Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Watson-Miller v. McDonald

United States District Court, D. South Dakota, Southern Division

July 12, 2016

REBECCA WATSON-MILLER, Plaintiff,
v.
ROBERT MCDONALD, SECRETARY OF VETERANS AFFAIRS; Defendant.

          ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO COMPEL DOCKET NO. 28

          VERONICA L. DUFFY United States Magistrate Judge.

         INTRODUCTION

         This matter is pending before the court on plaintiff Rebecca Watson-Miller's amended complaint alleging claims of discrimination, harassment, hostile work environment, constructive discharge, and retaliation against the Department of Veterans Affairs, plaintiff's former employer. See Docket No. 9. Ms. Watson-Miller has filed a motion for an order compelling defendant Robert McDonald, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs ("VA"), to produce certain discovery. See Docket No. 28. The district judge, the Honorable Lawrence L. Piersol, referred Ms. Watson-Miller's motion to this magistrate judge for a decision. See Docket No. 38.

         FACTS

         Ms. Watson-Miller, now a 60-year old woman, was hired in June, 2007, by the VA as a psychologist in the Mental Health Service Line in the VA facility in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. She remained in the position of a clinical psychologist for the duration of her employment with the VA until she resigne April 3, 2013. From 2008 to 2012, Dr. Jerry Buchkowski was Ms. Watson-Miller's supervisor. Dr. Kyle Lythgoe supervised Ms. Watson-Miller in 2012 and 2013. Dr. Buchkowski reported to Dr. Victor Waters, Chief of Staff.

         Ms. Watson-Miller claims she was denied opportunities for training, for additional job duties and a supervisory job; that she was given an unequal work load; denied leave requests; and that her job duties were interfered with. Ms. Watson-Miller claims the VA's actions were discriminatory as to her age and disability. Her disabilities consist of degenerative joint disease, bilateral chondromalacia of the patella, interstitial markings in both lungs, pulmonary fibrosis, depression, anxiety, and diabetes. In her amended complaint, Ms. Watson-Miller alleges claims of:

(1) discrimination and harassment under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), 29 U.S.C. § 633a and 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-16(a);
(2) discrimination and harassment under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 29 U.S.C. § 791 and 42 U.S.C. §§ 1981a(a)(2) and 12117(a);
(3) retaliation under 29 U.S.C. § 523 and 42 U.S.C. § 12203;
(4) retaliation under 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000e-3 and 2000e-16; and
(5) constructive discharge.

         Ms. Watson-Miller seeks compensatory and punitive damages, front pay, back pay, reinstatement, pre- and post-judgment interest, fees, costs, and attorney's fees. See Docket No. 9.

         Ms. Watson-Miller filed the instant motion to compel on May 18, 2016. See Docket No. 28. Two days later the VA filed a motion for summary judgment in its favor, which motion remains pending before the district court. See Docket No. 30.

         The discovery dispute centers around Ms. Watson-Miller's request for all documents related to Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) claims filed against the VA by four current or former VA employees:

1. Patricia Niemann, alleging age and disability discrimination in December, 2009, followed by a claim of retaliation in 2011.
2. Cynthia Gibson, alleging age and gender discrimination in the form of harassment and hostile work environment in April, 2014.
3. Michael Broadwell alleging in September, 2013, that Dr. Lythgoe discriminated against him on the basis of his disability.
4. Dr. Janell Simpkins, alleging in April, 2011, that Dr. Waters harassed her and created a hostile work environment.

         The VA resists providing this discovery. See Docket No. 42.

         DISCUSSION

         A. Meet and ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.