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Hill v. City of Phoenix

United States District Court, D. Arizona

October 6, 2014

Stacia C. Hill, Plaintiff,
v.
City of Phoenix, et al., Defendants.

ORDER

DAVID G. CAMPBELL, District Judge.

Plaintiff Stacia Hill brought suit against the City of Phoenix ("the City"), City of Phoenix Police Department, and City of Phoenix Chief of Police Daniel V. Garcia. Plaintiff claims that Defendants discriminated and retaliated against her in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e; the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA"), 42 U.S.C. § 12101; and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act ("ADEA"), 29 U.S.C. § 626. Doc. 1.

The City moves to dismiss the Police Department as a non-jural entity and the Police Chief as an individual not subject to suit under Title VII, the ADA, or the ADEA. Doc. 21. The City also moves to dismiss the Plaintiff's claims of sex discrimination, age discrimination, and retaliation on the grounds that Plaintiff failed to exhaust administrative remedies. Id. Alternatively, the City moves to dismiss the retaliation and age discrimination claims for failing to plead either age or a protected act as the "but for" cause of the adverse employer action. Id. The motion is fully briefed. Docs. 21, 24, 30. The Court will grant the motion in part and deny it in part.[1]

I. Background.

Plaintiff alleges the following facts in her complaint, which are assumed true for the purposes of this motion. Plaintiff was employed by the City of Phoenix Police Department on November 18, 1991. Doc. 1, ¶ 6. Plaintiff had medical disabilities involving both sleep issues and a right ankle injury. Id. at ¶ 15. Plaintiff provided her employer with medical documentation of these disabilities, and requested the accommodations of allowing her "to work a dayshift and... a sedentary desk position." Id., ¶ 15; Doc. 24-2.

On February 27, 2012, the City placed Plaintiff on limited work status and assigned her to the dayshift. Doc. 1, ¶ 8; Doc. 24 at 2. Before Plaintiff reported to her new placement, Plaintiff's younger male boss, Lt. Lopez, divulged Plaintiff's personal and medical information to the employees of the office assigned under Plaintiff's command. Doc. 1, ¶ 16. Lt. Lopez made additional derogatory comments to the office about her likelihood of reporting to her new post. Id. Plaintiff was assigned job duties outside her doctor's restrictions for weight-bearing activities. Id. at ¶ 50. Plaintiff was also assigned responsibilities previously assigned to a male coworker, and was blamed for the coworker's failings. Id., ¶ 24-25. Lt. Lopez would treat Plaintiff differently than male coworkers; specifically, he would minimize her job performance when talking to her coworkers, exclude her from activities, and give her negative feedback for conduct he ignored when committed by male coworkers. Id., ¶ 27.

Plaintiff complained to Lt. Lopez and management on multiple occasions regarding Lt. Lopez's poor management style, professionalism, and bullying. Id., ¶ 28. Plaintiff's complaints to management also included allegations of younger Hispanic male coworkers destroying her work and taking credit for her work. Id., ¶ 29. These complaints "fell on deaf ears." Id. Management conducted no investigation and took no action to correct the problems. Id. Plaintiff was performing well according to supervisory notes. Id., ¶ 33. Plaintiff filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") on July 1, 2012. Id., ¶ 9. Plaintiff was taken off work by her physician on July 13, 2012. Id., ¶ 45.

Plaintiff was terminated on July 30, 2012. Id., ¶ 12. Steps outlined in the Police Department Human Resources Management guide were not followed. Id., ¶ 22.

On October 13, 2012, Plaintiff filed an updated EEOC charge containing the following particulars:

I was hired on 11/18/1991 as a Police Recruit. My last job title was Police Sergeant.
My Badge Number was 5589.
My employer was aware of my medical condition(s) and the need for accommodation.
I was terminated on 07/30/2012.
Statement of Discrimination: I believe I was discriminated against in violation of Title VII... ...

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