United States District Court, E.D. Virginia, Alexandria Division
M. HILTON, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
MATTER comes before the Court on Defendants' Motion for
case arises from Plaintiff Richard Hudson's termination
from his employment at SRA International, Inc.
("SRA") on October 1, 2015. SRA is the predecessor
of CSRA Inc. ("CSRA"), a company that provides
information technology ("IT") services to
governmental clients in national security, government, and
public health areas. From July 2004 until October 2015,
Hudson worked for SRA as a Network Engineer supporting the
Army National Guard ("ARNG") on the Enterprise
Operations Security Service ("EOSS") contract.
Hudson received training on SRA's Business Ethics and
Code of Conduct, which included training related to avoidance
of conflicts of interest.
2015, in addition to being employed by SRA, Hudson was also
employed by STG, Inc. ("STG") as the Senior Program
Manager on STG's Emergency Operations Center
("EOC") contract with the Department of Homeland
Security ("OHS"). Hudson's supervisors at SRA
knew he worked a second job but did not know the identity of
the other employer or what position he held at his second
also a government contractor, and in April 2015, OHS awarded
the EOC contract to SRA after SRA outbid STG. SRA contacted
Hudson to discuss continuing his employment as a Program
Manager on the EOC contract. During this time, SRA realized
Hudson was already employed by SRA as a Network Engineer on
another government contract. After learning of Hudson's
dual employment with SRA and STG, SRA personnel reported it
to SRA's Ethics and Compliance Office, who launched an
investigation. The investigation found Hudson had been dually
employed multiple times during his employment with SRA, which
was a violation of SRA's policies against conflicts of
interest because he did not properly report his dual
employment with direct competitors and failed to obtain
appropriate approval. Consequently, Hudson was terminated
from SRA on October 1, 2015. SRA informed Hudson the
termination was based on the potential for organizational
conflicts of interest his dual employment created, which he
failed to report and obtain the required approval, in
violation of SRA policies. Hudson was replaced at SRA by
Isseyas Gerbregeris, an African employee.
February 4, 2016, Hudson filed an Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission ("EEOC"} claim of race
discrimination against SRA. In April 2016, SRA merged with
CSC, creating a new corporation, CSRA. In May 2016, CSRA
hired Hudson for a position with the NFIP under FEMA, which
was a different location and department than his former
position with SRA. Hudson's employment with CSRA was
contingent on him passing a background check. On July 11,
2016, CSRA terminated Hudson's employment, claiming the
Plaintiff failed to pass his background check when CSRA
realized Plaintiff had been previously terminated from SRA
due to misconduct.
25, 2016, Hudson filed a second EEOC claim alleging
retaliation by CS RA. EEOC investigated both of Hudson's
claims and did not find there as a violation of any statute
in either charge and dismissed both charges.
December 22, 2017, Hudson filed suit in this Court against
SRA and CSRA alleging: 1) Defendants discriminated against
him because of his race and national origin in violation of
Title VII and Section 1981; and 2) Defendants retaliated
against him in violation of Title VII and Section 1981
because he engaged in protect activity.
completion of discovery, Defendants filed their Motion for
Summary Judgement on October 11, 2018. Plaintiff responded to
Defendants' motion and agreed to dismiss count II of the
complaint, the retaliation claim.
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56, a court should grant
summary judgment if the pleadings and evidence show that
there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and that
the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c); see Celotex Corp. v. Catrett,
477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986). In reviewing a motion for summary
judgment, the court views the facts in the light most
favorable to the non-moving party. See Anderson v.
Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 255 (198 6). Once a
motion for summary judgment is properly made, the opposing
party has the burden to show that a genuine dispute of
material fact exists. See Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v.
Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586-87 (1986). This
Court finds this case is ripe for summary judgment.
Supreme Court's decision in McDonnell Douglas Corp.
v. Green, 411 U.S. 792 (1973), set forth a
burden-shifting framework that a plaintiff must satisfy to
prove unlawful discrimination where there is no direct
evidence of discrimination. The plaintiff must first
establish a prima facie case of discrimination, and then the
burden of production shifts to the employer to provide a
legitimate, non-discriminatory explanation for the employment
decision at issue. See Tex. Pep't of Cmty. Affairs v.
Burdine, 450 U.S. 248, 253 (1981). Once the employer has
done so, the burden of production shifts back to the
plaintiff to demonstrate that the employer's explanation
is merely pretextual. Id.
establish a prima facie case of discriminatory discharge,
Plaintiff must show that: (1) he is a member of a protected
class; (2} he suffered from an adverse employment action; (3)
at the time the employer took the adverse employment action
he was performing at a level that met his employer's
legitimate expectations; and (4) that the position was filled
by a qualified applicant outside the protected class. See
King v. Rumsfeld, 328 F.3d 145, 149 (4th Cir. 2003) .
cannot establish the elements of his prima facie claim for
two reasons. First, he cannot show that he was satisfactorily
performing his duties as an employee of SRA at the time of
his termination. Hudson was employed by a direct competitor
of SRA, which was a violation of the Business Ethics and Code
of Conduct of SRA that Plaintiff agreed to and received
training on. Hudson argues that his direct managers knew he
had a second job as evidenced by emails from his manager to
his DHS email address. However, Plaintiff does not put forth
evidence that his supervisors knew he was working for a
direct competitor nor does he establish that he formally
gained approval to work for a direct competitor of SRA, which
was a violation of SRA's Code of Conduct and Business
Ethics. Instead, he offers evidence showing that other
coworkers also maintained dual-employment while employed at
SRA. Proof that Plaintiff's performance was comparable to
his coworkers is not proof that his performance met SRA's
legitimate job performance expectations. Id. at 14
9. Evidence that other employees of SRA also maintained
dual-employment is insufficient to establish the third
element required to establish a prima facie case.
cannot meet the last element in order to establish a prima
facie case of racial discrimination under Title VII.
Plaintiff is African American and was replaced by an employee
who was African. Plaintiff does not dispute this fact. He
claims a white male replaced the position he held at STG,
which he was being considered for before SRA learned of his
dual employment. He does not dispute that SRA replaced his
Network Engineering position with an African employee.
Because Plaintiff cannot produce evidence to show ...