United States District Court, D. Maryland
ATHRYN E. REEDJOSPEPH-MINKINS, Plaintiff,
DC GOVERNMENT DEPT OF YOUTH REHABILITATION SERVICES et al. Defendants.
LIPTON HOLLANDER, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
employment discrimination case, the self-represented
plaintiff, Athryn E. Reedjoseph-Minkins, has sued her
employer, the DC Government Department of Youth
Rehabilitation Services (the “Department” or
“DC DYRS”), two of her supervisors, Clinton Lacey
and Linda Harlee Harper, and a human resources staff member,
Arnita Evans. ECF 1. Plaintiff alleges that she suffered
discrimination on the basis of her sex (female) and
disability (“PTSD, Anxiety, Incontinence Issues ,
Diabetic, [and] Depression”), as well as retaliation.
Id. at 5. Suit is founded on Title VII of the Civil
Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”), 42 U.S.C.
§§ 2000e to 2000e-17, and the Americans with
Disabilities Act of 1990 (“ADA”), 42 U.S.C.
§§ 12112 to 12117. ECF 1 at 4.
to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6), defendants have moved to dismiss
plaintiff's Complaint in its entirety, on the grounds
that plaintiff's claims are untimely, unexhausted, and
brought against improper parties. ECF 16. The motion is
supported by a memorandum of law (ECF 16-1) (collectively,
“Motion”). Defendants also submitted
plaintiff's Charge of Discrimination, filed with the
Maryland Commission on Human Rights (“MCHR”). ECF
16-2 (“Charge”). Plaintiff opposes the Motion.
ECF 23 (“Opposition”). Defendants replied. ECF 24
hearing is necessary to resolve the Motion. See
Local Rule 105.6. For the reasons that follow, I shall grant
Factual and Procedural Background
works as a correctional officer for the Department. ECF 1-3
(Claim Narrative) at 1. She alleges that she is a disabled
veteran. ECF 1 at 5. Further, plaintiff alleges that she
suffers from incontinence, diabetes, Post-Traumatic Stress
Disorder (“PTSD”), anxiety, and depression.
Complaint alleges that plaintiff began her employment with
the District of Columbia government in 2004. ECF 1-3 at 1. At
that time, she submitted a questionnaire to her employer
stating that she suffered from PTSD, and also had physical
disabilities stemming from unspecified injuries sustained
while on active duty. Id.
first assignment with the Department was to Oak Hill Youth
Center, where she worked from 2004 to 2009. Id.
According to plaintiff, while working there, she was
consistently harassed and threatened, and was refused
restroom breaks and lunch breaks for up to eight hours.
Id. The inability to use the restroom often caused
plaintiff to urinate or defecate on herself at work.
Id. Plaintiff alleges that she filed a complaint
with the “Maryland EEOC” in July 2012, but that
the human resources staff worked to “discredit”
her. Id. According to plaintiff, a human resources
representative “stated that [plaintiff] did not need to
file [a complaint] because it was going to be turned
was subsequently transferred to another work location in
Washington, DC, which required her to commute almost three
hours each way. ECF 1-3 at 1. At this location, called
“Youth Services Center, ” plaintiff was sexually
harassed by a co-worker who, among other transgressions,
“came up behind [her] and started humping [her] and
saying that he was going to put his ‘DICK' on [her]
leg.” Id. at 1-2. Plaintiff alleges that she
informed a supervisor of the co-worker's behavior.
Id. at 2. The supervisor “stated to file
another complaint but to file with the DC EEOC.”
plaintiff was reassigned to a facility located in Maryland
called “New Beginnings, ” where she was assigned
to “the Midnight tour.” Id. There, she
claims that she continued to be harassed by her co-workers.
