United States District Court, W.D. Virginia, Roanoke Division
CASSAUNDRA L. BRYSON, Plaintiff,
DLP TWIN COUNTY REGIONAL HEALTHCARE, LLC, Defendant.
Elizabeth K. Dillon United States District Judge
Cassaundra L. Bryson has sued her former employer, DLP Twin
County Regional Healthcare, LLC (the “Hospital”),
alleging that she was subjected to a racially discriminatory
workplace and terminated as a result of race discrimination
and in retaliation for reporting the discrimination. Her
complaint asserts two counts: (1) a claim of racial
discrimination in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights
Act of 1964 (Title VII), 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et
seq., ; and (2) a claim of retaliation under Title VII.
(See generally Compl., Dkt. No. 1.)
Hospital filed a motion for partial dismissal pursuant to
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1). (Dkt. No. 6.) The
motion has been fully briefed and no party has requested a
hearing, so it is ripe for decision. For the reasons set
forth herein, the motion will be granted in part and denied
facts are based on Bryson's complaint, and the court
accepts the well-pleaded, nonconclusory factual allegations
in the complaint as true when ruling on a motion to dismiss.
Aziz v. Alcolac, Inc., 658 F.3d 388, 391 (4th Cir.
2011); Giarratano v. Johnson, 521 F.3d 298, 302 (4th
began working for the Hospital in August 2011 and worked
there until she was terminated in April 2014, allegedly due
to “unsatisfactory work performance.” (Compl.
¶¶ 7, 22.) Bryson, who is Caucasian, is married to
an African-American male, and they have biracial children.
(Id. at ¶¶ 6, 11, 16; Dkt. No. 1-1 at 3.)
Her complaint alleges that she was subjected to harassing and
unbearable working conditions relating to her marriage to an
African-American “[d]uring her entire period of
employment.” (Compl. ¶ 9.)
complaint references conversations between co-workers in her
presence-as well as comments made directly to her, including
by her immediate supervisors-that included negative and
offensive comments regarding interracial
dating. (Id. at ¶¶ 11-19.) The
complaint also refers to co-workers' making negative
comments about an African-American patient and her family.
(Id. at ¶ 13.) The complaint further alleges
that, although the Hospital employs over 100 people, none of
its employees are African-American. (Id. at ¶
10.) When she complained about co-workers' comments about
African-Americans, her supervisor at the time told her,
“You know where you live. You need to let these things
roll off your back.” (Id. at ¶ 14.) Also,
the day after Anderson saw Bryson and her husband at a
grocery store, Anderson commented, “Boy, your husband
is black, really dark, isn't he?” (Id. at
¶ 19.) Although Bryson complained directly to her
supervisors at various points, she later also complained to
the Hospital's Human Resources Department.
claims that, after several complaints to HR, she was issued a
write-up by her supervisor for “inaccurate time
sheets.” (Id. at ¶ 20.) She was
subsequently fired over this issue, and claims that her
co-workers' time sheets had similar problems, but they
were not disciplined or terminated. (Id. at
she was terminated, she filed a charge of discrimination with
the EEOC. (Dkt. No. 1-1.) On the charge form, she checked
only the box for “race” and not for
“retaliation.” In describing the basis for her
race discrimination claim, she stated:
. . . During my employment I was exposed to negative comments
about interracial marital relationships and interracial
children. In particular, Kippy Anderson, Home Health
Director, kept questioning me about that particular topic. My
employment was terminated on April 29, 2014.
. . .
I believe I was harassed as described above and discharged
based on my race, White, in violation of Title VII of the
Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, because I have an
(Dkt. No. 1-1 at 3.) The EEOC subsequently issued her a
notice of right to sue on February 22, 2016. This ...