United States District Court, D. Arizona
Honorable Bruce G. Macdonald United States Magistrate Judge
pending before the Court is Defendant Teleperformance's
Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. 46). Defendant has also
filed a Statement of Facts in Support of Defendant's
Motion for Summary Judgment (“SOF”) (Doc. 47).
Plaintiff filed her Opposition to Defendant's Motion for
Summary Judgment (Doc. 51). Plaintiff also filed a
Supplemental Brief (Doc. 53), per the Court's December
21, 2018 Order (Doc. 52). Defendant replied (Doc. 54) to both
of Plaintiff's responses. Also pending before the Court
is Plaintiff's Motion for Entry of Default Judgment (Doc.
45). Defendant has filed its Response (Doc. 48) and Plaintiff
replied (Doc. 50). As such, both motions are fully briefed
and ripe for adjudication.
discretion, the Court finds this case suitable for decision
without oral argument. See LRCiv. 7.2(f). The
Parties have adequately presented the facts and legal
arguments in their briefs and supporting documents, and the
decisional process would not be significantly aided by oral
brings this cause of action based on allegations of
discrimination and retaliation in violation of Title VII of
the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000e
et seq. (“Title VII”). The Court views
the facts, as it must, in the light most favorable to
Plaintiff's Employment at
Tammy Hepburn began her employment with Teleperformance,
formerly known as Aegis USA, Inc. on September 9, 2013.
Def.'s SOF (Doc. 47), Hepburn Depo. 5/22/2018 (Exh.
“1”) at 12:3-15. Plaintiff was hired as a
Customer Service Representative and worked in this position
until she applied for and was accepted to the position of HR
Receptionist in May 2014. Id., Exh. “1”
at 11:1-10, 11:24-12:11, 20:14- 19; see also
Pl.'s First Amended Compl. (Doc. 1-3), AEGIS Welcome to
Our Team (Temporary Employee) (Exh. “A”). On July
30, 2014, Teleperformance experienced a seasonal increase of
temporary employee hiring in the Sierra Vista area.
Def.'s SOF (Doc. 47), Teleperformance's Position
Statement to the EEOC (Exh. “3-A”) at Bates No.
TPUSA000057. Due to the hiring increase, Plaintiff was
assigned the job duties of controlling employee files,
conducting backgrounds checks, assisting the recruiting team,
and overseeing the reception area. Id., Exh.
“1” at 23:1-10, 24:3-8. To fill these duties,
Plaintiff was assigned to a back office to assist Human
Resources. Id., Exh. “1” at 23:1- 4,
Alleged Work Interference
September 10, 2014, Plaintiff sent an e-mail to Judy Morris,
Senior Vice President of HR and Niti Prothi, Associate Vice
President of HR. Def.'s SOF (Doc. 47), Hepburn E-mail to
Morris & Prothi 9/10/2014 (Exh. “3-B”) at
Bates No. TPUSA000062. Plaintiff indicated that she was doing
well, but attached a letter stating that someone was going
into her office and “sabotaging” her work by
rearranging the employee files. Id., Exh.
“3-B” at Bates No. TPUSA000062. Ms. Prothi
investigated Plaintiff's allegations, and all of
Plaintiff's colleagues denied the allegations.
Id., Teleperformance's Position Statement to the
EEOC (Exh. “3-A”) at Bates Nos.
TPUSA000057-TPUSA000058. Because the files with which
Plaintiff was working were employee files, personnel from
both HR, as well as the recruiting department, required
access to and worked with the same. Id., Exh.
“3-A” at Bates. Nos. TPUSA000057-TPUSA000058;
see also Def's SOF (Doc. 47), Hepburn Depo.
5/22/2018 (Exh. “1”) at 26:19-28:6.
September 17, 2014, a conference call was held with
Plaintiff, Ms. Prothi, and Joseph Lu, the Manager of the
Legal Department. Def's SOF (Doc. 47), Exh.
“3-A” at Bates Nos. TPUSA000058-59; see
also Def's SOF (Doc. 47), Exh. “1” at
46:24-49:3. During that call, it was decided that Ms. Prothi
would remind the HR Department of the company policies on
professional conduct and limiting access to confidential
personnel files to those who worked in HR. Def's SOF
(Doc. 47), Exh. “3-A” at Bates Nos.
TPUSA000058-59; see also Def's SOF (Doc. 47),
Exh. “1” at 46:24-49:3. Hepburn has acknowledged
that the condition of the files may have been due to
excessive hiring. Def's SOF (Doc. 47), Exh.
“1” at 50:2-9.
Alleged Discriminatory Treatment
September 16, 2014, Plaintiff raised an additional allegation
in an e-mail to Ms. Morris stating that Margaret McClanahan,
a receptionist at Teleperformance had referred to Plaintiff
using the “N” word. Pl.'s First Amended
Compl. (Doc. 1-3), E-mail from Hepburn to Morris 9/16/2014
(Exh. “C”). This additional allegation was also
discussed during the conference call on September 17, 2014.
