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Eghbali v. Department of Energy

United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Aiken Division

March 2, 2015

Davoud Allen Eghbali, Plaintiff,
v.
Department of Energy at the Savannah River National Lab, Defendant

Order Filed: May 9, 2014

Davoud Allen Eghbali, Plaintiff, Pro se, Wilmington, NC.

For Department of Energy, at the Savannah River National Lab, Defendant: Terri Hearn Bailey, LEAD ATTORNEY, U.S. Attorneys Office, Columbia, SC.

Page 588

ORDER AND OPINION

J. Michelle Childs, United States District Judge.

Plaintiff Davoud Allen Eghbali (" Plaintiff" ) filed this action pro se alleging that Defendant Department of Energy at the Savannah River National Lab (" Defendant" ) subjected him to discrimination because of his place of national origin -- Iran -- in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (" Title VII" ), 42 U.S.C. § § 2000e--2000e-17. (ECF No. 1.) Specifically, Plaintiff claims that he was denied access to the Savannah River Site (" SRS" ), which he states resulted in the loss of his employment and employment opportunity. (Id.) This matter is before the court on Defendant's Motion to Dismiss the Complaint for lack of subject matter jurisdiction pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(1) (" Rule 12(b)(1) motion" ). (ECF No. 46.)

In accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 636(b) and Local Rule 73.02(B)(2)(g) D.S.C., the matter was referred to United States Magistrate Judge Shiva V. Hodges for pretrial handling. On May 9, 2014, the Magistrate Judge issued a Report and Recommendation in which she recommended that the court grant Defendant's Motion to Dismiss. (ECF No. 50.) For the reasons set forth herein, the court GRANTS Defendant's Motion to Dismiss.

I. Relevant Factual and Procedural Background

Plaintiff is originally from Iran, but is now a naturalized citizen of the United States. (ECF No. 1 at 4.) Plaintiff worked for Savannah River Site (" SRS" ) as a nuclear criticality safety specialist from 1989 until 2010. (Id.) From 1997 until September 2009, Plaintiff worked for Washington Safety Management Solution, LLC (" WSMS" ), a contractor for SRS. (Id.) Plaintiff states that his job with WSMS did not require a security clearance. (Id. at 5.) When Plaintiff was indicted in September 2009[1], Defendant's personnel at SRS

Page 589

instructed WSMS to deny Plaintiff access to SRS pending the outcome of Plaintiff's indictment. (Id. at 4.) Although Plaintiff's indictment was dismissed, Defendant continued to deny Plaintiff access to SRS. (Id. at 5.) As a consequence, WSMS terminated Plaintiff's employment in February 2010. (Id.) In January 2010, during Plaintiff's suspension from WSMS, he was offered an interview for a position with Savannah River Nuclear Solutions, LLC (" SRNS" ), an SRS contractor. (Id.) Plaintiff was unable to interview for this position because Defendant would not allow him access to SRS. (Id.) Plaintiff claims that the basis for Defendant's denial of access to SRS was its " mere speculation, prejudice, and the unfavorable political climate between the United States and Iran." (Id.) As such, Plaintiff states that he has suffered the loss of his employment with WSMS and the loss of an employment opportunity with SRNS due to Defendant's national origin discrimination against him. (Id.)

On December 6, 2012, Plaintiff filed this action alleging national origin discrimination. (ECF No. 1.) On July 2, 2013, Defendant filed its first Rule 12(b)(1) motion. (ECF No. 24.) On July 11, 2013, Plaintiff filed a response in opposition to Defendant's Rule 12(b)(1) motion, to which Defendant filed a reply in support of its motion on July 23, 2013. (ECF Nos. 27, 29.) On July 31, 2013, Plaintiff filed a sur-reply to Defendant's reply. (ECF No. 30.) The Magistrate Judge issued her first Report and Recommendation on September 5, 2013, recommending that the court grant Defendant's Motion to Dismiss. (ECF No. 31 at 2.) On September 16, 2013, Plaintiff filed objections to the first Report and Recommendation. (ECF No. 34.)

Thereafter, the court entered a Text Order on February 14, 2014, denying Defendant's first Rule 12(b)(1) motion with leave to refile and requiring the parties to brief (1) how Defendant's decision to deny Plaintiff access to SRS was connected to a security clearance decision and (2) whether Plaintiff was included within the class of persons permitted to sue Defendant under Title VII. (ECF No. 37.) Defendant filed an amended Rule 12(b)(1) motion on March 20, 2014. (ECF No. 46.) Plaintiff filed a memorandum in opposition to Defendant's Rule 12(b)(1) motion on April 3, 2014. (ECF No. 49.) The Magistrate Judge issued her second Report and Recommendation on May 9, 2014, ...


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