United States District Court, D. Connecticut
RULING AND ORDER ON MOTION FOR SUMMARY
A. BOLDEN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Lamitie (“Plaintiff”) sued Middlesex Hospital
(“Defendant” or “Hospital”) for
discrimination under the Family and Medical Leave Act, 29
U.S.C. § 2611(2) (“FMLA”); Americans with
Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. § 12101, et seq.
(“ADA”); and the Connecticut Fair Employment
Practices Act, Conn. Gen. Stat. § 46a-51(15)
(“CFEPA”). Complaint, ECF No. 1
(“Compl.”). Middlesex Hospital has moved for
summary judgment. Defendant Middlesex Hospital's Motion
for Summary Judgment, ECF No. 35 (“Def.'s Mot. for
following reasons, the Court GRANTS the
Hospital's motion for summary judgment as to the FMLA and
Court also declines to exercise supplemental jurisdiction
over Ms. Lamitie's CFEPA claim.
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
Hospital, a 297-bed, non-profit community hospital in
Middletown, Connecticut, employs over 3, 000 people.
Affidavit of Gregory Nokes, ECF No. 36-2 (“Nokes
Aff.”), at ¶ 4.
August 10, 2007, Middlesex Hospital hired Linn Lamitie to
work approximately thirty hours per week. Compl., at ¶
9; Defendant's Local Rule 56(a)(1) Statement of
Undisputed Facts, ECF No. 38 (“Def.'s SUF”),
¶ 6. She initially worked in Hospital Access before
moving to Cash Control and Collections in 2009, where she
stayed until the end of her employment at Middlesex Hospital.
Compl., at ¶ 12. Ms. Lamitie often worked up to forty
hours, when the work was available. Def.'s SUF, at ¶
her time at the Hospital, Ms. Lamitie began taking FMLA leave
in 2010. Id. at ¶ 8. She received FMLA leave in
2010 for a hip injury, in June 2011 to care for her mother,
in October 2011 for other health reasons, and leave in
November and December 2014 to participate in a group therapy
program. Id. at ¶ 11; Lamitie Aff., at ¶
July 2013, Ms. Lamitie allegedly has suffered from a
depressive disorder and anxiety, which the Hospital has known
about throughout this time. Affidavit of Linn Lamitie, ECF
No. 42-3 (“Lamitie Aff.”), at ¶¶ 3, 4;
Def.'s SUF, at ¶ 16.
October 2014, Middlesex Hospital denied Ms. Lamitie FMLA
leave to care for her adult daughter and newborn
granddaughter, because the FMLA allegedly did not cover that
requested leave. Def.'s SUF, at ¶ 12.
same month, Ms. Lamitie applied for intermittent leave to
address her depression; she remained on this intermittent
leave until Middlesex Hospital terminated her. Id.
at ¶ 14.
around December 2014, Ms. Lamitie used two weeks leave under
the FMLA to participate in a group therapy program. Compl.,
at ¶ 16. At that time, she allegedly worked around forty
hours per week. Id. at ¶ 17.
response to her FMLA leave, Ms. Lamitie alleges that Diane
Eck, who became her supervisor in July 2014, reduced her
hours. Id. at ¶¶ 15, 18. After bringing
the issue to Human Resources, the Middlesex Hospital
allegedly restored some of Ms. Lamitie's hours.
Id. at ¶ 19.
Lamitie alleges that she could not go to work on one occasion
because of vomiting due to her depression, but Ms. Eck
allegedly refused to recognize the absence as FMLA leave.
Id. at ¶ 20. After bringing this issue to Human
Resources, Middlesex Hospital allegedly changed the absence
designation to FMLA leave. Id. at ¶ 21.
Thereafter, Ms. Lamitie alleges that she only had one
non-FMLA absence between January 2015 and August 12, 2015.
Id. at ¶ 22.
early 2015, Middlesex Hospital switched to an outside vendor
for credit card processing, which limited the scope of Ms.
Lamitie's work. Deposition of Diane Eck, ECF No. 36-4
(“Eck Dep.”), 57:14-60:7. After the switch,
Middlesex Hospital had difficulty providing Ms. Lamitie forty
hours of work per week. Id. at 62:13-64:11.
around April 2015, a coordinator position became vacant.
