United States District Court, D. Maryland
STEVEN R. YOUNG Plaintiff,
MONTGOMERY COUNTY, MARYLAND Defendant.
Xinis United States District Judge.
pending in this employment discrimination case is Defendant
Montgomery County, Maryland (“the County”)'s
motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim and lack of
subject matter jurisdiction. ECF No. 4. The motion is fully
briefed, and no hearing is necessary. See Loc. R.
105.6. For the reasons that follow, the Court GRANTS in part
and DENIES in part the County's motion to dismiss.
about January 16, 2001, Plaintiff Steven Young, a black male,
was hired as a correctional officer for Montgomery County.
ECF No. 1 ¶ 7. Since 2004, he has worked at the
Montgomery County Correctional Facility (“MCCF”)
located in Boyds, Maryland. Id. Young's duties
include supervising those detained at MCCF. Id.
¶ 8. Young is not a member of the Emergency Response
Team, who receive specific training and certification on
responding to disruptive or violent inmates. Id.
Throughout his nearly two decades of employment with the
County, Young has received only two reprimands. Id.
¶ 10. Young and other black officers consistently
receive “meets standards” ratings on annual
employee performance evaluations. Id. However, white
correctional officers with a similar level of experience
received “above expectations” ratings for a
similar level of work performed. Id.
to MCCF policy and procedure, posts are assigned daily at the
beginning of each shift. Id. ¶ 11. The facility
does not assign officers to “permanent” posts.
Id. Nevertheless, for the last ten years, Young has
been routinely assigned to work the Male Segregation Unit
(approximately 200 to 300 times), whereas his female or white
counterparts are almost never assigned to that unit.
Id. ¶ 11-12. The Male Segregation Unit is a
demanding assignment because officers must supervise the most
“disruptive and violent inmates.” Id.
¶ 12. These inmates routinely bang on the doors and
walls, flood cells with toilet water, and “throw fecal
matter, urine and spit at officers assigned to the
unit.” Id. Young avers that the Male
Segregation Unit presents particular hazards to “an
officer's physical, mental, or emotional health.”
13, 2016, Young was assigned to work the W.1.H. Escort Relief
Officer post-a low risk area. Id. ¶ 14. Later
during the shift, Young's supervisor, Lieutenant P. Beam
(a white male), reassigned Young to the Male Segregation Unit
while moving Corporal Zelbo (a white male) to Young's low
risk post. Id. This reassignment caused Young to
become “physically and emotionally ill”; he
developed a severe migraine headache and had to use 3.5 hours
of sick leave to receive medical treatment. Id.
18, 2016, Young filed a formal Charge of Discrimination with
the Montgomery County, Maryland Office of Human Rights
(“formal Charge” or “Charge”),
alleging race discrimination arising from his routine
placement in the segregation unit. Id. ¶ 5.
Young described in the Charge the facts regarding the June
13, 2016 reassignment and also checked a box noting a
“continuing action.” ECF No. 8-1 at 1. Young
supplemented the Charge with two letters: one dated July 13,
2016, which described a pattern of unfavorable treatment
towards black officers, and one dated July 31, 2016, which
purported to add a charge of gender discrimination.
Id. at 3-8. The County did not respond to these
“additional charges, ” (ECF No. 8-3), and appears
to have never received either supplemental letter. ECF No.
9-1 ¶ 4.
Office of Human Rights forwarded the Charges to the U.S.
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”)
for investigation. Id. ¶ 5. On March 29, 2018,
the EEOC concluded its investigation and issued a Dismissal
and Notice of Rights letter. ECF No. 1-1. In its letter, the
EEOC acknowledged that it reviewed the additional information
provided by Young, along with the original information
provided by both Young and the County. Id.
6, 2018, Plaintiff filed this suit against the County,
alleging one count of race discrimination and one count of
gender discrimination in violation of Title VII of the Civil
Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e, et seq.
ECF No. 1. The County's motion to dismiss followed. ECF
Exhaustion of Claims
Standard of Review
to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction under Rule
12(b)(1) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure for failure
to exhaust administrative remedies challenge a court's
authority to hear a matter. See Jones v. Calvert Group,
Ltd., 551 F.3d 297, 300-01 (4th Cir.2009); Davis v.
Thompson, 367 F.Supp.2d 792, 799 (D. Md. 2005). The
plaintiff bears the burden of establishing subject matter
jurisdiction by a preponderance of the evidence. Lovern
v. Edwards, 190 F.3d 648, 654 (4th Cir. 1999). If
“a claim fails to allege facts upon which the court may
base jurisdiction, ” the court must dismiss the action
for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. Davis, 367
F.Supp.2d at 799.
determining whether jurisdiction exists, “the court may
look beyond the pleadings and the jurisdictional allegations
of the complaint and view whatever evidence has been
submitted on the issue.” Khoury v. Meserve,
268 F.Supp.2d 600, 606 (D. Md. 2003) (quoting Capitol
Leasing Co. v. FDIC, 999 F.2d 188, 191 (7th Cir. 1993))
(internal quotation marks omitted). Where the defendant
contends that the complaint “simply fails to allege
facts upon which subject matter jurisdiction can be based,
” the ...