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Miramontes v. Madeira USA

November 12, 2010

MARTHA MIRAMONTES, PLAINTIFF,
v.
MADEIRA USA, LTD., A CORPORATION; AND DOES 1 THROUGH 50, INCLUSIVE, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Oliver W. Wanger United States District Judge

SCHEDULING CONFERENCE ORDER

Discovery Cut-Off: 07/29/11

Non-Dispositive Motion

Filing Deadline: 08/15/11

Non-Dispositive Motion

Hearing Date: 09/16/11 9:00

Bakersfield AND RELATED CROSS-ACTION.

Dispositive Motion Filing

Deadline: 08/30/11

I. Date of Scheduling Conference. November 12, 2010.

Dispositive Motion Hearing Date: 10/3/11 10:00 Ctrm. 3

Bakersfield Settlement Conference Date: 8/3/11 10:00

Pre-Trial Conference Date: 11/7/11 11:00 Ctrm. 3

Ctrm. 3 (JT-5 days)

Trial Date: 12/13/11 9:00

III. Summary of Pleadings

A. Miramontes' Contentions.

1. Miramontes was employed by Madeira as a Customer Service Representative from September of 2005 through August 12, 2008. In May of 2008, Miramontes discovered that she was pregnant. Almost immediately Debi Ewers, one of Miramontes' direct supervisors and a senior manager at Madeira, engaged in conduct which included harassing and belittling comments regarding her pregnancy - muttering the word "retarded" and "idiot" under her breath and making comments about certain individuals being "prego" as Miramontes would approach. These demeaning comments were accompanied by sneering, disrespect and condescending laughter. In addition, Ms. Ewers began to scrutinize Miramontes' every move, continuously inquiring of other employees as to Miramontes' whereabouts and activities and continuously making condescending comments related to Miramontes' pregnancy status. On August 12, 2008, Ms. Miramontes was terminated by Ms. Ewers who gave Miramontes three conflicting reasons for her termination: (1) budget cuts; (2) her "numbers"; and (3) her attendance. After Miramontes was terminated from Madeira, scathing emails written by Debi Ewers surfaced. These emails were not private and the emails confirm that Miramontes as well as another pregnant employee at Madeira were the subjects of slanderous comments related to their pregnancy and confirm the pretext of Miramontes' termination. Miramontes seeks, among other remedies: (a) general and special damages including loss of income and benefits according to proof; (b) punitive damages; and (c) reasonable attorneys' fees and pre-judgment interest pursuant to Government Code § 12965(b).

B. Madeira's Contentions.

1. Madeira is a leader in the high-end embroidery thread industry. Based in New Hampshire, Madeira currently operates only two facilities in California, located in Fresno and Ontario. Miramontes is a former employee of Madeira. In her Complaint, Miramontes alleges that her August 12, 2008 termination was the result of pregnancy discrimination. Madeira denies this assertion and contends that Miramontes was not the victim of discrimination on any basis. Rather, Miramontes suffered only the consequences of her own sub-par performance and consistent refusal to abide by company policy. Based on her performance issues, she was selected for termination in connection with company-wide budget cuts.

2. In its Counter-Claim, Madeira asserts that Miramontes, either alone or in connection with another disgruntled former employee(s), obtained unauthorized access to another employee's computer in hopes of gathering documents for use in a claim against Madeira. Accordingly, Madeira asserts a single claim for relief against Miramontes for violation of California Penal Code Section 502. Madeira seeks, among other remedies: (a) an order directing Miramontes to return all Madeira property in her possession, custody or control, and (b) damages according to proof, including punitive damages, reasonable attorneys' fees and pre-judgment interest.

IV. Orders Re Amendments To Pleadings.

1. The parties do not anticipate amending the pleadings at this time.

V. Factual Summary.

A. Admitted Facts Which Are Deemed Proven Without Further Proceedings.

1. Martha Miramontes commenced employment at Madeira ...


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