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Haining v. Boeing Co.

United States District Court, Ninth Circuit

September 11, 2013

JAMES HAINING, Plaintiff,
v.
THE BOEING CO.; MICHAEL KOBELIA; and DOES 1-50 inclusive, Defendants.

ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT [17], AND DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR REMAND [38]

OTIS D. WRIGHT, II, District Judge.

I. INTRODUCTION

Defendants Boeing Co. and Michael Kobelia move for summary judgment, contending that none of Plaintiff James Haining's causes of action are legally cognizable because the complained acts occurred in a federal enclave. (ECF No. 17.) Haining subsequently filed a Motion for Remand contending that the illegal acts, specifically the decisions concerning his employment and termination, occurred outside the federal enclave. (ECF No. 38.) As discussed below, Haining fails to demonstrate that his claims arose outside Vandenberg Air Force Base, a federal enclave. Accordingly, the Court GRANTS Boeing's Motion for Summary Judgment, and DENIES Haining's Motion for Remand.[1]

II. BACKGROUND

Boeing is a civilian contractor operating within Vandenberg. At Vandenberg, Boeing performs operations- and sustainment-support services for the Ground-Base Mid-Course Missile-Defense Weapons System. (Kobelia Decl. ¶¶ 1-2.)

Haining was employed by Boeing, and worked as a Missions Operations Specialist, responsible for maintenance coordination and execution. ( Id. ¶¶ 5-6.) Haining performed all his job duties in two secured buildings at Vandenberg, Buildings 1768 and 6510, and was not permitted to perform his job duties outside of these two buildings because of the classified nature of his work. ( Id. ¶ 7.)

Haining suffered from Parkinson's disease and alleges he was subjected to physical and verbal harassment, discrimination, and a hostile work environment, including inheriting the nickname "Sir [S]hakes[-]a[-L]ot." (Compl. ¶¶ 13, 18-19.)

Haining then initiated an action in California Superior Court against Boeing and Kobelia, alleging eight causes of action: (1) harassment in violation of the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, ("FEHA"); (2) retaliation in violation of FEHA; (3) Discrimination in Violation of FEHA; (4) failure to investigate or prevent harassment in violation of FEHA; (5) failure to accommodate disability in violation of FEHA; (6) failure to engage in the interactive process in good faith in violation of FEHA; (7) denial and retaliation under the California Family Rights Act ("CFRA") in violation of FEHA; and (8) wrongful termination. (Compl. at 1.) Boeing removed the case to this Court on December 14, 2012. (ECF No. 1.)

III. LEGAL STANDARD

Summary judgment should be granted if there are no genuine issues of material fact and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c). The moving party bears the initial burden of establishing the absence of a genuine issue of material fact. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323-24 (1986). Once the moving party has met its burden, the nonmoving party must go beyond the pleadings and identify specific facts through admissible evidence that show a genuine issue for trial. Id.; Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c). Conclusory or speculative testimony in affidavits and moving papers is insufficient to raise genuine issues of fact and defeat summary judgment. Thornhill's Publ'g Co. v. GTE Corp., 594 F.2d 730, 738 (9th Cir. 1979).

A genuine issue of material fact must be more than a scintilla of evidence, or evidence that is merely colorable or not significantly probative. Addisu v. Fred Meyer, 198 F.3d 1130, 1134 (9th Cir. 2000). A disputed fact is "material" where the resolution of that fact might affect the outcome of the suit under the governing law. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1968). An issue is "genuine" if the evidence is sufficient for a reasonable jury to return a verdict for the nonmoving party. Id. Where the moving and nonmoving parties' versions of events differ, courts are required to view the facts and draw reasonable inferences in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party. Scott v. Harris, 550 U.S. 372, 378 (2007).

IV. DISCUSSION

The crux of these two Motions is where Haining's claims arose. Haining contends that his claims arose outside Vandenberg because Boeing representatives working off-base committed the violations. Boeing asserts that Haining's claims arose within Vandenberg because it is the location of his employment that controls, and thus, state law enacted ...


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