United States District Court, E.D. Virginia, Alexandria Division
ORDER & MEMORANDUM OPINION
O' Grady Alexandria United Stated District Judge.
matter is before the Court on Defendant's Motion to
Dismiss (Dkt. 6). The motion was fully briefed and the Court
dispensed with oral argument. The Court carefully reviewed
the pleadings, case law, and the timeline provided in
Plaintiffs opposition brief. For the reasons that follow, and
for good cause shown, Defendant's Motion to Dismiss (Dkt.
6) is hereby GRANTED as to Counts I, III,
and IV, and DENIED as to Count II.
Natalie Burke began working for Defendant CHS Middle East,
LLC as a registered nurse in Basra, Iraq in August 2015.
Compl. ¶¶ 6-8.
August 2016, Lee Workman became Plaintiffs direct supervisor.
Id. at ¶ 14. Workman was promoted to Nurse Lead
despite a formal complaint that he had sexually harassed a
female government contractor, and he continued sexually
harassing women after becoming Nurse Lead. Id. at
April or May 2017, Workman "began sexually
harassing" Plaintiff, including by "inappropriately
touching her lower back." Id. at ¶¶
17, 20. Plaintiff complained about Workman's sexual
harassment to the Site Lead in May or June 2017, but after an
investigation, Defendant found her complaint unsubstantiated
on June 16, 2017 and directed her to not discuss the
investigation. Id. at ¶¶ 18-22. In June or
July 2017, Workman began discussing the investigation.
Id. at ¶ 23. In July 2017, Plaintiff complained
to her superiors that Workman was discussing the
investigation and had not been given the same instruction to
keep silent. Id. at ¶ 24. Plaintiff also
complained that Workman retaliated against her by asking her
to create spreadsheets he did not ask the other two nurses to
Human Resources resolved Plaintiffs sexual harassment
complaint against Workman, it noted that "unnecessarily
moving [Plaintiff] to another shift or site would be
perceived as retaliation." Id. at ¶ 22.
Yet, on August 15, 2017, Plaintiff was informed she would be
reassigned to Baghdad, a less desirable location, for an
unspecified duration. Id. at ¶¶ 25-26.
Defendant does not usually require nurses to
"float" to different locations, especially not for
more than a temporary basis to cover vacationing employees,
and multiple nurses and other staff had never floated or had
refused to float. Id. at ¶¶ 26-28. After
informing Plaintiff of her transfer from Basra to Baghdad,
Defendant assigned two new nurses to Basra. Id. at
¶¶ 30, 32.
August 16 and 22, 2017, Plaintiff complained that her
transfer was retaliation for her sexual harassment complaint
and she advised Defendant's Lead Director that she would
file an EEOC complaint. Id. at ¶¶ 29, 31.
Plaintiff initiated an EEOC complaint on August 30, 2017.
Id. at ¶ 33. On September 13, 2017, the EEO
mediator called Defendant's Human Resources and
management, asking when Burke would be transferred back to
Basra. Id. at ¶ 34. On November 7, 2017,
Plaintiff was notified she would be transferred back to
Basra. Id. at ¶ 35. On December 6, 2017,
Plaintiff was transferred back to Basra to again work under
Workman. Id. at ¶ 36.
April 3, 2018, Defendant's Program Manager announced that
"toxic" employees would not be renewed.
Id. at ¶ 38. In mid-April 2018, four months
after her transfer back to Basra, Plaintiff submitted her
intent to renew her contract with Defendant for the fourth
consecutive year. Id. at ¶ 37. On April 19,
2018, Defendant issued a new policy that limited contract
renewals to three consecutive years as a way to get rid of
"toxic" employees. Id. at ¶¶ 38,
43. Plaintiff later learned that Defendant considered her to
be a "toxic" employee because she had complained
about Workman's harassment and the subsequent retaliation
against her. Id. at¶44.
21, 2018 Plaintiff was informed her contract would not be
renewed, ostensibly because of Defendant's new policy.
Id. at ¶ 45. Despite the policy, Defendant
continued to renew the contracts of other employees who had
not engaged in protected activity beyond their third
consecutive year, even if the employee had received multiple
write-ups for performance issues. Id. at
¶¶ 39-42. Plaintiff had always received positive
performance reviews and feedback; though there were three
write-ups about her, she had never been formally told about
them. Id. at ¶¶ 7, 46.
5, 2018, Plaintiff resigned because "the working
conditions were intolerable." Id. at ¶ 48.
Defendant eliminated its policy limiting contract renewals to
three consecutive years within months of Plaintiff s
resignation. See Id. at ¶ 49.
filed an EEO complaint on September 10, 2018 and alleges that
she properly exhausted her administrative remedies. On
November 29, 2018, Plaintiff filed suit against Defendant,
demanding a jury trial and asserting four violations of Title
VII: (1) discrimination based on sex, (2) retaliation, (3)
hostile work environment based on sex, and (4) constructive
discharge. Defendant moved to dismiss Plaintiffs Complaint in
its entirety for failure to state a claim.
survive a motion to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 12(b)(6), a complaint must contain sufficient
factual information to "state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face." BellAtl Corp. v.
Twombly,550 U.S. 544, 550 (2007). A motion to dismiss
pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) must be considered in combination
with Rule 8(a)(2), which requires "a short and plain
statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled
to relief so as to "give the defendant fair notice of
what the ... claim is and the grounds upon which it
rests." Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2); Twombly, 550 U.S.
at 555. While "detailed factual allegations" are
not required, Rule 8 does demand that a plaintiff provide
more than mere labels and conclusions stating that the
plaintiff is entitled to relief. Id. Because a Rule
12(b)(6) motion tests the sufficiency of a complaint without
resolving factual disputes, a district court "'must
accept as true all of the factual allegations contained in
the complaint' and 'draw all reasonable inferences in
favor of the plaintiff.'" Kensington
Volunteer Fire Dep % 684 F.3d at 467 (quoting E.I.
du Pont de Nemours& Co. v. Kolon
Indus., Inc.,637 F.3d 435, 440 (4th Cir. 2011)).
Accordingly, a complaint may survive a motion to dismiss