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Yvonne Deering v. Lassen Community College District

January 19, 2011

YVONNE DEERING,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
LASSEN COMMUNITY COLLEGE DISTRICT, CHRIS ALBERICO, MARY ELIZABETH ALBERICO, BERRY MURPHY, AND HOMER CISSELL, DEFENDANTS.



ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT‟S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

This matter is before the Court on Defendant Lassen Community College District‟s Motion for Summary Judgment ("Defendant"). (Doc. #97.) Plaintiff Yvonne Deering ("Plaintiff") opposes the motion. (Doc. #102.) Plaintiff‟s opposition was untimely, but the Court granted leave to file the opposition, and will consider the opposition. This matter was set for hearing on September 15, 2010, and ordered submitted on the briefs.*fn1 For the reasons set forth below, Defendant‟s motion is GRANTED.

I. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

Plaintiff was an employee of Lassen Community College from 1999-2010. Plaintiff‟s action against Defendant arises from allegations of gender discrimination and harassment while employed by Defendant. Plaintiff also brought suit against her supervisors, other employees and the president of the college. All of these additional defendants have since been dismissed from the suit, leaving only Lassen Community College as a defendant.

In 1999, Plaintiff began her employment with Lassen Community College. Her position was titled "Coordinator of Student Health Services." In 2004, she applied for and accepted the position of Correspondence Secretary, which involved coordinating off-campus (typically incarcerated) students in return for a $7,000 yearly stipend. Her position was an exempt management position. Plaintiff continued working as Correspondence Secretary until she resigned in 2010.

From approximately 2003-2005, Plaintiff was involved in an affair with another employee, Chris Alberico ("Alberico"). Plaintiff alleges that she had the affair because she felt it was necessary to protect her job during a time of layoffs, as Alberico was close friends with the president of the college, Homer Cissell ("Cissell"), who made the layoff decisions. After Plaintiff ended the affair in 2005, she alleges that Alberico ceased contact with her, and that other employees treated her with hostility.*fn2

Plaintiff filed three charges of discrimination, harassment, hostile work environment and retaliation with the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC"), beginning September 2006. On February 16, 2007, she received notice that her claim against the District, pursuant to California Government Code §§ 910 et seq., was rejected. On July 26, 2007, Plaintiff filed the instant action.

On July 21, 2008, Plaintiff filed a Third Amended Complaint ("TAC"), alleging the following claims for relief:

(1) discrimination and harassment in violation of Title VII,

(2) hostile work environment and sexual harassment in violation of California‟s Fair Employment and Housing Act ("FEHA"),

(3) retaliation in violation of FEHA, and

(4) intentional infliction of emotional distress. Defendant now brings the instant motion, arguing that summary judgment should be granted in its favor on all claims.

II. OPINION

A. Legal Standard

Summary judgment is proper "if the pleadings, the discovery and disclosure materials on file, and any affidavits show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c)(2). Because the purpose of summary judgment "is to isolate and dispose of factually unsupported claims or defenses," Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323-324 (1986), "[i]f summary judgment is not rendered on the whole action, ...


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