Def's SOF (Doc. 47), Hepburn Depo. 5/22/2018 (Exh.
“1”) at 46:24-49:3. It was decided that Rhonda
Reinartz, HR Assistant, would investigate the allegation.
Def's SOF (Doc. 47), Teleperformance's Position
Statement to the EEOC (Exh. “3-A”) at Bates Nos.
TPUSA000059 & Reinartz Aff (Exh. “5”) at
¶ 6 & Bay Aff (Exh. “6”) at ¶ 15.
Neither Ms. Prothi nor Ms. Reinartz were able to corroborate
Hepburn's claim. Def's SOF (Doc. 47), Exh.
“3-A” at Bates No. TFUSA000059 & Exh.
“5” at ¶ 10 & Exh.
“6” at ¶ 18. Ms. McClanahan denied
ever having used such language in reference to Plaintiff.
Def's SOF (Doc. 47), Exh. “6” at ¶ 11.
October 6, 2014, Plaintiff again raised her claims of file
“sabotage” and Ms. McClanahan's alleged use
of the “N” word to the new HR Manager, Yolanda
Bay. Id., Exh. “6” at ¶ 4 &
Exh. “1” at 73:4-20 & Exh. “3-A”
at Bates No. TPUSA000059. Ms. Bay investigated the allegation
and spoke with Ms. McClanahan who again denied ever having
used such language. Def.'s SOF (Doc. 47), Exh.
“6” at ¶ 11 & Exh. “3-A” at
Bates No. TPUSA000059. Ms. Bay also spoke with Ms. Reinartz
who confirmed that Ms. McClanahan had also denied ever using
such language upon questioning by Ms. Reinartz. Def.'s
SOF (Doc. 47), Exh. “6” at ¶ 16
& Exh. “5” at ¶ 8 & Exh.
“3-A” at Bates No. TPUSA000059. No. one was able
to substantiate any of Plaintiffs claims. Def.'s SOF
(Doc. 47), Exh. “6” at ¶ 19 & Exh.
“5” at ¶ 10 & Exh. “3-A” at
Bates No. TPUSA000059. Ms. McClanahan was coached on proper
workplace behavior. Def.'s SOF (Doc. 47), Exh.
“6” at ¶ 23.
alleges that Ms. Reinartz, an HR Representative, also used
the “N” word in her presence, as well as showing
Plaintiff an electronic photograph of a black and white
herder type dog, with a bloody knife, and in quotations it
read “Mary had a little lamb.” Def.'s SOF
(Doc. 47), Second Amended Compl. (Doc. 15) at ¶¶
10, 12 & Reinartz Aff (Exh. “5”) at ¶ 1.
Ms. Reinartz denies that she ever showed Plaintiff such a
photograph. Def.'s SOF (Doc. 47), Exh. “5” at
¶¶ 11-13. After the September 17, 2014 conference
call between Plaintiff, Ms. Prothi, and Mr. Lu, Plaintiff
“e-mailed Joe Lu back and requested that Rhonda
Reinartz be the one designated for the investigation[, ] . .
. stat[ing] . . . [she] wanted Rhonda Reinartz to do the
investigation because Karl Kondos spends a large amount of
time conversing with Margret [sic] McClanahan and I wanted to
make sure this is done professionally, honestly, and
fairly.” Def.'s SOF (Doc. 47), Hepburn Rebuttal to
Teleperformance EEOC Position Statement (Exh. “8-B)
(Doc. 47-9) at 19.
alleges that she ceased receiving company update e-mails
while fulfilling her new duties in the HR Department, despite
having received them while working in the receptionist
position. Def.'s SOF (Doc. 47), Hepburn Depo. 5/22/2018
(Exh. “1”) at 59:20-60:14. Plaintiff indicated
that Ms. McClanahan, the new receptionist, began receiving
those e-mails. Id., Exh. “1” at 56:6-10.
Plaintiff testified that the e-mail updates came from an
employee named Jim Gordon. Id., Exh. “1”
alleges that someone placed a substance that looked like
sperm in the vinegar at her home. Def.'s SOF (Doc. 47),
Hepburn Depo. 5/22/2018 (Exh. “1”) at 82:3-83:13.
Plaintiff believed that if people were able to come into her
office, where she kept her purse, they could get access to
the keys to her home. Id. She took the vinegar
sample to her neighbor, as well as Sierra Vista Hospital, who
agreed that there was something in the vinegar. Id.
Plaintiff's Separation from Defendant
December 1, 2014, Plaintiff left her position with Defendant
Teleperformance. Def.'s SOF (Doc. 47), Hepburn Depo.
5/22/2018 at 19:16-25. Prior to separating from Defendant
Teleperformance, Plaintiff indicated that she would be
interested in transferring to an office ...