United States District Court, D. Massachusetts
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Dennis Saylor IV United States District Judge.
reasons set forth below, the Court will order that this
action be dismissed.
5, 2017, Lei Yin, who is proceeding pro se, filed a
complaint in which he alleged that his former employer,
defendant Thermo Fisher Scientific, was liable for defamation
and retaliation. In a memorandum and order dated August 31,
2017, the Court directed him to show cause why the action
should not be dismissed for lack of subject-matter
jurisdiction. The Court explained that Yin's alleged
facts were too generalized to permit an inference that his
former employer had violated federal law, thus precluding
federal-question jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1331.
The Court further observed that it did not appear that
diversity jurisdiction existed under 28 U.S.C. § 1332
because both parties were citizens of Massachusetts.
September 18, 2017, Yin filed a timely show-cause response
containing factual allegations set forth in five numbered
sections. On September 25, 2017, he filed supporting
exhibits. While the allegations are not a model of clarity,
they appear to indicate the following.
a 52-year-old United States citizen who immigrated from
China. Sometime prior to June 2009, he was hired by Thermo
Fisher. He worked as a senior scientist managing a team of
four other Thermo Fisher employees, all of whom were also
immigrants to the United States. Yin and his team worked on
site at “J&J, ” a client of Thermo Fisher.
After two months of working on-site at J&J, J&J
expressed its satisfaction in writing with the performance of
Yin and his team members.
point prior to his completion of that work, Thermo Fisher
conducted a formal performance evaluation of Yin and his
team. Initially, an employee involved with the review rated
the work of Yin and all the members of his team as
“poor” and wanted to put them on performance
improvement plans. According to Yin, the employee rated Yin
and his team based on her “malicious” religious
beliefs that “In GOD's eyes, everyone is sinful and
needs some improvement.” Show Cause Resp. at 2. Yin
refused to sign the evaluation and complained in writing to
managers at Thermo Fisher about the review. As a result,
Thermo Fisher allegedly issued a new review of Yin's
performance, giving him an “above average
rating.” Before Yin's contractual assignment to
J&J ended, Thermo Fisher presented him with an award to
honor his service.
Fisher's working site at the J&J office in Lexington
later closed (as did the J&J office itself). Thermo
Fisher gave Yin and his team 60 days' written notice of
the employment termination; Yin and his team members worked
“to the last day.” Id.
Yin and his team members filed for unemployment benefits.
Thermo Fisher contested their eligibility. However, on June
26, 2009, the Commonwealth's Department of Unemployment
found that Yin was eligible for unemployment benefits.
then asked Thermo Fisher to provide him with a copy of his
personnel file. The documents that he received in response to
that request allegedly did not include some papers that he
believed had previously been in his personnel file: a review
of his work in which he earned an “above average”
rating; a review giving him a “poor” rating,
which he had rejected; an official record of the performance
award he had received; and written confirmation from two
project heads at J&J of his completion of assignments. He
further contends that Thermo Fisher had added new documents
to the file, including an unsigned and very critical review
of his work and the nomination form for the performance award
he had received.
alleges that he experienced difficulty in finding permanent
employment, although he received many interviews. He found
that once he provided his potential employer with a reference
list, which included Thermo Fisher, he was not offered
employment. He believes that Thermo Fisher was making false
and negative statements about him to potential employers,
even though Thermo Fisher had agreed to limit its reference
to confirming the dates of his employment and his position
title. Yin alleges that Thermo Fisher altered his personnel
file and gave him poor references in retaliation for pursuing
his claim for unemployment compensation.
Order on the ...