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Baumgarner v. Community Services, Inc.

United States District Court, D. Oregon

January 14, 2014

MARGARET BAUMGARNER, Plaintiff,
v.
COMMUNITY SERVICES, INC., Defendant

For Plaintiff: DANIEL J. SNYDER, CARL LEE POST, CYNTHIA J. GADDIS, Law Offices of Daniel Snyder, Portland, OR.

For Defendants: LYNDA J. HARTZELL, COLIN M. LOVE-GEIGER, Tonkon Torp LLP, Portland, OR.

OPINION

Page 1082

OPINION AND ORDER

ANNA J. BROWN, United States District Judge.

This matter comes before the Court on Defendant's Motion (#106) for Summary Judgment. For the reasons that follow, the Court GRANTS in part and DENIES in part Defendant's Motion.

Page 1083

BACKGROUND

On July 3, 2006, Plaintiff Margaret Baumgarner began working for Defendant Community Services, Inc., as a Lifestyle Support Specialist in Defendant's administrative office.

Defendant is a domestic nonprofit corporation " organized exclusively for charitable purposes within the meaning of section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code." Decl. of Lynn Boose, Ex. 1 at 2. See also Boose Decl. Ex. 2; Decl. of Colin Love-Geiger, Ex. 3 at 22. Defendant was " established to provide community housing, training, and supportive services for developmentally disabled . . . adults in the Portland, Oregon metropolitan area." Love-Geiger Decl., Ex. 4 at 9. Specifically, Defendant " provide[s] residential care to people with mental disabilities" and " serve[s] people who are intellectually disabled and developmentally disabled" in 23 licensed facilities and a vocational program. Love-Geiger Decl., Ex. 3 at 7 and Ex. 2 at 3.

On May 11, 2007, Plaintiff's job title was changed to Customer Services/Recruitment Specialist.

On January 25, 2010, Plaintiff changed to the position of Human Resources Assistant.

On March 26, 2010, Plaintiff met with Defendant's Chief Financial Officer, Cheryl Walker-Robinson, and Plaintiff's Office Manager, Carol Graham, and advised them that she was pregnant. Plaintiff also provided them with a medical note dated March 26, 2010, from Jeffery Penikas, M.D., in which he restricted Plaintiff to working four hours per day for the following two weeks.

On April 9, 2010, Plaintiff called Graham and advised her that Dr. Penikas had taken Plaintiff off work until April 26, 2010, due to early pregnancy complications. Plaintiff faxed Graham a work release from Dr. Penikas.

On April 12, 2010, Plaintiff received a letter from Defendant dated April 9, 2010, in which Defendant advised Plaintiff: " As of 4/09/2010, we are tentatively designating your time off of 4/9/10 - 4/26/10 as OFLA/FMLA. Thereafter any additional time off that you may take related to this condition will be considered OFLA/FMLA[.]" [1] Second Am. Compl., Ex 1 at 1.

Plaintiff used OFLA or FMLA leave from April 9 through April 26, 2010.

On April 23, 2010, Dr. Penikas released Plaintiff to work up to 20 hours per week.

On May 20, 2010, Dr. Penikas took Plaintiff off work until further notice. Plaintiff provided Graham with a release from Dr. Penikas and filled out an Employee Leave Request for medical leave. Plaintiff did not work from May 20, 2010, through June 18, 2010.

On June 3, 2010, Plaintiff received a letter from Defendant dated May 21, 2010, advising Plaintiff that she had ten weeks of OFLA/FMLA leave remaining.

On Friday June 18, 2010, Dr. Penikas released Plaintiff to work 20 hours per week. Plaintiff called Graham and informed her that Dr. Penikas had released Plaintiff to work.

On June 21, 2010, Plaintiff began working approximately 20 hours per week.

On July 19, 2010, Plaintiff received a letter from Walker-Robinson dated July 16, 2010, in which Walker-Robinson notified Plaintiff that her part-time schedule was considered a reduction in her " scheduled shift" and " the remaining hours of your normal 8hr assigned shift must be

Page 1084

applied to OFLA/FMLA." Second Am. Compl., Ex. 6 at 1. Walker-Robinson also advised Plaintiff " [a]fter returning to work on or before the end of your 12weeks [ sic ] OFLA/FMLA leave for pregnancy disability, you are entitled to be reinstated to the same or equivalent position." Id. Walker-Robinson also stated Plaintiff had six weeks of OFLA/FMLA time remaining as of June 18, 2010.

On July 19, 2010, Dr. Penikas released Plaintiff to work six hours per day beginning July 20, 2010.

