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U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Braun Electric Co.

United States District Court, E.D. California

April 2, 2014

U.S. EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY COMMISSION, Plaintiff,
v.
BRAUN ELECTRIC COMPANY, and DOES 1-10, Defendants.

ORDER ON MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT PRELIMINARY STATEMENT TO PARTIES AND COUNSEL

LAWRENCE J. O'NEILL, District Judge.

Judges in the Eastern District of California carry the heaviest caseload in the nation, and this Court is unable to devote inordinate time and resources to individual cases and matters. This Court cannot address all arguments, evidence and matters raised by parties and addresses only the arguments, evidence and matters necessary to reach the decision in this order given the shortage of district judges and staff. The parties and counsel are encouraged to contact the offices of United States Senators Feinstein and Boxer to address this Court's inability to accommodate the parties and this action. The parties are required to consider consent to a Magistrate Judge to conduct all further proceedings in that the Magistrate Judges' availability is far more realistic and accommodating to parties than that of U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. O'Neill who must prioritize criminal and older civil cases.

INTRODUCTION

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") brought this action for violations of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 ("Title VII") and Title I of the Civil Rights Act of 1991 against Defendant Braun Electric Company ("Braun") to seek relief for charging party Samara Schmidt ("Schmidt") and other similarly situated individuals who were adversely affected by Braun's unlawful conduct. After filing the complaint and obtaining information through the discovery process, the EEOC identified Debra Rios ("Rios") as member of the class of similarly situated individuals seeking relief through this action. Defendant Braun moved for summary judgment, or, in the alternative, summary adjudication of the EEOC's complaint. This Court previously DENIED Braun's motion as to charging party Schmidt's claims and ordered the parties to submit supplemental briefing. For the reasons discussed below, the Court DENIES Braun's motion as to the claims of Rios as the only identified member of the class of similarly situated individuals who was adversely affected by Braun's unlawful conduct.

BACKGROUND

A. Facts

The relevant facts in this case were outlined in this Court's March 24, 2014 Order on Braun's motion for summary judgment. (Doc. 65).

Rios and charging party Schmidt were employed by Braun. The EEOC alleges that Robertson, who was employed by Braun in a supervisory role, engaged in sexual harassment of Schmidt and of similarly situated female employees at Braun, including Rios, in violation of Title VII.

For the purpose of this motion, Braun agrees that Schmidt and Rios were subject to sexual harassment.

B. Procedural History

Schmidt filed a charge of discrimination with the EEOC alleging that she was subject to sexual harassment at Braun in violation of Title VII. The EEOC conducted an investigation and issued a Letter of Determination finding that Schmidt and similarly situated individuals were subjected to unlawful discrimination based upon their sex, female, in violation of Title VII.

The EEOC provided a proposed conciliation agreement to Braun on July 12, 2012, and the parties held a conciliation conference on July 16, 2012. The parties failed to conciliate.

The EEOC brought this action against Braun on September 27, 2012 alleging violations of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as well as of Title I of the Civil Rights Act of 1991. On December 31, 2012, the parties filed a joint scheduling report in which the EEOC proposed June 30, 2013 as the deadline "to inform Braun of additional claimants upon whom the EEOC is seeking relief for [sic] in the instant action." (Doc. 5, 3:2-3:4). On May 28, 2013, the EEOC identified Rios as an additional claimant in supplemental disclosures.

On February 7, 2014, Braun filed the instant motion for summary judgment of the claims of charging party Schmidt and of claimant Rios, as the only identified member of the class of similarly situated individuals. On March 24, 2014, this Court denied Braun's motion for summary judgment as to Schmidt's claims and ordered the parties to submit supplemental briefing as to Rios. EEOC and Braun each submitted supplemental briefing on March 31, 2014. For the reasons discussed below, this Court DENIES Braun's motion for summary judgment as to the EEOC's claims on behalf of Rios ...


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