Id. In particular, plaintiff alleges that during her
shift her co-workers showed “[s]exually explicit movies
depicting Gang Rapes”. Id. Plaintiff allegedly
filed another EEOC complaint in July 2014, and was assigned
to a different shift. Id.
plaintiff was involved in a motor vehicle accident in August
2014 while on the way to work. Id. In early 2015,
she requested “light duty” pursuant to her
doctor's recommendation. Id. Her request was
allegedly denied, and plaintiff was told that “the
Agency did not provide LIGHT DUTY.” Id.
However, plaintiff alleges that she later “noticed that
several of [her] co-workers were allowed light duty
to plaintiff, she continues to be harassed by her co-workers,
and is still sometimes denied lunch and restroom breaks.
Id. at 1. On her Complaint form, plaintiff alleges
that she was “[n]ot allowed to use [the] restroom, . .
. . [n]ot allowed lunch breaks . . . and [was] held over for
up to an hour and not paid overtime.” ECF 1 at 7. And,
she indicates that she was “refused medical treatment
from workman's comp.” Id. at 5.
also alleges that her “vehicle was scratched up”
and that her request “to pull the camera footage for
the time of the incident” was refused. ECF 1-3 at 2. It
is unclear whether or how this allegation is related to
plaintiff's other claims.
filed suit on January 6, 2017. ECF 1. Her claims are detailed
on a form complaint (ECF 1), as well as an attached letter
narrating the claims. ECF 1-3. Additionally, plaintiff
submitted voluminous unmarked exhibits, including emails
between plaintiff and her co-workers and incident reports
concerning events loosely related to her claims. These
documents were not posted to ECF. See ECF 1-4 (Filed
Separately Sheet). Plaintiff also submitted a “Right to
Sue” letter from the EEOC, dated November 8, 2016. ECF
1-2. The letter and accompanying documentation relate to EEOC
Charge No. 570-2014-01768. Id. at 1, 2, 6.
did not attach the Charge to her Complaint. However, a Charge
completed by plaintiff and submitted by defendants with their
Motion is labeled 570-2014-01768. ECF 16-2 at 2. That Charge
was filed on March 25, 2015. Id.
alleges in her Complaint that she filed EEOC charges on
“several different dates, ” including
“9/01/2016” and “5/28/2016.” However,
she has provided no documentation of any submissions on these
dates, and the Right to Sue letter she received corresponds
only to the March 25, 2015 charge of discrimination.
Therefore, I shall consider that EEOC complaint to be the
predicate charge for purposes of administrative exhaustion.
Charge discusses some, but not all, of the allegations in the
Complaint. It indicates that the alleged discrimination
occurred between October 1, 2013, and July 31, 2014. ECF 16-2
at 2. However, plaintiff also checked the box indicating a
“continuing action.” Id.
“particulars” section of the Charge, plaintiff
stated, in relevant part, id. at 1-2:
Beginning in October 2013, while assigned to the Washington
DC location [of DC DYRS], I was told by SYDR J.
Chamberlain that I was not allowed to use the bathrooms at
the New Beginnings location because I had been transferred. I
was later told by SYDR S. Dowell, SYDR S. Johnson, and SYRD
G. Johnson-Bye that I was not allowed to use the bathroom
while on duty, which caused problems with my disability.
Beginning in October 2013, I began to be sexually harassed by
Demetrius Jackson. Mr. Jackson started asking me questions
about my breasts and stated that he wanted to date me. He
also offered me $300 for sex several times. I complained to
James Lester (Deputy Superintendent), but nothing was done to
resolve the matter. On December 25, 2013, I was forces [sic]
to work a 17.5 hour shift without any breaks which caused
problems with my disability. On January 12, 2014, Mr. Jackson
came up behind me and stated “I am going to put my dick
your leg [sic].” I reported this to Superintendent
Willie Fulilove. I began to be harassed by C. Wilborne and T
Matthews with threats of harm and intimidation. C. Wilborne
told the male residents on B200 to tell PDS that I was allowing
them to feel my body and this was reported. On January 26,
2014, I was transferred back to the Laurel location. I
continued to receive harassing phone calls to my home from D.
