United States District Court, D. Maryland
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
J. GARBIS UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Court has before it Defendant Baltimore County Public
Schools' Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's Amended
Complaint [ECF No. 22] and the materials submitted relating
thereto. The Court finds that a hearing is not
The Parties and the Claims
Gray-Koyier (“Gray-Koyier” or
“Plaintiff”), a former teacher, brings four
claims against Baltimore County Public Schools
(“BCPS” or “Defendant”):
1. Count I - Age and Gender Discrimination under
Title VII and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act
2. Count II - Retaliation, in violation of Title
3. Count III - Sexual Harassment (Hostile Work
Environment), in violation of Title VII; and
4. Count IV - Disability Discrimination, in
violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act
seeks recovery of actual damages, punitive damages, and
reasonable attorneys' fees and costs. By the instant
motion, BCPS seeks dismissal of all counts as time-barred,
or, alternatively, the dismissal of the age and disability
discrimination claims for inadequacy of the
November 2014, Gray-Koyier had worked for ten years in the
BCPS system as a substitute teacher, had remained in good
standing, and had met all work performance requirements
without any disciplinary incidents. Am. Compl. ¶ 17, ECF
No. 18. Gray-Koyier's superiors had praised her
“classroom management and instruction delivery”
style, and the Old Court principal had told the
administration that she “felt relieved and lucky to
‘finally' have Plaintiff to fill the position and
stay with them.” Id. ¶ 18. In November
2014, Gray-Koyier, then forty-eight years old, was promoted
by BCPS to be a long-term substitute teacher for seventh
grade science classes at Old Court Middle School.
Id. ¶¶ 17-19.
promoted, Gray-Koyier was the “oldest member of the Old
Court science department.” Id. ¶ 19. Mr.
Johnson (“Johnson”), the Chair of the science
department, began to take an interest in her. Id.
¶ 19. Johnson would stand and watch her teach (with no
formal evaluation pending), offer her rides home, and inquire
about her personal life, actions which Plaintiff found to be
“not typical” based on her experiences with prior
supervisors and department chairs. Id. ¶ 20.
time, Johnson insisted that she report to a teacher education
day that substitute teachers did not typically attend and
were not paid for. Id. When she arrived at the
school, she realized that the training would be held off-site
at another location. Id. She declined Johnson's
offer for a ride and rode to the training with someone else.
Id. During the training, Johnson publicly asked her
to be his “assistant, ” which she found
“odd, at best, and humiliating, at worst.”
Id. He asked her to hold up props and constantly
occupied her attention throughout the training day.
Id. Afterwards, Johnson insisted that she help him
in the library after most of the other teachers had gone
did not appreciate these actions, which she considered to be
unwanted advances. Id. ¶ 73. She began to
“seek out other colleagues” for support with
her tasks instead of seeking out Johnson. Id. ¶
21. Johnson then allegedly began to verbally harass her,
berate her in front of her students, and withhold information
that she needed to perform her job. Id. ¶¶
20-21. When she did ask for his assistance on a student
testing matter, Johnson berated her in front of her students,
yelling “Are you kidding me, you are an educated person
and you don't know how to do this.” Id.
¶ 21. At one point, Johnson “stood outside her
classroom during her lunch period, watched her, and then
demanded a conversation and refused to leave the room when
Plaintiff asked him to.” Id.
complained about Johnson to the school principal and
assistant principal. Id. On February 6, 2015, she
raised several of her concerns at a meeting with the
principal, assistant principal, and Johnson. Id.
portion of the meeting related to a disability request.
Around this time, Gray-Koyier was recovering from injuries
suffered in a September 2014 automobile accident.
Id. ¶ 32. As a result, she wore, on a daily
basis, bilateral ankle, foot, wrist, and back braces.
Id. ¶¶ 32, 92. Gray-Koyier alleges that
she could perform all the essential functions as a substitute
teacher despite these disabilities, and had already done so
for several months. Id. ¶¶ 89, 96.
to a doctor's note, Gray-Koyier requested
“reasonable accommodations” in light of her
injuries, including a 32-hour work week and other
accommodations. Id. ¶¶ 32-34, 84. The
school principal replied “no problem” and also
proposed to relieve her from bus duty and release her from
other coverage duties. Id. ¶¶ 84-85. The
school principal instructed the assistant principal to
immediately implement the discussed changes. Id.
However, these accommodations were allegedly withdrawn when
Gray-Koyier was later asked over the announcement system to
perform those very same coverage duties. Id.
portion of the meeting related to Johnson's behavior.
During the meeting, Johnson stated his inability to work with
Gray-Koyier and announced “it was [either] him or the
Plaintiff.” Id. He “dominated the
conversation” and announced “he could not work
with ‘this women[, ] [sic] . . . [s]he's just a
battered women [sic].'” Id. ¶ 24.
Gray-Koyier understood that Johnson was referencing her
history of domestic violence, which she had never shared with
him, and was emotionally distraught by this abusive use of
details from her personal life. Id. ¶¶ 25-30.
She was “shocked and humiliated” and left the
meeting. Id. ¶ 25. Following this incident,
Plaintiff's “PTSD, anxiety, [and] depression”
were re-triggered. Id. ¶ 30.
after the meeting, Gray-Koyier suffered additional injuries
in a student altercation that required her to go to the
emergency room and then stay home for two days. Id.
¶ 35. Gray-Koyier was asked by her employer to “go
to Concentra” for a medical evaluation before returning
to work, ...