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Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Corporate Security Solutions

March 29, 2007

EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY COMMISSION, PLAINTIFF,
v.
CORPORATE SECURITY SOLUTIONS, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Judge Michael R. Barrett

OPINION & ORDER

This matter is before the Court upon Defendant Corporate Security Solutions, Inc.'s ("Corporate Security") Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. 26). Intervening Plaintiff Jeri Hagemeyer filed a Response in Opposition (Doc. 29), and Corporate Security filed a Reply (Doc. 31) This matter is now ripe for review.

I. PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

This action was brought before the Court upon a Complaint filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC"). (Doc. 1) On August 8, 2006, this Court granted Intervening Plaintiff, Jeri Hagemeyer's, Motion to Intervene. (Doc. 14) On January 11, 2007, the EEOC and Corporate Security filed a Joint Motion for Approving and Entering a Consent Decree (Doc. 27). The Court granted the Joint Motion, and the Consent Decree was entered on January 12, 2007. (Doc. 28)

II. FACTUAL BACKGROUND

Corporate Security provides security services for local businesses. Hagemeyer originally applied for a position with Corporate Security as a security guard. (Doc. 31-4, Hagemeyer Depo. at 56) Hagemeyer was instead hired on November 26, 2003 as a secretary/receptionist in the company's administrative offices. (Doc. 30, Jeri Hagemeyer Affidavit, ¶ 2) Hagemeyer technically reported to Frank Sullivan, the General Manager, but Chris Coppola, the Regional Vice-President, and Matt Yalack, the Personnel Manager, also worked out of that office and sometimes directed her activities. (Hagemeyer Aff., ¶3) Corporate Security had just acquired American Sentry Protection Service, an existing business, to gain a foothold in the Cincinnati area. (Doc. 31-2, Christopher Coppola Depo. at 17) Sherry Harney, who had worked for American Sentry Protective Service for 18 years, and who essentially ran the front office, quit shortly after Hagemeyer's hire. (Hagemeyer Depo. at 64; Coppola Depo. at 36) Harney did train Hagemeyer for three days before she left, but Harney was unfamiliar with Corporate Security's policies and procedures. (Hagemeyer Depo. at 64)

On several occasions, Sullivan and Coppola told Hagemeyer that she was doing a good job. (Id. at 91-92) Hagemeyer never received a formal warning or reprimand. (Id. at 72) Hagemeyer admits that Coppola did, on two occasions, point out mistakes Hagemeyer had made. (Id. at 87) Soon after she first started, Coppola told Hagemeyer to be more detailed in writing out telephone messages, which she corrected to his satisfaction. (Id. at 87, 88, 89) On another occasion, Hagemeyer copied an incorrect address from a fingerprint card. When the materials came back, Hagemeyer and Coppola together looked up the correct address and made the necessary corrections. (Id. at 87)

Coppola has identified several other mistakes Hagemeyer made. Coppola maintains that Hagemeyer sent out W-2 forms to the security guards in the same envelopes as their paychecks, contrary to his instructions. (Coppola Depo. at 91) Coppola states that the W-2 forms were sent to the wrong employees and he was forced to drive to the employees' houses, pick up the forms, and deliver the forms to the correct employee. (Id. at 92) Coppola also states that on another occasion, Hagemeyer neglected to give him a message regarding an order for computers that Coppola had promised to a client. (Id. at 81-82) Coppola also points to Hagemeyer's failure to include checks for state licensing fees along with the applications submitted for new employee to the state licensing board. (Id. at 85) Coppola explains that there were other typographical errors made on these applications. (Id. at 87) Corporate Security also maintains that numerous packages were returned to the office due to insufficient postage, and Hagemeyer lost the mail box key. (Id.)

These mistakes were apparently memoralized in three typewritten documents.*fn1 Coppola has testified that these documents were typed up "[b]ecause we were going to fire her. We wanted documentation of our notes." (Coppola Depo. at 56)

In mid-December 2003, Hagemeyer learned that she was pregnant, and informed Sullivan, Coppola, and Yalacki. Hagemeyer states that they all appeared to be happy for her. (Hagemeyer Aff., ¶ 6; Hagemeyer Depo. at 108-09)

On January 6, 2004, Hagemeyer experienced severe abdominal cramps at work. (Hagemeyer Aff., ¶ 7) During her lunch break, and with Sullivan's permission, Hagemeyer went to a Urgent Care facility. (Hagemeyer Depo. at 100) The nurse told Hagemeyer that she should go to an emergency room. (Hagemeyer Aff., ¶ 7) Because Hagemeyer's lunch hour was over, she went back to the office and received permission from Coppola and Yalacki to take the rest of the day off. (Hagemeyer Depo. at 101-102) At the emergency room, Hagemeyer learned that she was pregnant with twins. (Id. at 102-103) Hagemeyer was released that evening, but told to stay off her feet for several days. (Id. at 103) That evening, Hagemeyer contacted Coppola on his cell phone and explained what had happened. (Hagemeyer Aff. ¶ 8) Coppola asked Hagemeyer to bring a doctor's note when she returned the next day, which she did. (Hagemeyer Depo. at 103)

On January 18, 2004, Hagemeyer developed flu-like symptoms. (Hagemeyer Aff., ¶ 9) With the permission of Sullivan and Coppola, Hagemeyer left work to see her doctor. (Hagemeyer Depo. at 110) Hagemeyer's physician ordered her to take off work for three days. (Hagemeyer Aff. ¶ 9) Hagemeyer contacted Coppola, informed him of this development and was told that would be fine. (Id.) Hagemeyer then faxed a copy of the doctor's note. (Id.)

On January 21, 2004, Hagemeyer received a call from Sullivan, who told her that she need not return the next day. (Hagemeyer Depo. at 18-20) When Hagemeyer asked Sullivan the reason for her termination, he stated that several problems had arisen. (Hagemeyer Aff., ¶ 10) When Hagemeyer asked for specifics, Sullivan mentioned the mailing of W-2 forms the "wrong way." (Hagemeyer Depo. at 111; Hagemeyer Aff., ¶ 10) Hagemeyer then asked Sullivan if she was being terminated because of her pregnancy. (Hagemeyer Aff., ¶ 10) Hagemeyer states that Sullivan responded: "Partial of it is your pregnancy, yes. We cannot afford to have someone out of the office at all times, especially with you getting sick, you being pregnant with twins, its going to be a little bit hard." (Hagemeyer Depo. at 112)

Hagemeyer filed a charge with an EEOC, which led to the filing of the instant action by the EEOC. In Hagemeyer's Complaint in Intervention, Hagemeyer brings claims of discrimination based upon her pregnancy in violation Title VII, as amended by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, 42 U.S.C. §2000-e(k), and in violation of Ohio law.

III. ANALYSIS

A. Summary Judgment ...


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