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McLenan-Kenny v. State, Department of Labor and Industries

United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma

April 24, 2014

MELIDA MCLENAN-KENNY, Plaintiff,
v.
STATE OF WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND INDUSTRIES, Defendant.

ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO DISMISS

RONALD B. LEIGHTON, District Judge.

I. INTRODUCTION

THIS MATTER is before the Court on Defendant Labor and Industry's Motion to Dismiss or, in the alternative, to Require Compliance with Order. Dkt. #17. Plaintiff McLenan-Kenny is an L&I employee. She sued her employer on a variety of grounds related to workplace discrimination and in response to a blanket medical release that is included in the Washington State Office of Risk Management's tort claim form packet. The original complaint was found to be insufficiently articulated and amendment was ordered. L&I now argues that claims in the amended complaint-that the medical release chilled her First Amendment Rights and was an unconstitutional invasion of privacy-are not plausible and should be dismissed. The remaining employment claims are not addressed in the L&I's motion. Because the amended complaint fails to state facially plausible claims, the Motion is GRANTED.

II. BACKGROUND

Melida McLenan-Kenny was a 22 year veteran of L&I and had reached the level of Revenue Agent 2. She was performing high-profile work enforcing wage and hour claims in Washington State. While in this position, she adopted a child and requested Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) time to bond and attend doctor's appointments. She alleges that her supervisors interfered with her ability to take this time and began to treat her differently. When she objected to this interference her employers subjected her to escalating retaliation. She also alleges racial discrimination. Eventually she was demoted; her new role is a low-profile position seeking collection of overpayments from injured workers.

McLenan-Kenny submitted a tort claim form to the Office of Risk Management (ORM) as required by RCW 4.92.100. That statute requires the filing of a tort claim form prior to bringing a lawsuit against the state. It limits, however, the information that ORM can require on its standard tort claim form to the following:

1. The claimant's name, date of birth, and contact information;
2. A description of the conduct and the circumstances that brought about the injury or damage;
3. A description of the injury or damage;
4. A statement of the time and place that the injury or damage occurred;
5. A listing of the names of all persons involved and contact information, if known;
6. A statement of the amount of damages claimed; and
7. A statement of the actual residence of the claimant at the time of presenting the claim and at the time the claim arose.

The statute states specifically states that no additional information may be demanded: "[the] standard tort claim form... must not require ...


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