Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Dom Wadhwa, M.D. v. Eric K. Shinseki

May 7, 2012

DOM WADHWA, M.D.
v.
ERIC K. SHINSEKI, SECRETARY, DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS



The opinion of the court was delivered by: McLaughlin, J.

MEMORANDUM

The operative complaint in this case alleges that the defendant retaliated against the plaintiff for engaging in protected activity by not selecting him for a job opening in the Emergency Department at the Philadelphia VA Medical Center ("VA"). The government moves to dismiss and argues that the plaintiff has not set forth a causal connection between his protected activity and adverse action taken against him. The Court will grant the defendant's motion.

I. Procedural History

On March 23, 2011, the plaintiff filed an amended complaint in response to the Court's order of February 18, 2011, directing the plaintiff to amend his allegations to refer only to claims he had exhausted properly with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC"). The Court instructed the plaintiff that the only issues properly before the Court in the above-captioned case were those that the EEOC had fully addressed in EEOC Case Number 2004-0642-2008100615 ("'615 Case").

The '615 Case raised two sets of claims arising under Title VII: one alleging harassment under a hostile work environment theory, and the other alleging reprisal by the defendant in retaliation for Dr. Wadhwa's prior activity with the EEOC. The Court dismissed the plaintiff's hostile work environment claims and directed the plaintiff to file an amended complaint setting forth his claim for relief on a theory that he was not selected for Job Vacancy No. 174-07 in reprisal for engaging in protected activity. Order of Sept. 15, 2011 (Docket No. 22).

In that order, the Court cautioned the plaintiff that he needed to show that he engaged in a protected activity, that his employer took adverse action against him contemporaneous with or after the protected activity, and that a causal connection existed between the adverse action and protected activity. Id. (citing Marra v. Phila. Hous. Auth., 497 F.3d 286, 300 (3d Cir. 2007)).

Each of the plaintiff's subsequent attempts to file an amended complaint was met with a motion to strike that were granted by the Court. Docket Nos. 24-31. The operative complaint, filed on January 11, 2012 ("Am. Compl.," Docket No. 32), does make claims other than those related to the plaintiff's non-selection for Job Vacancy No. 174-07, but the Court already dismissed those claims. The government's instant motion requests dismissal, or in the alternative, summary judgment, on the reprisal claims that appear in that pleading. The plaintiff filed an untimely response to that motion on April 20, 2012, but the Court considers its content in ruling on the instant motion.

II. Reprisal Allegations

The plaintiff alleges that he engaged in two sets of protected activities. First, he filed an EEO complaint in December 2004 alleging that he had involuntarily been assigned to work with "hostile belligerent patients of other primary care providers" at the Pennsylvania VA Medical Center ("VA"). Next, after a June 9, 2006 encounter with a confrontational and threatening patient, he raised concerns regarding security at the VA with the VA Office of Inspector General and a counselor with the EEOC. Am. Compl. 2.

The plaintiff also alleges that a series of adverse actions were taken against him. However, as noted above, the only reprisal claim that has been properly exhausted in this matter relates to his nonselection for the Emergency Department staff physician position listed under Job Vacancy Number 174-07. In connection with that event, the plaintiff alleges the following:

1. In May 2007, Dr. Wadhwa "filed an application for the Emergency Department Vacancy No. 174-07."

This vacancy was posted on May 18, 2007 "after Dr. Murphy and Dr. Grippi became aware of [his] complaint of discrimination from the EEO Investigator." Am. Compl. 3 & n.3.

2. Dr. Wadhwa was not interviewed for that position. On February 7, 2008, he received a letter from the Human Resources Office stating tha the was "referred for consideration . . . [but] not selected" for that position. Id. at 3-4.

3. Dr. Wadhwa was not "offered an explanation for [his] nonselection . . . . [t]hus there is a causal connection between his protected activity ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.