He immediately
denied the allegation, but stated that he had previously
heard of Hu alleging this and would address this issue with
Currie. ECF No. 14-1, at 5.
also complains that Hu gave two of Walker’s white
co-workers preferred job assignments but due to their lack of
experience and her knowledge she would complete their work.
Id.; ECF No. 18, at 4. She further alleges that
these same co-workers were not reprimanded for doing similar
things for which she was reprimanded, but she does not allege
that any supervisor saw the other co-workers do the similar
acts. ECF No. 14-1, at 8. Additionally, Walker alleges that
at some point before she was transferred, Hu had a meeting
with Walker and another co-worker during which Hu stated that
she understood that both women had children and could not
work the scheduled hours or days at “LSM,
” so she would send someone else.
Id., at 4, 8, 11. Despite this meeting, Walker was
transferred to LSM. Id. at 4. After the transfer,
Walker again went to Currie to enter a complaint regarding
Hu’s treatment toward her and her transfer to LSM.
Id. In response, Currie replied, “that she
would allow [Walker] to work the same schedule but she did
not care what was going on and she didn’t have to let
[her] do anything.” Id. at 4-5. After this
meeting, Walker spoke to a Human Resources representative.
ECF No. 14-1, at 5. The representative spoke to both Hu and
Currie, after which neither individual spoke to Walker again.
Id. Walker resigned from GSK soon after.
Id. Since her resignation, Walker alleges that she
has applied to multiple companies in the biotech industry but
has been “blacklisted.” Id. at 12.
February 2014, Walker filed a charge of discrimination with
the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
(“EEOC”) for events that occurred during her
employment with GSK from June 2013 to August 2013. ECF No. 1,
at 4. On August 8, 2014, the parties agreed to a Mediation
Hearing but did not reach an agreement. ECF No. 14-1, at 2.
On April 21, 2015, the EEOC issued a Dismissal and Notice of
filed her complaint in this Court, claiming GSK
(GlaxoSmithKline) violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act
of 1964, as amended, 42 U.S.C. §§2000 et.
seq., by discriminating against her based on race and
color. ECF No. 1. GSK filed a Motion to Dismiss for failure
to state a claim on October 15, 2015. ECF No.
After her Motion for Extension of Time to File a Response was
granted, Walker filed a Response on December 1, 2015, ECF
Nos. 13, 14, along with a Request for Counsel, which was
denied. ECF Nos. 15, 16. GSK replied to Walker’s
Response on December 17, 2015. ECF No. 18.
Standard of Review
Pro Se Standard
federal district court is charged with liberally construing a
complaint filed by a pro se litigant to allow the
development of a potentially meritorious case. Hughes v.
Rowe, 449 U.S. 5, 9 (1980). Nonetheless, liberal
construction does not mean that a court can ignore a clear
failure in the pleading to allege facts that set forth a
claim cognizable in a federal district court. See Weller
v. Dep’t of Soc. Servs., 901 F.2d 387, 391 (4th
Cir. 1990). The mandated liberal construction afforded to
pro se pleadings means that if the court can
reasonably read the pleadings to state a valid claim on which
the plaintiff could prevail, it should do so; however, a
district court may not rewrite a complaint in order for it to
survive a motion to dismiss. See Beaudett v. City of
Hampton, 775 F.2d 1274, 1278 (4th Cir. 1985).
Motion to Dismiss ...