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Bradford v. Jackson Parish Police Jury

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

July 23, 2019

CORA BRADFORD
v.
JACKSON PARISH POLICE JURY, ET AL.

          KAREN L. HAYES, MAG. JUDGE.

          RULING

          TERRY A. DOUGHTY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Pending before the Court is a Motion for Partial Summary Judgment [Doc. No. 39] filed by Defendant Jackson Parish Hospital Service District No. 1 d/b/a Jackson Parish Hospital (initially named as “Jackson Parish Police Jury d/b/a the Jackson Parish Hospital”) hereinafter referred to as the “Hospital.” The Hospital moves for summary judgment dismissing Plaintiff Cora Bradford's (“Bradford”) state-law gender discrimination claims.

         On June 28, 2019, Bradford filed a Motion to Dismiss the Hospital's Motion for Partial Summary Judgment [Doc. No. 4');">41].

         On July 1, 2019, the Hospital filed a Reply Memorandum in support of its Motion for Partial Summary Judgment [Doc. No. 4');">42].

         For the following reasons, the Hospital's Motion for Partial Summary Judgment is GRANTED and Bradford's Motion to Dismiss is DENIED.

         I. FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         Bradford is a former CFO of the Hospital. The Hospital terminated Bradford on September 26, 2017. On or about October 28, 2017, Bradford filed a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”), alleging that the Hospital discriminated against her on the basis of race and color. [Doc. No. 34');">4, ¶ 25]. The EEOC issued Bradford a Dismissal and Notice of Rights on August 1, 2018. [Doc. No. 34');">4, ¶ 26].

         On October 23, 2018, Bradford filed her original Complaint in this Court against the Hospital and Inquiseek, LLC (“Inquiseek”), a consulting firm hired by the Hospital to evaluate its accounting functions. In her original Complaint, Bradford set forth two general claims against the Hospital. First, she alleged the Hospital discriminated against her based on her race and color in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964');">4, 4');">42 USC § 2000 et al (“Title VII”); 4');">42 U.S.C. §§ 1981, 1983; and La. R.S. 23:332. [Doc. No. 1, ¶¶ 17-18]. Second, Bradford alleged the Hospital failed to pay her a wage comparable to her white predecessors in violation of Title VII; 4');">42 U.S.C. §§ 1981, 1983; La. R.S. 23:332 and 29 USC §§ 201, 206, the Fair Labor Standards and Equal Pay Acts. [Id. at ¶ 19].

         On January 15, 2019, the Hospital filed a Motion to Dismiss seeking dismissal of Bradford's claims against it under Sections 1981 and 1983 and the Equal Pay Act. [Doc. Nos. 13 & 13-1]. The Hospital also sought dismissal of Bradford's claims for punitive damages. [Id.]

         On February 6, 2019, Bradford sought leave of court to file an Amended Complaint. [Doc. No. 28]. Bradford sought leave to add claims for gender discrimination under Title VII, Section 1981, Section 1983, and La. R.S. 23:332. [Doc. No. 28-1, ¶¶ 17-19]. The Hospital opposed Bradford's Motion to Amend [Doc. No. 31].

         On April 17, 2019, the Magistrate Judge issued a Report and Recommendation addressing the Hospital's Motion to Dismiss and Bradford's Motion to Amend Complaint. [Doc. No. 32]. On May 2, 2019, this Court issued a Judgment adopting the Magistrate Judge's Report and Recommendation and granting the Hospital's Motion to Dismiss in part, dismissing Bradford's Sections 1981 and 1983, Title VII gender discrimination, and punitive damage claims. [Doc. No. 37]. The Court also granted Bradford's Motion to Amend Complaint. [Id.]

         On June 24');">4, 2019, the Hospital filed the pending Motion for Partial Summary Judgment seeking dismissal of Bradford's state-law gender discrimination claims on the grounds that (1) the claims are prescribed and (2) Bradford failed to comply with the notice requirements of La. R.S. 23:303. [Doc. No. 39].

         On June 28, 2019, Bradford responded by filing a Motion to Dismiss the Hospital's Motion for Partial Summary Judgment [Doc. No. 4');">41]. The Hospital filed a Reply [Doc. No. 4');">42], addressing the ...


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