United States District Court, D. Connecticut
RULING ON DISCOVERY LETTER BRIEFS (DOC. NOS. 29, 30,
42, 43 & 45)
M. Spector United States Magistrate Judge
January 3, 2019, the plaintiff, Michael Brockman, commenced
this action against his former employer, NAES Corporation,
alleging racial discrimination and retaliation. (Doc. No. 1).
On November 8, 2019, the parties alerted the Court (Meyer,
J.) to a discovery dispute (Doc. No. 28), and after expedited
briefing, the Court (Meyer, J.) referred the parties'
discovery dispute to the undersigned. (Doc. No. 31). The
Court held a series of telephonic discovery conferences,
during which it resolved most of the issues involved in the
discovery dispute, leaving outstanding the defendant's
objections to the plaintiff's Interrogatory Nos. 6 and 10
and Request for Production Nos. 11 and 37, which had not been
addressed in the parties' briefs. (See Doc. Nos.
32-40). In addition, the parties could not resolve the
plaintiff's objection to the defendant's request to
reconvene the plaintiff's deposition. Consequently, the
Court ordered the parties to confer again to try to resolve
the defendant's outstanding objections to those
Interrogatories and Requests for Production and the
plaintiff's objection to continuing his deposition.
the parties reached an agreement to Request for Production
No. 37 (see Doc. No. 42 at 1), the parties did not
come to a resolution as to Interrogatory Nos. 6 and 10,
Request for Production No. 11, or the proposed continuation
of the plaintiff's deposition. Thus, as directed by the
Court, on December 2, 2019, the parties filed simultaneous
briefs addressing these remaining issues. (Doc. Nos. 42-43).
The defendant filed a supplemental response on December 4,
2019. (Doc. No. 45).
INTERROGATORY NO. 6
Interrogatory No. 6, the plaintiff asks the defendant to:
Identify all persons who have been disciplined in any way
(including termination) by Defendant at the Waste Processing
Facility in Hartford from January 1, 2015 to the present for
violating any company policy. For each person so identified,
please provide the following: (1) the employee's name,
address and phone number; (2) job title; (3) dates of
employment; (4) rules violated; (5) discipline issued and (6)
. . . all documents related to said discipline.
(Doc. No. 42 at 1). In response, the defendant provided a
list of unidentified individuals who have been disciplined at
the Hartford facility from January 1, 2015 to present, with a
list of the alleged violations and discipline. (Doc. No. 43
at 3). After reviewing the responses, the plaintiff's
counsel asked for a clarification of the discipline codes
used on the list and an explanation of whether any of the
listed individuals were repeat offenders. (Doc. No. 42 at 1).
Additionally, the plaintiff's counsel agreed to limit the
request to the identification of only those individuals who
were disciplined for issues other than attendance, which
would be limited to six individuals. (Doc. No. 42 at 2).
the defendant objected to this interrogatory, it provided
responsive information in a “good faith effort to
resolve” this dispute. (Doc. No. 43 at 3). Defense
counsel objects to providing additional information
“since [the] [p]laintiff has not asserted any basis to
claim that any of the disciplined employees are similarly
situated to [the] [p]laintiff in any way.”
(Doc. No. 43 at 3) (emphasis in original).
plaintiff was not disciplined during the course of his
employment (Doc. No. 43 at 2 & Ex. A), thus, the
discipline of other employees at the Hartford facility,
dating back to almost two years prior to the plaintiff's
employment, would be irrelevant in that these individuals are
not similarly situated to the plaintiff. That, however, is
not why the plaintiff seeks this information. The plaintiff
accused his supervisor of engaging in racially harassing
behavior, which the defendant investigated; his supervisor
was made to apologize for his behavior, but he was not
disciplined. (Doc. No. 42 at 2). The plaintiff, therefore,
seeks this disciplinary information to discover whether other
employees engaged in racially harassing behavior and were not
disciplined. On or before December 17, 2019, the
defendant shall supplement its response to include both the
code sheet explaining the type of offenses committed and the
Code of Conduct explaining the abbreviations for the
discipline noted for the six individuals who the plaintiff
INTERROGATORY NO. 10 AND REQUEST FOR PRODUCTION NO.
Interrogatory No. 10, the plaintiff asks the defendant to:
Identify every employee who worked on March 9, 2018 at
Defendant's Waste Processing plant in Hartford. For each
person so identified, please provide the following: (1) their
name, address and phone number; (2) the job title; (3) the
hours that they worked; (4) the location of the facility that
they worked in; and (5) identify all documents which relate
to this answer.
(Doc. No. 42 at 2).
in Request for Production No. 11, the plaintiff asks the
defendant to: “Produce all documents, including payroll
records or schedules showing all employees who worked on
March 9, 2108 at the WPS facility, the hours that each