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Hassen v. Ruston Louisiana Hospital Co. LLC

United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Monroe Division

July 6, 2018

LABRITTANY K. HASSEN
v.
RUSTON LOUISIANA HOSPITAL CO., LLC d/b/a NORTHERN LOUISIANA MEDICAL CENTER

          KAREN L. HAYES MAG. JUDGE

          RULING

          TERRY A. DOUGHTY UNITED STATES JUDGE

         Pending before the Court is a Motion for Summary Judgment [Doc. No. 17] filed by Defendant Ruston Louisiana Hospital Co., LLC d/b/a Northern Louisiana Medical Center (“NLMC”). NLMC moves for summary judgment on Plaintiff LaBrittany K. Hassen&#3');">39;s (“Hassen”) race discrimination claim. Hassen opposes summary judgment. [Doc. No. 24]. NLMC filed a reply memorandum. [Doc. No. 27].

         For the following reasons, NLMC&#3');">39;s Motion for Summary Judgment is GRANTED.

         I. FACTS

         Hassen is a registered nurse who was formerly employed by NLMC. She has been a nurse since approximately 2009.

         NLMC has an online application system. Open positions are listed on the system and assigned a requisition number. An individual who seeks employment with NLMC applies on line for an open position, and the acquisition number for the open position is also listed on the individual&#3');">39;s employment application.

         Hassen applied for an open PRN Emergency Room registered nurse position through Department, the position for which she applied was assigned requisition number 1202126, [1] and this same requisition number was listed on her employment application. NLMC&#3');">39;s Human Resources Director, Tonya Duggan (“Duggan”), provided an affidavit authenticating the employment records, averring that Hassen applied for a PRN position, and averring to the general application process. [Doc. No. 17-3');">3, Exh. 1, Duggan Aff. & NLMC records].

         However, Hassen has also produced an online application which appears to show that she also applied for a full-time Emergency Room registered nurse position assigned requisition number 1118911. While that position was not included in the Human Resources records provided to the Court and averred to by Duggan, NLMC (at least for purposes of summary judgment) does not appear to dispute this factual contention. In this separate application, Hassen applied for a full-time position, but lists her availability for employment as full-time, part-time, or PRN. [Doc. No. 24, Exh. A].

         The Director of the Emergency Room, Sandy Goss (“Goss”), interviewed Hassen and hired her as a PRN Emergency Room registered nurse. During the interview, Hassen and Goss did not discuss the type of position for which she was applying or if there were full-time positions available. Hassen was employed by NLMC as a PRN Emergency Room registered nurse from February 13');">3, 2012, to June 22, 2012. She was provided a PRN contract clearly indicating the type of employment for which she was hired.

         During the time of Hassen&#3');">39;s employment, a current PRN who sought to obtain a full-time position (or a current full-time employee who sought a PRN position) was required to complete an online application for an available position. After being hired PRN, Hassen never completed an online application for a full-time nurse position.

         In June 2012, Hassen informed NLMC that she had obtained a full-time position at Grambling State University as a student health nurse working Monday through Friday from 7:3');">30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. There is no prohibition against anyone working a separate full-time job and PRN for NLMC. However, at that time, the available PRN positions were twelve-hour shifts on weekdays. Goss did not believe that these available shifts would fit with Hassen&#3');">39;s full-time position, so effective June 22, 2012, Goss “purged” Hassen from NLMC&#3');">39;s employment system as unable to fulfill her PRN obligation.[2] [Doc. No. 17-7, Goss Depo., Exh. 3');">3, pp. 13');">3-14]. Hassen has been eligible for re-hire since that time, but has not completed an online application for any positions through NLMC&#3');">39;s online application system.

         Hassen alleges that NLMC denied her a full-time registered nurse position because of her race, Black. She points to two comparators hired the same day she was: Marny Young Wheeler (“Wheeler”) and Megan Talton (“Talton”), both of whom are White and both of whom, according to Hassen, had less experience. Wheeler, a recent nursing school graduate, applied for an open full-time Emergency Room registered nurse position through NLMC&#3');">39;s online application system. The position for which she applied was assigned requisition number 1118909, and this same requisition number was listed on her employment application. NLMC hired Wheeler as a full-time Emergency Room registered nurse. She was employed by NLMC from February 13');">3, 2012 to November 1, 2014, as a full-time Emergency Room registered nurse. On October 16, 2014, Wheeler completed an online application for a new available PRN registered nurse position. She was then employed from November 2, 2014, to August 9, 2016, as a PRN Emergency Room registered nurse. Wheeler has since moved, resigning from NLMC effective August 9, 2016. She is considered eligible for re-hire.

         Talton, a former paramedic and recent nursing school graduate, applied for a full-time Emergency Room registered nurse position through NLMC&#3');">39;s online application system. The position for which she applied was assigned requisition number 1201862, and this same requisition number was listed on her employment application. NLMC hired Talton as a full-time Emergency Room registered nurse, and she was employed by NLMC from February 13');">3, 2012, to November 11, 2013');">3. Talton was considered resigned from NLMC effective November 11, 2013');">3, after she was a “no call, no show” on two occasions. She is not eligible for re-hire.

         Goss makes the hiring decisions for nurses in the Emergency Room at NLMC and did so during the relevant time period. Goss testified that she hired Hassen PRN, while hiring Wheeler and Talton for full-time positions, because the two comparators applied for full-time positions, and Hassen applied for a PRN position. [Doc. No. 17-7, Goss Depo., Exh. 3');">3, p. 9]. The supporting documentation from NLMC supports Goss&#3');">39; testimony.

         Although Hassen alleged that she was the only Black registered nurse on staff at NLMC, there were at least five (5) Black nurses were hired and employed by NLMC ...


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