December 5, 2016 - 9:00am
D.C. Superior Court, 500 Indiana Ave, CR 20
D.C. Superior Court
Expected End Date: 
July 17, 2017 (All day)

Plaintiff Julia Martas alleges that that the District of Columbia terminated her employment in violation of the DC Whistleblower Protection Act or “WPA,” in retaliation for her reports that DC public schools were not in compliance with civil rights statutes. The District of Columbia tasked Ms. Martas with reporting on the status of DC public schools’ compliance with civil rights statutes as part of her job duties as the State Civil Rights and Gender Equity Coordinator. During her employment with the District, Ms. Martas repeatedly reported that the DC public schools were not in compliance with civil rights statutes. Tony Johnson, who was Ms. Martas’s supervisor from November 2011 until DC terminated her in February 2013, told Ms. Martas that her reports made DCPS Chancellor Kaya Henderson and DC Mayor Vincent Grey “look bad.” Mr. Johnson also engaged in a pattern of antagonism toward Ms. Martas and subjected her to a heightened scrutiny. Mr. Johnson issued Ms. Martas corrective action letters and criticized her performance, despite Ms. Martas’s record of excellent work performance. The District of Columbia retaliated against Ms. Martas when it issued Ms. Martas a deficient mid-year evaluation for 2012; placed corrective action letters in Ms. Martas’s personnel file in July and December 2012; removed Ms. Martas from planning the Young Women’s Conference; terminated Ms. Martas’s employment; and submitted a deficient 2012 annual performance evaluation for Ms. Martas after her termination.

Ms. Martas’s reports of non-compliance were a contributing factor in District of Columbia’s decision to terminate her employment. Mr. Johnson’s blatant pattern of antagonism and heightened scrutiny of Ms. Martas’ work performance demonstrate a causal connection between Ms. Martas’ protected activity under the WPA and the adverse employment actions she suffered.