Compl., at ¶ 23. According to Ms. Lamitie, Middlesex
Hospital gave a vacant coordinator position “to a
non-disabled, less qualified employee, ” even though
Ms. Lamitie allegedly performed most of the duties of the
position at the time. Id. at ¶¶ 23-25. Ms.
Lamitie went to Human Resources about not getting the
position; although allegedly told there would be an
investigation, Ms. Lamitie claims that Human Resources never
communicated the results of the investigation. Id.
at ¶ 26.
Hospital allegedly filled the vacant position by adding a
twenty-hour-per-week employee and re-assigning other duties
among the remaining employees in the Cash Control and
Collection Office. Def.'s SUF, at ¶ 51. This
restructure of the department allegedly resulted in discord
between Ms. Lamitie and Diane Eck. Id. at ¶ 52.
2015, Diane Eck believed that Ms. Lamitie was
“struggling to stay focused on the task at hand,
” “struggling to complete her work, ”
“easily distracted, and making errors.” Eck Dep.
75:10-16. Ms. Eck then began working with Susan DeToro in
Human Resources regarding Ms. Lamitie's schedule.
Id. at 76:13-77:7. Pat Neisser, Sarah DeToro,
Wallicia McNeil, and Diane Eck met regarding Ms.
Lamitie's “performance, her attitude, her
insubordination.” Id. at 80:2-17.
around July 2015, Ms. Eck allegedly directed Ms. Lamitie to
change her lunch time from 1:00 p.m. to 11:30 a.m. Compl., at
¶ 27. Even though Ms. Lamitie stated that she needed to
take lunch during that time to make personal calls and
schedule medical appointments, Ms. Eck refused to allow Ms.
Lamitie to keep her 1:00 p.m. lunch time. Id. at
¶¶ 27, 28. In addition, Ms. Eck “instructed
the plaintiff that she was to tell Eck when each of her
medical appointments were. The plaintiff declined to do
so.” Id. at ¶ 29.
beginning of August 2015, Ms. Lamitie's therapist renewed
her FMLA leave paperwork-and specifically suggested that she
be permitted to maintain her 1:00 p.m. lunch time.
Id. at ¶ 30.
Lamitie allegedly provided Middlesex Hospital with her FMLA
paperwork either on August 7 or August 10, 2015. Lamitie
Aff., at ¶ 17
Involuntary Leave of Absence
around August 12, 2015, Ms. Lamitie was had to attend a
meeting with Human Resources personnel. Compl., at ¶ 32.
During the meeting, Pat Neisser, one of the Middlesex
Hospital's directors, allegedly “told the plaintiff
that she could not return to her job.” Id. at
¶ 33. When Ms. Lamitie asked why, Wallicia McNeil, who
also worked in Human Resources, allegedly told her that she
would receive assistance in finding another job at Middlesex
Hospital. Id. at ¶ 34. Ms. Lamitie requested to
return to her desk for her personal belongings, but she was
not allowed and instead had to give back her Middlesex
Hospital identification. Id. at ¶ 35.
Hospital kept Ms. Lamitie on the payroll until she was
terminated on March 31, 2016. Id. at ¶ 36.
During this period, Ms. Lamitie could not find other work and
also could not volunteer for work at Middlesex Hospital.
Id. at ¶¶ 37-41.
Hospital allegedly based its decision on Ms. Lamitie's
continued disruptive behavior and difficulty with her
co-workers. Nokes Aff., at ¶¶ 6, 7. And the
“arrangement was never intended to be for an indefinite
paid leave, and Ms. Lamitie was on notice that this was the
case.” Id. at ¶ 8. Ultimately, the
situation “just wasn't working. And so [the
Hospital] had to figure out what [Hospital staff] needed to
do. And part of that was to remove her from her
position.” Wallicia McNeil, ECF No. 36-5 (“McNeil
Dep.”), at 22:20-22.
