Astrid L. Portela-Gonzalez (Portela) (plaintiff) was a sales manager at the Navy Exchange of the Roosevelt Roads Naval Station. Portela placed $484.10 worth of merchandise on layaway. The Navy Exchange later reduced the price of the merchandise. Portela canceled her layaway arrangement and repurchased the merchandise for $330.79. The Navy Exchange terminated Portela’s employment for applying an unauthorized price reduction to the purchased merchandise in violation of the Navy Exchange’s layaway policy. Portela appealed her termination to the Officer in Charge of the Navy Exchange (OIC). The OIC affirmed her termination. Portela appealed to the Commanding Officer of the Roosevelt Roads Naval Station. After a full evidentiary hearing, the Commanding Officer upheld her termination. Portela then appealed to a rear admiral who affirmed her termination. The rear admiral advised Portela of her right to appeal the rear admiral’s determination to the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy. Portela instead challenged her termination in district court. The district court found that Portela failed to exhaust all available administrative remedies, but nevertheless reviewed the case on the merits and granted summary judgment in favor of the Secretary of the Navy (defendant). Portela appealed.