United States District Court, D. Arizona
G. CAMPBELL SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
14, 2019, the Court granted partial summary judgment in favor
of Defendant Lockheed Martin Corporation (“LMC”).
Doc. 34. Plaintiff Stacy Wallace has now filed a motion to
reconsider her termination-related claims for interference
and retaliation under the Family and Medical Leave Act
(“FMLA”). Doc. 35. At the Court's request,
LMC filed a response. Doc. 42. The Court will correct a
factual error and otherwise deny the motion.
for reconsideration are disfavored and should be granted only
in rare circumstances. See Ross v. Arpaio, No.
CV-05-4177-PHX-MHM, 2008 WL 1776502, at *2 (D. Ariz. Apr. 15,
2008). Such motions should be denied “absent a showing
of manifest error or a showing of new facts or legal
authority that could not have been brought to its attention
earlier with reasonable diligence.” LRCiv 7.2(g)(1);
see also United Nat'l Ins. Co. v. Spectrum Worldwide,
Inc., 555 F.3d 772, 780 (9th Cir. 2009).
argues that the Court erred in stating that she did not apply
for non-leadership positions outside Luke Air Force Base.
Wallace is correct. The Court did state that Wallace did not
apply for such positions (Doc. 34 at 4), and she has pointed
to evidence in the record that she did in fact apply (Doc. 35
at 1-2). LMC concedes that this error was included in its
briefing, but argues that the error did not affect the
Court's decision. Doc. 42 at 4.
Court ruled that LMC did not violate the FMLA when it failed
to reinstate Wallace and terminated her employment. This
ruling was based on the fact that LMC presented legitimate
reasons for her termination. Doc. 34 at 7. Specifically, LMC
presented undisputed evidence that Wallace violated LMC's
ethics policies when she had inappropriate affairs with her
supervisor and a client before she took FMLA leave.
Id. These ethics violations were established through
an internal LMC investigation, and Wallace admits the conduct
underlying the violations. Id. Thus, even though
Wallace's right to FMLA leave and LMC's failure to
reinstate her may have created a prima facie case of an FMLA
violation, see Sanders v. City of Newport, 657 F.3d
772, 778 (9th Cir. 2011), LMC's undisputed legitimate
reasons for terminating her overcame her prima facie case and
entitled LMC to summary judgment on this claim, id.
at 780-81 (the FMLA requires that an employer reinstate an
employee after taking leave only so long as the employee
would still be employed in the position had she not taken
FMLA leave); see also Valtierra v. Medtronic Inc.,
232 F.Supp.3d 1117, 1128 (D. Ariz. 2017) (finding temporal
proximity insufficient to support FMLA interference claim in
the face of misconduct evidence); Fleming v. IASIS
Healthcare Corp., 151 F.Supp.3d 1043, 1055 (D. Ariz.
2015) (finding that even after requesting FMLA leave an
employee can be discharged for misconduct in violation of
Court did not base its decision on the incorrect fact that
Wallace failed to apply for non-leadership positions at
locations other than Luke Air Force Base. Wallace suggests
that her applications and rejections somehow show that her
termination was inappropriate, but the evidence she submitted
shows only that she applied for other positions; it does not
show that she was qualified for the positions or why she was
not hired. Doc. 23-2 at 8-15. Wallace does state in her
affidavit that “part of the problem” was that LMC
placed a negative report against her security clearance (Doc.
23-1 at 6), but she does not dispute that the negative report
resulted from the ethics violations, the bases for which
Wallace admits. The Court will grant the motion for
reconsideration to the extent that it will correct the
factual error contained in its previous order - Wallace did
apply for non-leadership positions at locations other than
Luke Air Force Base. But this corrected fact does not alter
the Court's conclusion that LMC provided legitimate,
undisputed reasons for terminating her employment. The Court
therefore will deny the motion to the extent it seeks a
different outcome on summary judgment.
Newly Discovered Evidence.
next argues that an LMC letter to the EEOC shows that its
ethics investigation “made no final conclusion”
regarding her retracted sexual assault allegations against an
LMC client. Doc. 35 at 2. She therefore asserts that this
allegation could not have served as a legitimate basis for
her termination, contrary to LMC's position on summary
judgment. Id. at 4.
Court did not find in its previous order that the LMC ethics
investigation found a violation based on the false rape
accusation. Rather, it found that the ethics investigation
based its violation finding on Wallace's two
inappropriate affairs. See Doc. 34 at 3 (“In
early March, the Ethics Department found that the allegations
regarding Wallace's romantic relationships with Crowley
and the LMC client were true and violated LMC
policy.”). The Court did discuss the false rape
allegation and the fact that it was made by Wallace and then
retracted. Id. at 7. It noted that Wallace does not
dispute these facts, and found them also to be a legitimate
basis for her termination. Id. To the extent Wallace
now suggests that the false allegation could not constitute a
legitimate basis for her termination because it was never
included in the formal findings of the ethics investigation,
the Court does not agree. Wallace does not dispute that she
made the false allegation. Id. But even if the false
allegation is disregarded, LMC had two other established
ethics violations - Wallace's two affairs - as
legitimate, undisputed reasons for her termination.
issue provides no basis for reconsideration.
that Plaintiff s motion (Doc. 35) is granted in part