January 2016, Middlesex Hospital put Ms. Lamitie on a March
31, 2016 deadline to find a new position. Nokes Aff., at
¶ 9. During this interim period, Middlesex Hospital paid
Ms. Lamitie, even though she was not working, an arrangement
not intended to be indefinite. McNeil Dep. 22:23-23:10.
Lamitie alleges that up until her termination on May 31,
2016, she never received any written disciplinary action.
Compl., at ¶ 14.
Lamitie allegedly also suffers from extreme emotional
distress from being forced to leave her position and
continues to suffer from lost wages and employment benefits
from her termination. Id. at ¶¶ 42-43.
Hospital claims not to have known that Ms. Lamitie had been
employed at MedConn in August 2015, while still working for
Middlesex Hospital or that she had not been clocking out
during her therapy appointments. Nokes Aff., at ¶ 10-11.
Middlesex Hospital alleges that either the alternative
employment or not clocking out during her therapy
appointments would have been grounds for termination.
11, 2016, Ms. Lamitie brought a disability discrimination
charge against Middlesex Hospital before the Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) and the
Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities
(“CHRO”). Compl., at ¶ 4. On February 17,
2017, CHRO released jurisdiction over Ms. Lamitie's case.
Id. On February 27, 2017, the EEOC issued a right to
sue letter for Ms. Lamitie's case. Id.
8, 2017, Linn Lamitie sued Middlesex Hospital for
discrimination under FMLA, ADA, and CFEPA discrimination.
5, 2017, Middlesex Hospital answered the Complaint. Answer
with Special Defenses, ECF No. 13.
November 8, 2018, Middlesex Hospital moved for summary
judgment. Def.'s Mot. for Summ. J.
January 7, 2019, Ms. Lamitie filed a Memorandum in Opposition
to the Hospital's Motion for Summary Judgment. Memorandum
in Opposition regarding Defendant's Motion for Summary
Judgment, ECF No. 42 (“Pl.'s Mem. in Opp'n. to
Mot. for Summ. J.”).
February 5, 2019, the Hospital replied to Ms. Lamitie's
opposition. Defendant Middlesex Hospital's Reply
Memorandum in Further Support of its Motion for Summary
Judgment, ECF No. 45 (“Reply”).
April 30, 2019, the Court held a hearing on the
Hospital's motion for summary judgment.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
motion for summary judgment will be granted when the record
shows no genuine issue as to any material fact, and the
movant is “entitled to judgment as a matter of
law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). The moving party bears the
initial burden of establishing the absence of a genuine
dispute of material fact. Celotex Corp. v. Cartrett,
477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). The non-moving party may defeat the
motion by producing specific facts to prove that there is a
genuine issue of material fact for trial. Anderson v.
Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248-49 (1986).
mere existence of some alleged factual dispute
between the parties will not defeat an otherwise properly
supported motion for summary judgment; the requirement is
that there be no genuine issue of material
fact.” Id. at 247-48 (emphasis in original).
The moving party, however, may satisfy this burden by
pointing to an absence of evidence to support the non-moving
party's case. See PepsiCo, Inc. v. Coca-Cola
Co., 315 F.3d 101, 105 (2d Cir. 2002) (per curiam).
documentary evidence and sworn affidavits supporting a motion
for summary judgment “demonstrate the absence of a
genuine issue of material fact, ” the non-moving party
must do more than vaguely assert the existence of some
unspecified disputed material facts or “rely on
conclusory allegations or unsubstantiated speculation.”
Robinson v. Concentra Health Servs., Inc., 781 F.3d
42, 44 (2d Cir. 2015) (citation omitted).
party opposing the motion for summary judgment then
“must come forward with specific evidence demonstrating
the existence of a genuine dispute of material fact.”
Id.; see also Atkinson v. Rinaldi,
3:15-cv-913 (DJS), 2016 WL 7234087, at *1 (D. Conn. Dec. 14,
2016) (holding non-moving party must present evidence that
would allow reasonable jury to find in his favor to defeat
motion for summary judgment); Pelletier v.
Armstrong, 3:99-cv-1559 (HBF), 2007 WL 685181, at *7 (D.
Conn. Mar. 2, 2007) (“[A] nonmoving party must present
‘significant probative ...