Gerald MORGAN, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. Elaine L. CHAO, Secretary, U.S. Department of Transportation, Defendant-Appellee.
Decided: July 16, 2019
Before: FERNANDEZ, TASHIMA, and OWENS, Circuit Judges.
Kirby Smith, The Kirby G. Smith Law Firm LLC, Atlanta, GA, for Plaintiff - Appellant Kristina L. Morrison, Assistant U.S. Attorney, USPX - Office of the US Attorney, Phoenix, AZ, for Defendant - Appellee
Gerald Morgan appeals from the district court's grant of summary judgment to his employer, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), on Morgan's Title VII retaliation claim. Morgan also appeals from the district court's Rule 12(b)(1) dismissal for lack of subject matter jurisdiction of his Title VII claim for damages arising from an on-the-job car accident. As the parties are familiar with the facts, we do not recount them here. We vacate and remand in part and affirm in part.
The district court erred in granting summary judgment based on Morgan's failure to establish that the FAA's legitimate, nondiscriminatory reasons for his job reassignment were pretextual. Morgan raised a genuine issue of fact as to pretext by declaring that his supervisor—while handing Morgan his reassignment papers—stated, “I don't know why you have to file EEO, after a [sic] told you not to,” “I am very disappointed at you,” and “You are driving to Tucson every day now. I have to show that I did something!” Therefore, we vacate the district court's order granting summary judgment and remand for the district court to decide in the first instance whether Morgan established a prima facie case of retaliation.
The district court properly concluded that the Federal Employees’ Compensation Act provides the exclusive remedy for Morgan's accident-related injuries. See 5 U.S.C. § 8116(c). Therefore, we affirm the district court's dismissal of Morgan's Title VII claim seeking damages arising from his on-the-job car accident.
VACATED AND REMANDED IN PART, AFFIRMED IN PART.
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