On July 23, 2010, Plaintiff received a letter from Walker-Robinson in which she advised Plaintiff that " [p]rior to [July 22, 2010,] you had approximately (4) wks remaining of your unpaid leave. We will continue to apply any un-worked hours of your normal 8hr assigned shift towards your 12wks OFLA/FMLA." Second Am. Compl., Ex. 7 at 1.

On August 27, 2010, Dr. Penikas restricted Plaintiff to working four hours per day " until she delivers." Jt. Statement of Agreed Facts at ¶ 19. Dr. Penikas advised Defendant that Plaintiff's due date was October 7, 2010. Plaintiff delivered the restriction letter to Graham and filled out an Employee Leave Request for medical leave.

On August 30, 2010, Plaintiff went to work at 8:49 a.m., but began having contractions and went to the hospital at approximately 9:30 a.m. Plaintiff's mother advised Graham later on August 30, 2010, that Plaintiff was in the hospital and would not be at work the next day. " The ER took Plaintiff off work until September 6, 2010." Jt. Statement of Agreed Facts at ¶ 20.

On September 2, 2010, Dr. Penikas took Plaintiff off work beginning September 2, 2010, until six weeks after Plaintiff delivered her babies if they were delivered by vaginal delivery or until eight weeks after delivery by cesarean section. Plaintiff telephoned Graham and advised her of Dr. Penikas's work restriction. Graham informed Plaintiff that she could bring in a note from Dr. Penikas " when Plaintiff was able." Jt. Statement of Agreed Facts at ¶ 22.

On September 3, 2010, Plaintiff telephoned Graham and told her that Plaintiff was bringing in Dr. Penikas's note that day. Graham told Plaintiff that she would not be at work and Plaintiff should take the note " to the office." Jt. Statement of Agreed Facts at ¶ 23. Plaintiff took Dr. Penikas's note to the office but Plaintiff did not get out of the car due to her contractions. Derric Thompson took Dr. Penikas's note to Gale Higley, an office assistant, and Higley left the note with staff in Walker-Robinson's office.

Plaintiff alleges in her Second Amended Complaint that she received a voicemail from Graham on September 12, 2010, advising her that Walker-Robinson was going to send Plaintiff a letter terminating her employment because Plaintiff had exhausted her FMLA/OFLA leave.

On September 15, 2010, Plaintiff received a letter from Walker-Robinson dated September 9, 2010, stating in pertinent part:

According to the most recent medical statement Sept 2, 2010, from your attending physician, you are still unable to return to work. Your 12 weeks of OFLA/FMLA leave has expired. Therefore [Defendant] is no longer required to hold your position open for you. We have terminated your employment with [Defendant] effective August 31, 2010.

Second Am. Compl., Ex. 8 at 1.

On September 17, 2010, Plaintiff gave birth to twins.

Page 1085

On July 2, 2012, Plaintiff filed a Complaint in this Court asserting claims for (1) violation of FMLA, (2) violation of OFLA, (3) sex discrimination in violation of Oregon Revised Statute § 659A.030, (4) religious discrimination in violation of Oregon Revised Statute § 659A.030, and (5) wrongful termination.

On July 20, 2012, before Defendant filed an Answer, Plaintiff filed a First Amended Complaint asserting claims for (1) violation of FMLA; (2) violation of OFLA; (3) sex discrimination in violation of Oregon Revised Statute § 659A.030; (4) religious discrimination in violation of Oregon Revised Statute § 659A.030; (5) wrongful termination; (6) sex discrimination in violation of Title VII, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-2; and (7) religious discrimination in violation of Title VII, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-2.

On January 22, 2013, Plaintiff filed a Second Amended Complaint asserting claims for (1) violation of FMLA, (2) violation of OFLA, (3) sex discrimination in violation of Oregon Revised Statute § 659A.030, (4) religious discrimination in violation of Oregon Revised Statute § 659A.030, (5) wrongful termination, (6) sex discrimination in violation of Title VII, (7) religious discrimination in violation of Title VII, and (8) discrimination based on martial status in violation of Oregon Revised Statute § 659A.303.

On September 5, 2013, Defendant filed a Motion for Summary Judgment.

STANDARDS

Summary judgment is appropriate when " there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Washington Mut. Ins. v. United States, 636 F.3d 1207, 1216 (9th Cir. 2011). See also Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). The moving party must show the absence of a dispute as to a material fact. Rivera v. Philip Morris, Inc., 395 F.3d 1142, 1146 (9th Cir. 2005). In response to a properly supported motion for summary judgment, the nonmoving party must go beyond the pleadings and show there is a genuine dispute as to a material fact for trial. Id. " This burden is not a light one. . . . The non-moving party must do more than show ...


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