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Bajestani v. Tennessee Valley Authority

United States District Court, E.D. Tennessee

November 13, 2014

MASOUD BAJESTANI, Plaintiff,
v.
TENNESSEE VALLEY AUTHORITY et al., Defendants

Page 760

For Masoud Bajestani, Plaintiff: John R Meldorf, III, LEAD ATTORNEY, Law Office of John R Meldorf III, Hixson, TN.

For Tennessee Valley Authority, William D Johnson, Defendants: Tricia L Roelofs, LEAD ATTORNEY, Tennessee Valley Authority, Office of General Counsel, Knoxville, TN.

Page 761

MEMORANDUM

CURTIS L. COLLIER, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

Before the Court is Defendants Tennessee Valley Authority (" Defendant TVA" ) and William Johnson's (" Defendant Johnson" ) motion to dismiss Plaintiff Masoud Bajestani's (" Plaintiff" ) complaint (Court File No. 4) and Plaintiff's second motion to amend his complaint (Court File No. 15). Plaintiff responded to Defendants' motion to dismiss (Court File No. 8) and Defendants responded to Plaintiff's motion to amend (Court File No. 16). For the following reasons, the Court will GRANT Defendants' motion to dismiss (Court File No. 4) and DENY AS FUTILE Plaintiff's motion to amend the complaint (Court File No. 15).

I. RELEVANT FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

Plaintiff is a Middle Eastern male who was employed as an executive by Defendant TVA. Plaintiff alleges that Defendant TVA terminated him " because he was born in Iran and retained dual citizenship with Iran and the United States, because he was Muslim and because he was aged 55" (Court File No. 1, ¶ 9). Plaintiff was a vice president at TVA and had responsibility over the engineering, construction and procurement process for the Watts Bar nuclear plant.

Defendant TVA is an agency of the federal government of the United States ( id. at ¶ 3). Defendant Johnson is the current General Manager and CEO of Defendant TVA ( id. at ¶ 2). Defendant Johnson's predecessor, Tom Kilgore (" Kilgore" ) stated in his January 28, 2011, letter terminating Plaintiff that Plaintiff was fired due to incorrect statements made on an application for hardship withdrawals from his Long-Term Deferred Compensation Plan (" LTDCP" ). Plaintiff avers that he was never advised that there was a limit on the amount of funds that could be withdrawn or for what purposes. Plaintiff avers that he was advised by an official with responsibility over the plan that his desire to withdraw and reinvest the funds " should be okay" ( id. at ¶ 12). He also alleges that while " other high-level managers within Defendant TVA also made similar applications for exceedingly large sums, which were granted[,] . . . [t]hese individuals have never been terminated, punished, nor discriminated against for their withdrawals" ( id. at ¶ 13). Plaintiff was never given an opportunity to " explain the nature of his 'hardship' as listed on said withdrawal application, nor the 'housing' request included therein" ( id. at ¶ 14). Immediately upon Plaintiff's termination, his security clearance was revoked.

Plaintiff also avers that in December 2010, he took and passed a lie detector test and believes that test was administered because of his race, religion and ethnicity. While he was told that other " staff contemporaries" were required to sit for the test, he alleges that " [t]o his knowledge, [he] was the only person of his staff level required to do so" ( id. at ¶ 17).

Plaintiff avers that Kilgore was a devout practitioner of a different faith and that, " on information and belief," Plaintiff's Muslim faith was a factor in Kilgore's decision

Page 762

to fire him. Plaintiff also alleges that he was discriminated against because of his support for and investment with family members in Iran ( id. at ¶ 19).

Plaintiff timely filed an action with the EEOC. This action was pending with EEOC for more than 180 days when Plaintiff informed the ALJ that he intended to file this action. ...


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