NOT FOR PUBLICATION FILED
UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS DEC 24 2020
MOLLY C. DWYER, CLERK
U.S. COURT OF APPEALS
FOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT
MELODY KEMSLEY, an individual, No. 19-55856
Plaintiff-Appellant, D.C. No.
MEGAN J. BRENNAN, Postmaster General MEMORANDUM*
of the United States Postal Service,
Appeal from the United States District Court
for the Central District of California
R. Gary Klausner, District Judge, Presiding
Argued and Submitted November 19, 2020
Before: PAEZ and VANDYKE, Circuit Judges, and IMMERGUT,** District
Plaintiff Melody Kemsley appeals the district court’s order granting
Defendant’s motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim under Title VII. We review
the grant or denial of a motion to dismiss de novo. Los Angeles Lakers, Inc. v. Fed.
This disposition is not appropriate for publication and is not precedent
except as provided by Ninth Circuit Rule 36-3.
The Honorable Karin J. Immergut, United States District Judge for the
District of Oregon, sitting by designation.
869 F.3d 795
, 800 (9th Cir. 2017). We review the district court’s dismissal
with prejudice for abuse of discretion. Salameh v. Tarsadia Hotel,
726 F.3d 1124
1129 (9th Cir. 2013).
The availability of protection under Title VII’s “participation clause” requires
“the underlying discrimination … be reasonably perceived as discrimination
prohibited by Title VII.” Learned v. City of Bellevue,
860 F.2d 928
, 932 (9th Cir.
1988). The district court properly concluded that Kemsley’s EEOC complaint’s
claim that she was fired for identifying leave-use violations did not qualify as
“protected activity” under Title VII’s broad categories of race, color, religion, sex,
or national origin. 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000e-2(a)(1), 2000e-3(a).
Kemsley now maintains that her complaint noted that her EEOC action was
not entirely predicated on the leave-use violations, but rather leave-use violations
“among other things.” Acknowledging this aspect of her complaint “admittedly
lack[s] specificity,” Kemsley’s brief on appeal still does not disclose exactly what
those “other things” are, and insists Kemsley should have been given leave to amend.
Because the record before both this court and the district court is completely devoid
of any specific claimed protected activity, the district court did not abuse its
discretion in dismissing with prejudice. See Kendall v. Visa U.S.A., Inc.,
518 F.3d 1042
, 1052 (9th Cir. 2008) (“Appellants fail to state what additional facts they would
plead if given leave to amend .... Accordingly, amendment would be futile.”). “A
plaintiff may not in substance say ‘trust me,’ and thereby gain a license for further
amendment when [provided] prior opportunity” to explain those facts.
Salameh, 726 F.3d at 1133
(finding no abuse of discretion to deny leave to amend where plaintiff
failed to identify facts that could cure deficiencies). The district court properly
dismissed Kemsley’s complaint with prejudice.