United States District Court, E.D. Virginia, Alexandria Division
M. Brinkema United States District Judge
the Court is defendant Delta Air Lines, Inc.'s Motion to
Dismiss [Dkt. No. 20] to which plaintiff, with the assistance
of counsel, has replied. Dkt. No. 24. For the reasons that
follow, the defendant's Motion to Dismiss will be
proceeding pro se, plaintiff Jennifer Suzanne Dawson
("Dawson" or "plaintiff) first filed a
Complaint for Employment Discrimination [Dkt. No. 1] on March
5, 2018, alleging that defendant Delta Air Lines, Inc.
("Delta" or "defendant") failed to
promote her and subjected her to unequal treatment based on
her gender and mental disability in violation Title VII of
the Civil Rights Act of 1964 ("Title VII"), 42
U.S.C. § 2000e et sea., and the Americans with
Disabilities Act of 1990 ("ADA"), 42 U.S.C. §
12112 et sea. Dkt. No. 1-1 at 1-2. She also stated
that, according to her "best recollection," she
filed a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity
Commission ("EEOC") on November 1, 2017. Dkt. No. 1
at 5. For relief, she sought $750, 000 in damages and
"retiree status to include lifetime flight
benefits." Id. at 6. On July 23, 2018, Dawson
filed an Amended Complaint ("Compl.") [Dkt. No.
17], again alleging Title VII and ADA violations, including
claims of failure to promote and unequal conditions of
employment, but adding a claim of retaliation. Plaintiff is
now seeking compensatory and punitive damages. Id.
alleged in her Amended Complaint, Dawson began her employment
with Delta as a Ready Reserve Agent on June 29, 2009. Compl.
at l. She was later promoted to the positions of
Sky Club Agent and Safety and Environmental Coordinator.
Id. On March 3, 2014, Dawson reported to Delta her
awareness of an allegedly illegal dumping of Glycol into an
open storm drain at Reagan National Airport
("DCA"). Id. at 2. Dawson alleges that her
immediate supervisor, Willie Whitley ("Whitley"),
attempted to cover up the dumping and to prevent Delta's
corporate headquarters from learning about the incident.
Id. Beginning in March 2014, after learning that
Dawson had reported the violation to Delta's corporate
offices, Whitley and his team began a pattern of harassment
and retaliation due to plaintiff being an
"informant." Id. at 3. She alleges that
her work was "intentionally sabotaged" because she
was not given the accurate reports necessary for her
assignments, and when she sought corrections, she was
reprimanded. Id. at 3-4.
to the Amended Complaint, the first incident of sex
discrimination or hostile work environment began in 2014 when
Jason Joyner ("Joyner"), a supervisor in a
different department, "sexually harassed [plaintiff] on
several occasions" and would "constantly ask [her]
questions about [her] underwear and breasts almost on a daily
basis [sic]." Id. at 4. In June 2014, Joyner
allegedly "trapped [plaintiff] in a room asking if [she]
was wearing a thong ...."Id.
2014, Dawson sought professional help for major depressive
disorder and anxiety and told Whitley and her immediate
supervisor, Vanessa Battle ("Battle"), that she
would be using her personal time for medical appointments.
Id. at 4. She also reported Joyner's sexual
harassment to Whitley by showing him text messages, but
"[n]othing was done." Id. The Amended
Complaint alleges that from May 2014 to September 2016,
Dawson reported to Human Resources that Whitley was
retroactively editing her payroll to prevent her from
receiving the overtime pay she was due. Id. at
She alleges that she reported this problem to the Department
of Labor and received some compensation but also a notice
from Human Resources in August 2016 that she would receive
nothing further. Id. She further alleges that, on an
unspecified date, a "lesser qualified male," Greg
Bricker, was hired, and she was required to train him.
Id. at 5-6.
August 2014, Dawson took time off under the Family and
Medical Leave Act ("FMLA"). Id. at 6. She
alleges that Delta denied her benefits, including health
insurance, during this time. She also complains that she was
not allowed to travel without prior approval, a policy she
claims was not in place at DCA for other employees.
Id. Delta alleges, and plaintiff has not disputed,
that Dawson has been "on disability leave and has not
been in the work environment" since October 2014.
Defendant's Memo at 2. Although Dawson was hospitalized in
December 2014 for mental health reasons, she alleges that
Battle denied her leave for the holidays, which she had taken
every year previously, and refused to pay Dawson vacation
time that she allegedly was owed. Compl. at 6-7. Dawson also
complains that, from 2016 to 2017, Battle "tried to gain
[Dawson's] personal information through ... harassing
e-mails," and when that was unsuccessful, she contacted
Dawson's insurance provider, who did not provide Battle
with Dawson's health information. Id. In May
2017, Dawson reported an on-the-job injury that allegedly was
never reported to OSHA. Id.
claims she reached out to Human Resources in August and
October of 2017 to complain about Battle still being her
supervisor but received no response. Id. at 8. On
November 1, 2017, she filed a Charge of Discrimination with
the Virginia Division of Human Rights. Dkt. No. 1-1 at 1. In
her EEOC charge, plaintiff alleged that since August 2016 she
has been subjected to a hostile work environment by Joyner,
who has made "derogatory comments of a sexual nature
through text messages," and that her complaints to her
supervisor and to Human Resources went unanswered.
also alleged that she was subjected to a hostile work
environment "based on protected
class" by her current supervisor, Battle. The
only incident contributing to a hostile work environment was
receiving "constant e-mails asking for personal
information." Id. The charge also states
plaintiff was denied a promotion without providing a date
plaintiff applied for the promotion, the type of promotion,
or any details about the person who received the promotion,
other than that the person was "less qualified."
Id. The charge does not make any claim of
received a Notice of Right to Sue Letter from the EEOC on
December 5, 2017, and filed her initial prose
complaint with this Court on March 5, 2018. Dkt. No. 1.
to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6),
defendant has moved to dismiss for lack of subject matter
jurisdiction and failure to state a claim upon which relief
can be granted. Specifically, Delta argues that Dawson's
Amended Complaint should be dismissed because her claims fall
outside the scope of the EEOC charge, are time-barred, and
fail to allege sufficient facts to support claims for
discrimination or hostile work environment based on her
gender or disability.