United States District Court, D. Kansas
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
MURGUIA UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Gloria Jean Jones brings this employment discrimination
action pro se against her employer the Federal Aviation
Administration (“FAA”). Plaintiff claims that her
supervisor discriminated against her based on her protected
class characteristics during a number of different incidents,
ultimately denying her placement in a job that she wanted.
The case is before the court on defendant's motion to
dismiss or for summary judgment (Doc. 24). For the following
reasons, the court grants defendant's motion.
moves to dismiss some of plaintiff's claims under
Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(1). Dismissal pursuant to Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) is appropriate when the court lacks
subject matter jurisdiction over a claim. Plaintiff claims
that subject matter jurisdiction exists and has the burden of
establishing it. Port City Props. v. Union Pac. R.R.
Co., 518 F.3d 1186, 1189 (10th Cir. 2008). Because
federal courts are courts of limited jurisdiction, however,
there is a strong presumption against federal jurisdiction.
Sobel v. United States, 571 F.Supp.2d 1222, 1226 (D.
also moves for summary judgment on the claims against it.
Summary judgment is appropriate if the moving party
demonstrates that there is “no genuine issue as to any
material fact” and that it is “entitled to
judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). In
applying this standard, the court views the evidence and all
reasonable inferences therefrom in the light most favorable
to the nonmoving party. Adler v. Wal-Mart Stores,
Inc., 144 F.3d 664, 670 (10th Cir. 1998) (citing
Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp.,
475 U.S. 574, 587 (1986)).
as here, the plaintiff proceeds pro se, the court construes
the pro se filings liberally. Hall v. Doering, 997
F.Supp. 1445, 1451 (D. Kan. 1998) (citing Hughes v.
Rowe, 449 U.S. 5, 9-10 (1980)). On the other hand, a
plaintiff's pro se status does not relieve her from
complying with this court's procedural requirements.
Barnes v. United States, 173 F. App'x 695, 697
(10th Cir. 2006) (citations omitted); see also
Santistevan v. Colo. Sch. of Mines, 150 F. App'x
927, 931 (10th Cir. 2005) (holding that a pro se litigant
must follow the same rules of procedure as other litigants).
does not controvert any of defendant's proposed statement
of material facts. The court adopts all of the facts set
forth by defendant, and recounts those relevant to the
court's decision below.
claims range in time from October 2012 through February 2013.
During this time period, plaintiff worked as a 334 Computer
Specialist at the Airways Facilities sector of the Kansas
City Air Route Traffic Control Center (“KCARTCC
“) in Olathe, Kansas. Born in 1959, plaintiff is a
black female who has sickle cell anemia. She is a Christian
and had a sixteen-year-old son in 2013.
supervisor from 2010 through 2014 was Brian Smith. Plaintiff
claims that Smith discriminated against her on the basis of
her race, sex, age, religion, disability, and genetic
information (sickle cell anemia). Smith, however, was unaware
of plaintiff's protected class characteristics (other
than plaintiff's sex and race). Although plaintiff told
Smith in 2000 that her oldest son died of sickle cell anemia,
plaintiff never mentioned her sickle cell anemia during the
2010 through 2013 time period. During the relevant time
period, Smith did not know plaintiff's age, religion,
disability status, or genetic information.
Specialists were responsible for all computer program load
operations for the realtime National Airspace Systems HOST
computer system, which enables Air Traffic Controllers to
perform their daily job duties and responsibilities for the
FAA and the flying public. Duties of Computer Specialists
revolved around the HOST computer. In October 2012, plaintiff
worked the midnight shift.
early 2002, the FAA began work to upgrade its computer system
at all twenty air traffic control centers nationwide. The
project was called En Route Automation Modernization
(“ERAM”), and it replaced the HOST computer
system. KCARTCC began using ERAM in January 2013 and its
Operational Readiness date was April 4, 2013, which meant its
HOST computer was turned off and KCARTCC could remove it.
learned in the early 2000s that the FAA planned to replace
the HOST computer system. Once ERAM was fully operational,
plaintiff knew she would no longer perform the functions of a
Computer Specialist and she would have three options: she
could transition to a technician (“2101”)
position, transition to an IT specialist position, or take
early retirement. Plaintiff's supervisor developed an
Individual Development Plan (“IDP”) in 2001 that
authorized plaintiff to take courses necessary to transition
from her Computer Specialist position to a 2101 position.
There were five prerequisite courses for the 2101 position.
Plaintiff completed three of the five courses. In 2002 and
2004, plaintiff received an incomplete in two required
courses for the 2101 position. She still had not completed
them by January 2013. But in 2008, plaintiff completed all 34
courses that were prerequisites for transitioning to an IT
are five incidents about which plaintiff complains: (1)
October 13-14, 2012 system failure and verbal reprimand; (2)
November 9, 2012 notice of schedule change, effective
November 16, 2012; (3) November 16, 2012 assignment to log
tapes on day shift; (4) December 13, 2012 notice of schedule
change, effective January 7, 2013; and (5) February 5, 2013
email. Although plaintiff did not distinctly delineate these
events in the pretrial order, defendant did. Plaintiff did
not controvert defendant's characterization of her
claims, and the court believes that defendant's
characterization is accurate. The court therefore analyzes
plaintiff's claims using these incidents.
13-14, 2012 System Failure and Verbal Reprimand
October 13, 2012, a system failure occurred on
plaintiff's shift that caused the loss of some flight
data. Plaintiff discussed the system failure on the phone
with Smith the next day. According to plaintiff, Smith
verbally reprimanded her over the phone. Plaintiff filed a
union grievance about the system failure, ...