ALEXANDRIA, VA, MARCH 16, 2021: PilieroMazza is pleased to announce the Firm obtained a full dismissal, with prejudice, of an employment and security clearance litigation in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia on behalf of a government contractor in the defense industry. “This victory highlights the collaborative nature of our practice,” said Matt Feinberg, Chair of PilieroMazza’s Litigation & Dispute Resolution Group and lead counsel on the client’s litigation. “Our representation of this valued client involved attorneys from three of our four main practice groups, combining their specific knowledge on different issues affecting government contractors to earn this important win for the client. And, more critically, this litigation shows that our client acted appropriately and in accordance with the law.”
After the client terminated an employee for performance issues and entered an incident report against the employee’s security clearance in the Joint Personnel Adjudication System (JPAS), the client was sued by the former employee for disparate treatment national origin and sexual orientation discrimination, retaliation under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, libel/defamation, tortious interference with prospective future employment, violations of the whistleblower protections of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and Defense Contractor Whistleblower Protection Act (DCWPA), and Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) interference. The employee sought over $750,000 in alleged damages and injunctive relief to compel the withdrawal of the incident report. PilieroMazza filed motions to dismiss and an opposition to the motion for preliminary injunctive relief on behalf of the client.
On March 15, 2021, the Court granted the motions to dismiss and ruled in favor of the client on the request for injunctive relief, dismissing the employee’s complaint with prejudice. Importantly, the decision reinforces a defense-industry government contractor’s obligation to make reports in JPAS when it has specific types of information about an employee with a security clearance and the protections afforded an employer or former employer when making those reports.
PilieroMazza team members contributing to the successful defense of the client included Camilla Hundley and Matthew Kreiser from the Litigation & Dispute Resolution Group; Sara Nasseri, Nichole Atallah, and Sarah Nash from the Labor & Employment Group; and Jay Blindauer from the Government Contracts Group.