Jackson with heavy breathing and laughing. Beginning in
February 2014, William Raper, Arvin Webb, and Mr. Hasaan
Shahid began to show movies with strong sexual content and
gang rapes. I requested to have the movies turned off and
complained to Julius Layton (Night Supervisor), Union VP Y
Ward and Shop Steward R Miller to no avail. After I
complained about the movies, I started being harassed by
Tasha Williams, Melinda Simms and Jennifer Ratliff-Unit
Manager whom [sic] stated that she wanted me to search the
residents [sic] rooms while they were asleep at night which
is against the Agency's Policy and Procedures.
not appear that plaintiff amended her Charge to add more
dates or additional allegations.
Standards of Review
noted, defendants have moved to dismiss the Complaint for
failure to state a claim, pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6).
ECF 16. However, defendants also seek to dismiss plaintiffs
claims as unexhausted. ECF 16-1 at 16. If true, this would
deprive the Court of subject matter jurisdiction. See
Balas v. Huntington Ingalls Indus., Inc., 711 F.3d 401,
406 (4th Cir. 2013). Therefore, I shall construe the Motion
as one under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(1), as well.
challenge to a federal court's subject matter
jurisdiction is reviewed pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(1).
Under Rule 12(b)(1), the plaintiff bears the burden of
proving, by a preponderance of evidence, the existence of
subject matter jurisdiction. See Demetres v. East West
Const, Inc., 776 F.3d 271, 272 (4th Cir. 2015); see
also Evans v. B.F. Perkins Co., 166 F.3d 642, 647 (4th
Cir. 1999). A test of subject matter jurisdiction under Rule
12(b)(1) may proceed “in one of two ways”: either
a facial challenge, asserting that the allegations pleaded in
the complaint are insufficient to establish subject matter
jurisdiction, or a factual challenge, asserting
“‘that the jurisdictional allegations of the
complaint [are] not true.'” Kerns v. United
States, 585 F.3d 187, 192 (4th Cir. 2009) (citation
omitted); accord Durden v. United States, 736 F.3d
296, 300 (4th Cir. 2013). A factual challenge can also assert
that facts outside the four corners of the complaint preclude
the exercise of subject matter jurisdiction. Id.
bring a factual challenge because they argue that plaintiff
failed to exhaust her administrative remedies under Title VII
and the ADA. ECF 5-1 at 8. Defendants argue that the failure
to exhaust deprives the Court of subject matter jurisdiction
as to these claims. Id.
considering a factual challenge, “the district court is
entitled to decide disputed issues of fact with respect to
subject matter jurisdiction.” Kerns, 585 F.3d
at 192. In that circumstance, the court “may regard the
pleadings as mere evidence on the issue and may consider
evidence outside the pleadings without converting the
proceeding to one for summary judgment.” Velasco v.
Gov't of Indonesia, 370 F.3d 392, 398 (4th Cir.
2004); see also United States ex rel. Vuyyuru v.
Jadhav, 555 F.3d 337, 347-48 (4th Cir. 2009)
(“Unless ‘the jurisdictional facts are
intertwined with the facts central to the merits of the
dispute, ' the district court may . . . resolve the
jurisdictional facts in dispute by considering evidence . . .
such as affidavits.”) (Citation omitted).
defendant may test the legal sufficiency of a complaint by
way of a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6). In re
Birmingham,846 F.3d 88, 92 (4th Cir. 2017); Goines
v. Valley Cmty. Servs. Bd,822 F.3d 159, 165-66 (4th
Cir. 2016); McBurney v. Cuccinelli,616 F.3d 393,
408 (4th Cir. 2010), aff'd sub nom. McBurney v.
Young,569 U.S. 221 (2013); Edwards v. City of
Goldsboro,178 F.3d 231, 243 (4th Cir. 1999). A Rule
12(b)(6) motion constitutes an assertion by a defendant that,
even if the facts ...