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Johnson v. Baptist Memorial Health Care Corp.

United States District Court, W.D. Tennessee, Western Division

December 19, 2019

ANGELA L. JOHNSON, Plaintiff,
v.
BAPTIST MEMORIAL HEALTH CARE CORPORATION and BAPTIST MEMORIAL MEDICAL GROUP, INC., Defendants.

          ORDER

          Samuel H. Mays, Jr. United States District Judge.

         This is an employment discrimination and retaliation case. Before the Court are two motions. The first motion is Defendant Baptist Memorial Health Care Corporation's (“BMHCC”) August 26, 2019 Motion to Dismiss or, in the Alternative, for Summary Judgment (hereafter, BMHCC's “Motion for Summary Judgment”).[1](ECF No. 45.) Plaintiff Angela Johnson responded on September 17, 2019.[2] (ECF Nos. 46-48.) BMHCC replied on October 8, 2019. (ECF Nos. 57-58.)

         The second motion is BMHCC's October 8, 2019 Motion in Limine to Exclude Inadmissible Witness Declarations. (ECF No. 59.) Johnson responded on October 21, 2019. (ECF No. 62.) BMHCC replied on October 30, 2019. (ECF No. 70.)

         For the following reasons, the Court GRANTS BMHCC's Motion for Summary Judgment. BMHCC's Motion in Limine is DENIED AS MOOT.

         I. Background

         BMHCC is the parent corporation for a group of related healthcare organizations. (Pl.'s Resp. to Def.'s Statement of Undisputed Facts, ECF No. 47 ¶ 18.) Baptist Memorial Medical Group, Inc. (“BMMG”) is a BMHCC subsidiary. (Id.) BMHCC provides BMMG with clinical, financial, legal, and operational support. (Id. ¶¶ 19-20.) BMMG hires its own employees and directs the day-to-day activities of its staff. (Id. ¶ 21.)

         Johnson is a former BMMG employee. (Id. ¶¶ 1-2.) She worked for BMMG as a Patient Finance Representative from August 2013 to July 2016. (Id.) Johnson received and signed a copy of BMHCC's Standards of Conduct when she was hired by BMMG. (Def.'s Resp. to Pl.'s Statement of Add'l Disputed Facts, ECF No. 57 ¶ 1.) In September 2015, Johnson emailed Dee Banta, a BMHCC human resources supervisor and alleged that a less qualified BMMG employee had been promoted to a management position instead of Johnson. (Id. ¶ 15.) Banta investigated Johnson's allegation. (ECF No. 47 ¶ 21.)

         On October 28, 2015, Johnson filed a Charge of Discrimination with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (the “EEOC”), alleging that she had been denied a promotion because of her race. (Am. Compl., ECF No. 41 ¶ 12.) The October 28, 2015 Charge of Discrimination listed “Baptist Medical Group” as the respondent. (Id. Ex. 1.)

         On July 7, 2016, BMMG terminated Johnson's employment. (ECF No. 47 ¶ 2.) Johnson's termination paperwork notified her that “[y]our employment status is being terminated effective immediately” and that “[y]ou will be ineligible for rehire with Baptist Memorial Health Care Corporation.” (Id. ¶ 24; ECF No. 46-12 at 1.)

         On July 7, 2016, Johnson filed a second Charge of Discrimination with the EEOC alleging that she had been retaliated against for filing the October 28, 2015 Charge of Discrimination. (ECF No. 41 ¶ 18.) The July 7, 2016 Charge of Discrimination listed “Baptist Memorial Healthcare” as the respondent. (Id. Ex. 3.)

         On July 24, 2018, Johnson filed a Complaint against BMHCC alleging race-based discrimination and retaliation in violation of: (1) Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”), as amended, 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000e, et seq.; (2) Section 1981 of the Civil Rights Act of 1866, as amended, 42 U.S.C. § 1981; and (3) the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution. (ECF No. 1 ¶¶ 23-35.) On July 12, 2019, Johnson filed an Amended Complaint adding BMMG as a defendant. (ECF No. 41.)

         BMHCC moves to dismiss or, in the alternative, for summary judgment. (ECF No. 45.) BMHCC moves to exclude two witness declarations attached to Johnson's response to BMHCC's Motion for Summary Judgment. (ECF No. 59.)

         II. Jurisdiction

         The Court has federal-question jurisdiction. Under 28 U.S.C. § 1331, United States district courts have original jurisdiction “of all civil actions arising under the Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United States.” Johnson alleges that BMHCC violated Title VII, 42 U.S.C. § 1981, and the Fourteenth Amendment of the ...


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