United States District Court, D. South Dakota, Southern Division
ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART
PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO COMPEL DOCKET NO. 28
VERONICA L. DUFFY United States Magistrate Judge.
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.
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.
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.
(4) retaliation under 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000e-3 and
(5) constructive discharge.
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.
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.
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,
3. Michael Broadwell alleging in September, 2013, that Dr.
Lythgoe discriminated against him on the basis of his
4. Dr. Janell Simpkins, alleging in April, 2011, that Dr.
Waters harassed her and created a hostile work environment.
resists providing this discovery. See Docket No. 42.
Meet and ...