United States District Court, D. Maryland
K. Bredar United States District Judge.
a teacher formerly employed by the Archdiocese of Baltimore
(“the Archdiocese”),  commenced the instant action
in the Circuit Court for Baltimore County, Maryland, alleging
age discrimination, wrongful termination, false light,
slander, invasion of privacy, intentional infliction of
emotional distress, and negligent hiring. (Compl., ECF No.
2.) Defendants removed the case to this Court (Notice of
Removal, ECF No. 1), and now move to dismiss (ECF No. 9).
That motion has been fully briefed and is now ripe. (ECF Nos.
14, 15.) No hearing is necessary. See Local Rule
105.6 (D. Md. 2016). For the reasons stated below,
Defendants' motion will be granted.
STANDARD FOR DISMISSAL
motion to dismiss for failure to exhaust administrative
remedies is governed by Rule 12(b)(1) of the Federal Rules of
Civil Procedure. Khoury v. Meserve, 268 F.Supp.2d
600, 606 (D. Md. 2003), aff'd, 85 F. App'x
960 (4th Cir. 2004) (per curiam). On such a motion, a court
may look beyond the pleadings to view evidence submitted on
the issue and to determine whether subject matter
jurisdiction exists. Richmond, Fredericksburg &
Potomac R.R. Co. v. United States, 945 F.2d 765, 768
(4th Cir. 1991). The plaintiff has the burden of proving that
jurisdiction is proper. Id.
order to survive a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss for
failure to state a claim on which relief may be granted, a
complaint must contain “sufficient factual matter,
accepted as true, to 'state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.'” Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell
Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)).
Facial plausibility exists “when the plaintiff pleads
factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable
inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct
alleged.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. An inference
of a mere possibility of misconduct is not sufficient to
support a plausible claim. Id. at 679. As the
Twombly opinion stated, “Factual allegations
must be enough to raise a right to relief above the
speculative level.” 550 U.S. at 555. “A pleading
that offers 'labels and conclusions' or 'a
formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action
will not do.' . . . Nor does a complaint suffice if it
tenders 'naked assertion[s]' devoid of 'further
factual enhancement.'” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at
678 (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555, 557).
Although when considering a motion to dismiss a court must
accept as true all factual allegations in the complaint, this
principle does not apply to legal conclusions couched as
factual allegations. Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555.
alleges that he was employed by the Archdiocese as a teacher
(and at times as acting principal) for a total of 41 years,
with the majority of his employment having been at St.
Michael the Archangel School, and that he received positive
evaluations throughout his employment. (Compl. ¶¶
1, 2, 16.) He alleges that during or about the 2014-2015
school year, he applied to be principal of St. Michael the
Archangel School, but that Defendant Kristoff was instead
awarded the position, this in spite of the facts that
Kristoff applied after the application deadline elapsed and
after having been discharged from his previous employment for
cause. (Id. ¶¶ 6-8.)
the Archdiocese decided to merge St. Michael the Archangel
School with another school, to be effective at the beginning
of the 2017-2018 school year. (Id. ¶ 9.) To
determine which teaching staff would continue in the
newly-merged school, the Archdiocese re-interviewed all
faculty at both schools. (Id.) It did not offer
Plaintiff a position, and Defendant Kristoff explained that
this decision was based on Plaintiffs lack of teaching
certification. (Id. ¶¶ 10-11.) Plaintiff
alleges that other similarly-situated teachers were offered
contracts contingent upon their eventual certification, and
that his offer to similarly work toward obtaining
certification was rejected by the Archdiocese. (Id.
¶¶ 12-13.) Plaintiff further alleges that
“the conduct of the defendants was
'published'” to parents and faculty.
(Id. ¶ 15.)
there is no evidence that Plaintiff exhausted his
administrative remedies, this Court lacks jurisdiction under
the ADEA to hear his claim for age discrimination. None of
Plaintiffs other causes of action state facially plausible
claims for relief. Therefore, Defendants' motion to
dismiss will be granted.
Count I: Age Discrimination
ADEA prohibits an employer from discriminating on the basis
of age. 29 U.S.C. § 623(a) (2017). The act gives an
employee claiming age discrimination the right to bring a
civil action, provided that the Equal Employment Opportunity
Commission (“EEOC”) has not already filed suit on
the employee's behalf. 29 U.S.C. § 626(c) (2017). To
provide the EEOC the opportunity to do so, an employee
wishing to file a civil action must first file a timely
charge of discrimination with the EEOC and then wait at least
sixty days before commencing the civil suit. 29 U.S.C. §
626(d) (2017). A plaintiff's failure to follow the
administrative requirements prescribed by statute deprives
the court of subject matter jurisdiction. Jones v.
Calvert Grp., Ltd., 551 F.3d 297, 300-01 (4th Cir.
citing law in support, Plaintiff asserts that parties to ADEA
suits may waive all administrative process and implies that
the administrative process serves only a dilatory purpose.
(Resp. 1,  ECF No. 14.) Plaintiff misconstrues the
statute. The plain meaning of the ADEA does not contemplate
the possibility of waiver of notice to the EEOC, only waiver
of rights or claims by the employee. 29 U.S.C. § 626
(2017). Furthermore, Plaintiff acknowledges the fact that,
even if they had the ability to do so, Defendants have not
agreed to waive any administrative process. (Resp. 1-2.)
Because Plaintiff never filed a charge of discrimination with
the EEOC, this Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction to
hear the discrimination claim. Defendants' motion to
dismiss Count I will therefore be granted.