United States District Court, D. Maryland
L. Hollander United States District Judge
Joshua Kimber, who is self-represented, filed suit against
his former employer, Plus3 IT Systems, LLC
("Plus3"), as well as Plus3 employees Alissa Jean
Cauley, Elizabeth Patterson, and Kristin Hurlbut. ECF 1
("Complaint"); ECF 5 ("Amended
Complaint"). Plaintiff, who resides in Virginia, alleges
that defendants harassed him and discriminated against him on
the basis of race and sex during the course of his employment
with Plus3, in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1981 and Title
VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, codified at 42 U.S.C.
§§ 2000e to 2000e-17. ECF 5 at 3, 5. Further,
plaintiff alleges that defendants retaliated against him for
complaining about the harassment and unlawfully terminated
him in violation of these federal laws. The Amended Complaint
also alleges a state contract claim, multiple state tort law
claims law, and' claims under the Virginia Human Rights
Act, Va. Ann. Code §§ 2.2-3900 to -3903.
Id. at 4.
Patterson, and Hurlbut (collectively, the
"Employees"), who reside in Virginia, filed a
Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Jurisdiction, pursuant to
Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(2). ECF 10. It is supported by a
memorandum of law (ECF 10-1) (collectively, the "Motion
to Dismiss") and the affidavits of Patteron (ECF 10-2),
Cauley (ECF 10-3), and Hurlbut. ECF 10-4. Plus3, located in
Virginia, filed a Motion to Transfer Venue to the Eastern
District of Virginia, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a).
ECF 15. It is supported by a memorandum (ECF 15-1)
(collectively, the "Motion to Transfer") and the
affidavit of Plus3's President. ECF 15-2. Plaintiff
opposes the Motion to Dismiss and, alternatively, moves to
transfer the case to the Eastern District of Virginia, under
28 U.S.C. § 1404(a). ECF 16. Defendants have jointly
replied. ECF 17.
has also moved for leave to file a second amended complaint.
ECF 18 ("Motion to Amend"). Although I shall not
resolve this motion, I note that it contains no allegations
that would alter the outcome of the disposition of the
motions to transfer.
Motion is fully briefed, and no hearing is necessary to
resolve it. See Local Rule 105.6. In addressing the
Motion to Transfer, the Court is mindful of its obligation to
construe liberally the pleadings of a pro se litigant, which
are "held to less stringent standards than formal
pleadings drafted by lawyers." Erickson v.
Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007); see also White v.
White, 886 F.2d 721, 722-23 (4th Cir. 1989).
reasons that follow, I shall transfer the case to the Eastern
District of Virginia, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1404,
without consideration of the merits of the Motion to Dismiss
or the Motion to Amend.
Factual Background 
a black man who resides in Virginia, began working for Plus3
in September 2017. ECF 5 at 2, 6. "Plus3 is a company
that provides information technology services to customers
including the United States Government." ECF 15-2,
¶ 3. Its only physical office is in Reston, Virginia.,
id. ¶ 9, and it has "never operated within
the State of Maryland, other than having its principal office
there for purpose of its registration with the Maryland State
Department of Assessments and Taxation." Id.
noted, plaintiff and the Employees all reside in Virginia.
ECF 5 at 2; ECF 10-2, ¶ 7; ECF 10-3, ¶ 6; ECF 10-4,
¶ 6. And, Kimber and the Employees all worked at
Plus3's office in Virginia. Id. ¶ 9.
Moreover, none of the Employees have ever lived, worked, or
owned real estate in Maryland. ECF 10-2, ¶¶ 9-10;
ECF 10-3, ¶¶ 7-8; ECF 10-4, ¶¶ 7-8.
October and November 2017, Cauley, a white woman and the
then-Human Resources Officer, allegedly "began making
sexually suggestive comments and romantically charged
gestures" toward Kimber. Id. Plaintiff reports
that Cauley "was always talking about looking for a man,
[and] always screaming out loudly in the office 'Why am I
not married?'" Id. at 7. Plaintiff
overheard a conversation in which Cauley and another employee
"referenced] sex and penis." Id.
also vaguely alleges that Patterson, whom plaintiff describes
as the "nominal head of human resources," engaged
in "problematic conduct." Id. at 6. He
asserts that Cauley and Patterson "were in cahoots when
it came to ignoring [his] objections to the discrimination
and harassment[.]" Id. at 6-7.
"filed an internal sexual harassment charge [against
Cauley] in the company's human-resources
department." Id. at 6. But, according to
plaintiff, Cauley was "the head human resources officer
at the time." Id. He eventually
"discuss[ed] the matter with two co-employees."
Id. at 6.
to the Amended Complaint, in December 2017, plaintiff spoke
with his supervisor regarding Cauley's "erratic
behavior" and "her lying and deceptive
ways[.]" Id. at 7. He also complained about the
"erratic behavior" of Hurlbut, a "member of
the corporate division." Id. According to
plaintiff, his supervisor "did not want [plaintiff] to
make a big deal of it[.]" Id. Further, he said
"he did not want [Kimber] to get fired over drama."
February 2018, Patterson led an investigation of Kimber.
Id. ¶ 8. This resulted in a "progress
spoke "rudely" to plaintiff on March 29, 2018,
while he was talking with another coworker. Id. She
called him "unprofessional, thus causing a scene."
Id. Plaintiff alleges that Patterson then came out
of her office "and assault[ed him] by putting her hands
on [him], dragging [him] out of the office, shov[ing him]
into another room," and telling plaintiff what he was
doing wrong. Id.
11, 2018, plaintiff emailed Patterson and copied the Plus3
Chief Executive Officer, Mark Jefferson, stating that he
needed "help," without identifying the problem.
Id. at 9. Plaintiff clarified the issue on June 18,
2018, and filed a complaint against Cauley. Id.
According to the Amended Complaint, Patterson told plaintiff
the next day that she was at a conference and would address
the issue upon her return to the office. Id. Kimber
alleges that Patterson and the CEO of Plus3 met with a law
firm on June 21, 2018. Id. On June 28, 2018, Plus3
fired plaintiff "for no reason and offered [him] a tiny
severance that [he] rejected." Id.
next day, Kimber filed a Charge of Discrimination with the
Fairfax County Office of" Human Rights and Equity naming
Plus3 as the respondent. ECF 1-2 at 1. The Charge was
cross-filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
("EEOC") as EEOC Charge No. 570-2018-02691.
Id. On July 3, 2018, the EEOC issued him a Notice of
Right to Sue. ECF1-2at3.