United States District Court, C.D. California
Present: The Honorable CHRISTINA A. SNYDER
CIVIL MINUTES - GENERAL
(IN CHAMBERS) - DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO DISMISS (Dkt. 26,
filed May 12, 2017)
Court finds this motion appropriate for decision without oral
argument. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 78; CD. Cal. L.R.
7-15. Accordingly, the hearing date of June 19, 2017 is
vacated, and the matter is hereby taken under submission.
September 27, 2016, plaintiff Lenee Sweeney filed this action
against defendants The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity
Commission ("EEOC"); Jenny R. Yang, then Chair of
the EEOC; and Does 1-10, inclusive. Dkt. 1. On November 10,
2016, plaintiff filed her first amended complaint. Dkt. 12
("FAC"). Plaintiff alleges eight claims: (1) age
discrimination in violation of the Age Discrimination in
Employment Act ("ADEA"), 29 U.S.C. §§ 626
et seq.; (2) race discrimination in violation of
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C.
§§ 2000e et seq.; (3) retaliation in
violation of Title VII; (4) fraud; (5) misrepresentation; (6)
interference with prospective business advantage; (7)
intentional infliction of emotional distress; and (8)
12, 2017, defendant Victoria A. Lipnic, Acting Chair of
the EEOC, filed a notice of motion and motion to dismiss
plaintiffs complaint. Dkt. 26 ("MTD"). Plaintiff
filed her opposition on May 26, 2017, dkt. 28
("Opp'n"), and defendant filed a reply on June
5, 2017, dkt. 31.
carefully considered the parties' arguments, the Court
finds and concludes as follows.
alleges the following facts. Beginning in August 2008,
plaintiff, an African American woman born in 1958, was
employed by the EEOC as an Information Specialist/Records
Disclosure Coordinator for the Los Angeles District Office.
FAC ¶¶ 14, 16. Plaintiff has worked in the federal
government for approximately thirty years. Id.
unspecified time, plaintiffs manager, Thomas Profit,
allegedly discriminated against her on the basis of her age,
race, and sex. Id. ¶ 17.
about November 18, 2015, Profit put plaintiff on a
"Performance Improvement Plan" ("PIP").
Id. ¶¶ 17, 71. Plaintiff alleges that a
PIP, which indicates "performances issues, "
remains on an employee's file where it can be used as a
tool to justify terminating an employee. Id. A PIP
can negatively impact an employee's job opportunities by
preventing transfer and affecting pay or potential bonuses.
Id. ¶ 17. Plaintiff contends that the PIP
inaccurately and unfairly criticized her work. Id.
On the same day, plaintiff contacted the EEOC to file a
complaint for harassment and discrimination. Id.
requested a transfer away from Profit, but her request was
denied. Id. ¶ 18. Other transfer requests were
granted to younger, non-African American women. Id.
Profit also revoked plaintiff's ability to telecommute
two days per week, while permitting other employees who were
not African American to continue to do so. Id
¶¶ 18, 54. Another manager, Rosa Viramontes, made
fun of plaintiff and told her that "assistants did not
want to listen to her because she was black." Id.
plaintiff complained, " individuals at the EEOC falsely
told her that she had reached her thirtieth year of
employment with the federal government, and that she was
entitled to pension payments and lifetime medical
benefits. Id. ¶ 58.
told plaintiff that he had calculated her time and that she
would be eligible for retirement starting in December 2015.
Id. ¶ 21. Plaintiff relied on Profit's
representations that she could retire with full benefits.
Id. ¶ 22. Plaintiff would not have requested
retirement if she "had been told the truth."
Id. Plaintiff alleges that Profit lied to her about
her eligibility for retirement benefits because he wanted to
"get rid of her due to her age, sex, and race.
Id. ¶ 23.
individuals at the EEOC allegedly confirmed with plaintiff
that she was eligible to receive lifetime retirement
benefits. Id. ¶ 24. These individuals knew that
this was false and had no intention to pay plaintiff her
pension or medical benefits. Id. Plaintiff contends
that individuals at the EEOC wanted her to suffer as
retaliation for her complaints. Id.
December 2015, plaintiff followed the directions of Pamela
Akers, an EEOC Benefits Specialist, and unnamed others and
submitted her request to retire upon January 2016.
does not state how she discovered that she was not, in fact,
entitled to retire with lifetime benefits. Nonetheless, on or
about January 29, 2016, plaintiff filed an amended complaint
with the EEOC based on "constructive discharge" due
to the alleged misrepresentation of her eligibility for
retirement benefits. Id. ¶27. On February 10,
2016, plaintiff received a Notice of Acceptance and
Amendment. Id. ¶ 11.
about February 18, 2016, plaintiff received a letter from Ms.
Williams acknowledging that Akers had previously told
plaintiff that her retirement package was complete and
submitted to the Office of Personnel Management
("OPM"). Id. ¶ 21. The letter
explained that the EEOC did not process plaintiff's
retirement package, despite what Akers had told plaintiff,
and that it had instead delayed processing by keeping it in
Akers' office instead of forwarding the package to OPM.
Id. ¶ 25.
applied to go back to work at multiple federal agencies to
try to "make up" the additional months she needed
to reach the thirty-year anniversary for retirement benefits.
Id. ¶¶ 26, 28. Defendants defamed
plaintiff by telling others that she was "unstable"
and should not be hired. Id. ¶ 26.
EEOC advertised a job that plaintiff was qualified for, but
refused to hire her when she applied. Id. ¶ 31.
Plaintiff continued to "beg" the EEOC to correct
the "mistake" as to her retirement benefits and
provide her with medical insurance. Id ¶¶
suffered severe emotional distress due to lack of income,
pension payment, and insurance. Id. ¶ 30.
Plaintiff became deeply depressed, but she could not obtain
medical treatment for ...