United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle
C. COUGHENOUR, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter comes before the Court on the parties' joint
motion to compel (Dkt. No. 25) and Plaintiff's motion to
amend the pretrial deadlines (Dkt. No. 32). Having thoroughly
considered the parties' briefing and the relevant record,
the Court hereby GRANTS the motions for the reasons explained
Matheson Flight Extenders provides terminal and ground
handling operations for air cargo carriers. (Dkt. No. 25 at
15.) After learning of Defendant's alleged disability and
sex discrimination against Ambreada Richardson, a pregnant
employee, Plaintiff State of Washington investigated
Defendant. (Dkt. Nos. 1-2, 28 at 1.) Due to its
investigation, Plaintiff alleges that Defendant engages in
discriminatory practices because: (1) it fails to provide
reasonable accommodations for its employees with injuries or
disabling conditions that do not result from a workplace
injury; and (2) fails to engage in the interactive process
when determining if Defendant can reasonably accommodate
employees with disabilities resulting from a workplace
injury. (Id. at 2-3.) One example of this practice
is how Defendant treated Ms. Richardson. (Id. at
3-4.) After Ms. Richardson discovered that she was pregnant,
her physician advised her to work light or modified duty.
(Id. at 4.) When Ms. Richardson informed her manager
of this work restriction, her manager told her that Defendant
offered modified duty for injuries that “occur on the
job but typically not for pregnancies.” (Id.)
Defendant then placed Ms. Richardson on an unpaid leave of
absence and subsequently terminated her employment.
(Id.) After investigating, Plaintiff filed suit
alleging violations of the Washington Law Against
Discrimination (WLAD), Wash. Rev. Code §§
the parties began discovery, during which Plaintiff
propounded a set of interrogatories and requests for
production. Interrogatory 10 stated:
Identify the names, job titles, addresses, telephone numbers,
and email contact information of all of Defendant's
employees in the State of Washington who, during the relevant
time period, have been provided with an accommodation for an
injury or disability, including but not limited to the
provision of light duty or application of weight-lifting
(Dkt. No. 27 at 41.) Similarly, Request for Production 6
For all individuals identified in Your response to
Interrogatory No. 10, produce all documents relied upon in
responding to the Interrogatory or otherwise related to the
provision of a reasonable accommodation to each employee,
including but not limited to all records considered by You in
determining to grant an accommodation, all documents related
to any interactive process engaged in in determining if an
accommodation would be provided to the employee, all records
reflecting the period of time for which the employee was
accommodated, and all payroll and time records for each
employee during the period of accommodation.
(Id. at 49.)
Defendant responded to Interrogatory 10 with 35 names of
other employees and their contact information. (Id.
at 42-47.) However, Defendant only provided a partial
response to Request for Production 6-Defendant contended that
it only would provide the documents that it relied upon in
answering Interrogatory 10. (Id. at 49-50.)
Interrogatory 10 is not at issue in this order; Plaintiff
only moves the Court for a full response to Request for
Production 6. (See generally id.)
Motion to Compel Response to Request for Production
Discovery motions are strongly disfavored. “Parties may
obtain discovery regarding any nonprivileged matter that is
relevant to any party's claim or defense and proportional
to the needs of the case . . . .” Fed.R.Civ.P.
26(b)(1). In addressing the proportionality of discovery, the
Court considers “the importance of the issues at stake
in the action, the amount in controversy, the parties'
relative access to relevant information, the parties'
resources, the importance of the discovery in resolving the
issues, and whether the burden or expense of the proposed
discovery outweighs its likely benefit.” Id.
The Court has broad discretion to decide whether to compel
discovery. Phillips ex rel. Estates of Byrd v. General
Motors Corp., 307 F.3d 1206, 1211 (9th Cir. 2002).
requested disclosure is not made, the requesting party may
move for an order compelling such disclosure. Fed.R.Civ.P.
37(a)(1). “The party who resists discovery has the
burden to show that discovery should not be allowed, and has
the burden of clarifying, explaining, and supporting its
objections.” Cable & Comput. Tech., Inc. v.
Lockheed Saunders, Inc., 175 F.R.D. 646, 650 (C.D. Cal.
1997). This burden is a heavy one in employment
discrimination lawsuits, where discovery rules are construed
liberally so as to provide the plaintiff with “broad
access to the employers' records.” Wards ...