United States District Court, D. Oregon, Pendleton Division
OPINION AND ORDER
PATRICIA SULLIVAN, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Maya Miller brings this employment action against her former
employer, defendant St. Charles Health System, Inc. Plaintiff
contends that defendant terminated her from her employment as
a nurse for multiple discriminatory and retaliatory reasons.
See Compl. (Docket No. 1). Defendant argues that it
terminated plaintiff because she repeatedly failed to perform
the basic requirements of her job. See Def. Answer
(Docket No. 12).
has served third-party subpoenas on plaintiff's two
subsequent employers, Mosaic Medical and Mid-Columbia Medical
Center, for employment records concerning plaintiff's job
performance, protected leave requests, and earnings. Ames
Decl. ¶¶ 5 & 6, Exs. 3 & 4 (Docket Nos.
24-3 & 24-4). Under Fed.R.Civ.P. 45(d)(3)(A), plaintiff
has moved to quash the subpoenas. (Docket No. 22). Plaintiff
argues that the subpoenas are irrelevant, unduly burdensome,
and intrusive on her privacy rights. On February 5, 2019, the
Court held a hearing on plaintiff's Motion. (Docket No.
26). At the hearing, the Court DENIED plaintiff's Motion
to Quash, for the reasons stated on the record and as would
be provided in a subsequent order. This Opinion and Order
Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b)(1), “[p]arties may obtain discovery
regarding any nonprivileged matter that is relevant to any
party's claim or defense and proportional to the needs of
the case . . . .” “Information within this scope
of discovery need not be admissible in evidence to be
discoverable.” Id. Here, the subpoenaed
documents are relevant in multiple ways. The performance
records are relevant to defendant's defense that it
terminated plaintiff due to poor job performance. The leave
request records are relevant to rebutting plaintiff's
claim about her properly requesting, but being denied,
protected medical and family care leave. The earnings records
are relevant to plaintiff's obligations to mitigate
damages by seeking new employment. Further, plaintiff has not
shown that the records requests are burdensome to the extent
of being disproportional to the case. Although plaintiff
mentions “undue burden” in her briefing, she
makes no legal argument as to how the subpoenas would be
burdensome, nor presents any evidence. Further, because this
is plaintiff's Motion, the relevant inquiry is whether
the subpoenas would be unduly burdensome on plaintiff
herself. See Malbco Holdings, LLC v. Patel, No.
6:14-cv-00947-PK, 2015 WL 4773202, at *3 (D. Or. Aug. 12,
2015). However, these are third-party subpoenas, so any
burden on plaintiff is not presented. It would be up to the
responding parties, Mosaic Medical and Mid-Columbia Medical
Center, to move to quash if they wanted to argue undue burden
on them, and they have not done so.
plaintiff's privacy arguments are not successful.
Plaintiff conjectures that subsequent employers could be
prejudiced against plaintiff by learning that she sued a
prior employer. However, it is plaintiff who has elected to
bring this action. Plaintiff does not provide a source or
authority for the privacy interests she alludes to. The Court
has entered a protective order in this case. (Docket No. 19).
Any privacy interest in third-parties' employment records
of the routine type at issue here do not raise serious
privacy concerns, and are not sufficient to outweigh
defendant's ability to seek the requested materials under
Tran v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., No.
3:15-cv-00979-BR, 2017 WL 1234131 (D. Or. Jan. 20, 2017),
District Judge Anna Brown of this District Court denied a
motion to quash a third-party subpoena in circumstances very
similar to this case. In Tran, the plaintiff brought
discrimination and retaliation claims against his former
employer. Id. at *1. Defendant sought employment
records from plaintiff's current employer. Id.
The court held that the employment records were relevant to
plaintiff's employment law claims. The court also found
the asserted privacy interests insufficient to preclude
discovery: “courts have allowed production of personnel
files when the party seeking production has shown the
information is relevant.” Id. at *3. This
Court finds the reasoning in Tran persuasive and
independently sufficient to decide the present dispute.
these reasons, and the reasons stated on the record at the
February 5, 2019, hearing, the Court DENIES plaintiff's
Motion to Quash (Docket No. 22). IT IS SO ORDERED. DATED this
7th day of February, 2019.
 The parties have consented to the
jurisdiction of the Magistrate Judge pursuant to 28 U.S.C.