McGuireWoods Team Wins Contentious Employment Case for Booz Allen Hamilton Inc., Defeating Discrimination Claims

April 8, 2015

McGuireWoods lawyers have successfully defended client Booz Allen Hamilton in a lawsuit filed by a former in-house counsel who accused the management consulting firm of age and sex discrimination after being demoted in a restructuring of the legal department.

U.S. District Judge Anthony Trenga in Alexandria, Virginia granted summary judgment to Booz Allen on March 24, ruling that the company “has never wavered from its central justification” for demoting plaintiff Carla Calobrisi. The transfer was part of a corporate restructuring to support Booz Allen’s reentry into the commercial and international markets in 2011.

Booz Allen, which is headquartered in Tysons Corner, Virginia, decided to split its real estate, commercial and international practices into separate teams and assigned a senior associate to head each team. Calobrisi was assigned to lead the real estate group and demoted from principal to senior associate, the same rank as other team leaders.

Judge Trenga concluded that that “there is nothing inconsistent between the restructuring of the Law Department, a decision driven by the anticipated volume of business, and consideration of which skill sets of which employees would be best used in which positions in order to implement that restructuring.”

“In short, Defendant has never attempted to explain Plaintiff’s treatment except based on the restructuring decisions that were made,” the judge concluded.

McGuireWoods partners Sarah Belger, Stephen W. Robinson and Melissa L. Taylormoore represented Booz Allen in the case. All three partners are members of the firm’s Labor and Employment practice and are based in the firm’s Tysons Corner office.