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Oberloh v. Giorgio Armani Corp.

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

September 5, 2019

GIORGIO ARMANI CORP., a New York corporation; Defendant.

          TELLER & ASSOCIATES, PLLC By: Stephen A. Teller, WSBA No. 23372 Attorneys for Plaintiff

          JACKSON LEWIS P.C. By: Michael Griffin, WSBA #29103 Sherry L. Talton, WSBA #42780 Attorneys for Defendant




         COME NOW the parties by and through their counsel of record and stipulate as follows:

         1) To amend the complaint to add a Fifth Cause of Action and correct a minor omission as reflected in the Second Amended Complaint, with underlined additions, a copy of which is attached hereto.

         2) To jointly move the Court to amend the Minute Order Setting Trial Date and Related Dates (Docket No. 15) to continue the Discovery completion date and all subsequent deadlines including the Trial Date in this matter by 90 days. Good cause for the change in Trial Date is as follows: The parties have engaged in extensive written discovery that has been complicated by related matters. Depositions in this case have not yet begun due in part to the extensive nature of the written discovery. Counsel anticipate that scheduling conflicts may further delay the taking of depositions of witnesses in multiple states. The parties are also exploring potential alternative dispute resolution and wish to focus their immediate efforts to this task before expending additional resources on litigation. However if the matter does not resolve, additional discovery motions practice and depositions will be needed to prepare for trial.


         IT APPEARING TO THE COURT from the endorsement of counsel that the parties have stipulated to the following order:

         IT IS HEREBY ORDERED, ADJUDGED AND DECREED that Second Amended Complaint may be filed within five court days of this Order.

         AND FURTHER that good cause exists for a 90 day continuance of Discovery completion, Trial, and related dates, and the Clerk is hereby Ordered to adjust said dates by 90 days or such similar time as to fit with the Court's existing trial schedule.


         Jurisdiction and Venue

         1. This is a civil rights lawsuit seeking damages for racial, age and gender discrimination, hostile work environment, failure to promote, and the wrongful termination of the employment of Plaintiff Carol Oberloh. It includes an Equal Pay Act Claim.

         2. Jurisdiction is proper pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331 as Plaintiff alleges claims that comprise federal questions.

         3. This Court has jurisdiction over Plaintiffs state claims pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1367.

         4. Venue is proper in the Western District of Washington under 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b) because the acts and omissions complained herein occurred in the District and Defendant conducts business here.

         5. Plaintiff filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on or around November 22, 2017, was issued a notice of right to sue on September 24, 2018, and files this claim within 90 days of receipt of that notice, thereby complying with all administrative preconditions of suit under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.


         6. Plaintiff was employed by Defendant in Snohomish County, Washington State, from approximately November 21, 2013 until approximately March 27, 2018 when her employment was terminated by action of Defendant.

         7. At all times relevant hereto, Defendant was a foreign corporation registered in New York, and doing business in Snohomish County, Washington State, within this judicial district.

         8. At all times relevant times, Defendant continually had over 500 employees and was an employer engaged in an industry affecting commerce.


         9. Plaintiff is a Hispanic and African-American woman, age 50-54 years old during her employment.

         10. Defendant treated Plaintiff differently and worse than similarly-situated employees based an her protected classes and protected activities. Defendant also discriminated and retaliated against Plaintiff by creating a hostile work environment and ultimately terminating her employment. Finally, it paid her less than men for the same or equal work.

         11. Soon after her employment began, Plaintiff was subjected to harassment by Javier Herrera. After Plaintiff reported Herrera for stealing jewelry to General Manager Rachel Olsen, who informed Herrera that Plaintiff had reported him, Herrera became oppositional with Plaintiff and refused or ignored her instructions and requests thereafter.

         12. Herrera used racial language towards Plaintiff, calling her "nigger."

         13. When Plaintiff reported this behavior to Olsen, Olsen told Plaintiff to go have drinks with Herrera to try to smooth things over.

         14. In February 2014, Plaintiff reported Herrera's behavior to Defendant's "Silent Witness Program." 15. This Program is supposed to protect the identity of employees who make the reports and states or implies a promise of non-retaliation.

         16. A day later, Olsen told Herrera that Plaintiff reported him. Later that day, Herrera confronted Plaintiff, physically shoved her and called her "nigger."

         17. Plaintiff reported this incident to Defendant's HR Department and the Regional Manager, Chris Eytcheson.

         18. Herrera continued harassing Plaintiff thereafter.

         19. In April 2014, Olsen left the company. For the next two months, Plaintiff took on all of the duties and responsibilities of the GM. During this time, Plaintiff received no raise, increased benefits, or title change.

         20. In June 2014, Donny Allen was hired as the second GM. During Allen's time at the store, lie engaged in time-fraud, shredded paperwork inappropriately, and stole money from the store. Plaintiff reported his behavior to Regional Manager Eytcheson. After Plaintiff made this report, Allen, in retaliation, wrote up Plaintiff for frivolous infractions.

         21. In December 2015, Herrera was transferred to another Armani store in the area. Despite his knowledge of Herrera's conduct alleged above, instead of reprimanding Herrera, Eytcheson gave Herrera a raise.

         22. Allen continued to retaliate against Plaintiff because she reported his behavior to his superior. Allen would fabricate incidents in order to write up Plaintiff.

         23. In May, 2016, Allen resigned from the store. Plaintiff once again took on the responsibility of GM and was not ...

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