United States District Court, D. Maryland
Timothy J. Sullivan United States Magistrate Judge
Dennis Collins (“Collins”) brought this lawsuit
against Defendant Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission
(“WSSC”) for violations of the Age Discrimination
in Employment Act of 1967, 29 U.S.C. § 623 et
seq., and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42
U.S.C. § 2000e et seq. (ECF No. 1.) In his
Complaint, Collins alleges WSSC discriminated against him on
the basis of his age and his race. Now pending before the
Court is WSSC's “Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's
Age-Based Discrimination Claim” (“Motion”)
(ECF No. 20). Collins has not filed a response to the Motion
and the time for doing so has passed. See Loc. R.
105.2. I find that a hearing is unnecessary. See
Loc. R. 105.6. For the reasons set forth below, the Motion
will be granted.
is a 60-year-old African American man. (ECF No. 1 at 5.) In
his Complaint, he alleges that WSSC did not select him for
the position of Water Plant Operator, even though his
qualifications exceeded those required for the position and
he had previously held the same position. (Id. at
6.) Instead, WSSC hired two white applicants. (Id.)
Collins asserts that WSSC failed to hire him for the Water
Plant Operator position because of discrimination on the
basis of his race and his age.
he filed this lawsuit, Collins filed a Charge of
Discrimination (“Charge”) with the Maryland
Commission on Civil Rights and the Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”). (ECF No. 1-1.)
In his Charge, Collins alleged that WSSC had discriminated
against him because of his race. Notably, he did not allege
that WSSC had discriminated against him because of his age.
to dismiss employment discrimination claims based on a
failure to exhaust administrative remedies are typically
construed as motions to dismiss for lack of subject matter
jurisdiction pursuant to Rule 12(b)(1). See Plummer v.
Wright, No. TDC-16-2957, 2017 WL 4417829, at *4 (D. Md.
Oct. 3, 2017) (citing Jones v. Calvert Group, Ltd.,
551 F.3d 297, 300-01 (4th Cir. 2009)). On a Rule
12(b)(1) motion to dismiss, the burden is on the plaintiff to
prove that subject matter jurisdiction exists. See
Richmond, Fredericksburg & Potomac R.R. Co. v. United
States, 945 F.2d 765, 768 (4th Cir. 1991).
the ADEA and Title VII require a plaintiff to “exhaust
[their] administrative remedies by filing a charge with the
EEOC before pursuing a suit in federal court.”
Sydnor v. Fairfax Cty., 681 F.3d 591, 592 (4th Cir.
2012); see also Jones, 551 F.3d at 301. The EEOC
charge “defines the scope of the plaintiff's right
to instate a civil suit.” Bryant v. Bell Atlantic
Maryland, Inc., 288 F.3d 124, 132 (4th Cir. 2002).
“Only those discrimination claims stated in the initial
charge, those reasonably related to the original complaint,
and those developed by reasonable investigation of the
original complaint may be maintained in a subsequent . . .
lawsuit.” Jones, 551 F.3d at 300. If an
“EEOC charge alleges discrimination on one basis, such
as race, and the formal litigation claim alleges
discrimination on a separate basis, such as sex, ” the
claim will generally be barred for the plaintiff's
failure to exhaust administrative remedies. Id.
correctly notes that Collins did not allege that he was
discriminated because of his age in his Charge. (ECF No. 20
at 5.) Instead, he alleged that he was discriminated against
on the basis of his race. (ECF No. 1-1 at 2.) In the section
of the Charge labeled “DISCRIMINATION BASED ON, ”
Collins checked the box for “RACE, ” but not the
box for “AGE.” (Id.) And in the
narrative section of the Charge, he stated that he “was
discriminated against based on [his] race (African American),
” but made no mention of being discriminated against
because of his age. (Id.) Because Collins did not
allege age discrimination in his Charge, he failed to exhaust
his administrative remedies, as required by the ADEA. His age
discrimination claim must be dismissed.
reasons set forth above, WSSC's Motion is
GRANTED. Collins' age-based
discrimination claim is DISMISSED.