United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle
ORDER GRANTING IN PART PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO
RICARDO S. MARTINEZ CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter comes before the Court on Plaintiff Maria del Carmen
Martinez-Patterson's Motion to Compel. Dkt. #21.
Plaintiff seeks an Order compelling Defendant AT&T
Services Inc. (“AT&T”) to produce complete
responses to an Interrogatory and several Requests for
Production. Defendant opposes the motion. Dkt. #24. For the
reasons set forth below, Plaintiff's Motion to Compel is
GRANTED IN PART.
Martinez-Patterson is a Hispanic woman of Filipino and
Spanish heritage. Dkt. #1 at ¶¶ 15-16. She worked
as a Senior Oracle Database Administrator for AT&T from
2000 until her termination in October 2016. At the time of
her termination, she was working on a team with three other
Database Administrators-Mr. Anstin Hall, Mr. Sohail Khan, and
Mr. Praveen Kollipara. Dkt. #21 at 4. In 2006, Ms.
Martinez-Patterson filed a charge with the Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) alleging
discrimination based on race and gender. Dkt. #1 at
¶¶ 17-18. Plaintiff claims that after she filed her
EEOC charge, AT&T subjected her to retaliation that
included hostility, yelling, ridicule, and preventing her
advancement within the company. Specifically, she claims that
her direct supervisor from 2012 through December 2014, Mr.
Uday Shah, was one of the AT&T supervisors who
discriminated and retaliated against her. Dkt. #22-1 at 64.
Around August 12, 2015, following her mid-year performance
review, Plaintiff complained about race and gender
discrimination and retaliatory conduct. Dkt. #1 at
¶¶ 20-25. In January 2016, Plaintiff claims that
AT&T gave her a performance review that she characterizes
as “false, discriminatory and retaliatory”.
August 2016, Plaintiff discussed with AT&T the
possibility of taking leave under the Family and Medical
Leave Act (“FMLA”) to care for her brother.
Id. at ¶¶ 26-33. She formally requested
FMLA leave around October 26-27, 2016. The next day, AT&T
fired Plaintiff. AT&T claimed that Plaintiff's firing
was based on a reduction in workforce (“the 2016
Surplus”) that arose from an outsourcing deal with
vendor AMDOCS. Dkt. #21 at 4. Plaintiff's job was not
outsourced to AMDOCS, but her working group was one of four
affected working groups (“AWGs”) in which
AT&T claimed it was reducing headcount. Dkt. #25-1 at
¶ 9. AT&T claims that because Plaintiff was ranked
the lowest of her comparators in her AWG, she was designated
for the Surplus and terminated. Id. at ¶ 11.
Plaintiff contends that AT&T's stated reasons for her
termination were pretext, and the firing was motivated by
discrimination against her race and gender and retaliation
for her previous complaints. Dkt. #1 at ¶¶ 34-36.
August 10, 2018, Plaintiff filed this action against AT&T
under 42 U.S.C. § 1981, the Washington Law Against
Discrimination (“WLAD”), the Family Medical Leave
Act (“FMLA”), and the Washington Family Leave Act
(“WFLA”). Id. at ¶ 1. Plaintiff
also claims wrongful discharge and lost wages under RCW 49.52
and RCW 49.48.
service of initial discovery requests and a meet-and-confer
between the parties, Dkt. #21 at 7, Plaintiff moves to compel
four categories of documents: (1) documents related to
AT&T's criteria and selection for the 2016 Surplus;
(2) the personnel files of employees supervised by Mr. Shah,
regardless of inclusion in the 2016 Surplus; (3) documents
related to a vacant Senior Technical Lead position that
Plaintiff was not promoted to; and (4) all emails to and from
Plaintiff during her employment.
served Defendant with initial discovery requests on January
2, 2019, and Defendant served its responses and objections on
February 22, 2019. Dkt. #22 at ¶ 3. Parties met and
conferred on April 26 and April 29, 2019 and were unable to
resolve the discovery disputes. Id. at ¶ 5.
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, considering 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.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b)(1). Information within
this scope of discovery need not be admissible in evidence to
be discoverable. Id. “District courts have
broad discretion in determining relevancy for discovery
purposes.” Surfvivor Media, Inc. v. Survivor
Prods., 406 F.3d 625, 635 (9th Cir. 2005) (citing
Hallett v. Morgan, 296 F.3d 732, 751 (9th Cir.
2002)). If requested discovery is not answered, the
requesting party may move for an order compelling such
discovery. Fed.R.Civ.P. 37(a)(1). The party that resists
discovery has the burden to show why the discovery request
should be denied. Blankenship v. Hearst Corp., 519
F.2d 418, 429 (9th Cir. 1975).
The October 2016 Surplus (ROG 10, RFPs A, K and L)
seeks production of documents related to the 2016 Surplus,
which Plaintiff claims was a false pretext for her
termination. Specifically, Plaintiff seeks: (a) all documents
related to AT&T's contention that Plaintiff was
terminated as part of the 2016 Surplus (RFP A); (b) all
documents related in any way to the 2016 Surplus (RFP K); (c)
identification of all employees identified as part of the
2016 Surplus, including their gender, race, national origin,
pay rate, position title when selected for surplus, and last
date of employment (ROG 10); and (d) all documents ...