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Telano v. Evans Oil Company, LLC

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

December 26, 2019

CHINA TELANO
v.
EVANS OIL COMPANY, LLC d/b/a DAILY PRESS

          KAREN L. HAYES MAG. JUDGE

          RULING

          TERRY A. DOUGHTY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Pending before the Court is Defendants' Motion to Dismiss and/or Motion for Summary Judgment [Doc. No. 24]. Defendants argue that Plaintiff China Telano (“Telano”) improperly named Evans Oil Company, LLC (“Evans”) as a Defendant in this employment discrimination matter when she was employed solely by Daily Press, LLC (“Daily Press”). Additionally, Defendants move for dismissal of Telano's claims under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”), 42 U.S.C. § 2000e, et seq., and the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), 42 U.S.C. § 12201, et seq., because she failed to exhaust her administrative remedies against Daily Press. Telano opposes summary judgment on both arguments.

         For the following reasons, Defendants' Motion to Dismiss and/or Motion for Summary Judgment is DENIED.

         I. FACTS

         Telano was a day shift manager of the Daily Press on Louisville Avenue in Monroe, Louisiana, at the time of her termination.

         When she began her employment, Telano signed documents for the Daily Press. She was also paid weekly by the Daily Press. As manager, she had the authority to hire, fire, and train Daily Press employees at her store.

         On or about February 16, 2017, Telano alleges that she was injured during the course and scope of her employment, which she further alleges caused injury to her sciatic nerve and permanent injury to her leg. Telano alleges that she requested a reasonable accommodation of a stool to sit occasionally, but that she was denied this requested accommodation.

         On March 2, 2017, Jeff Bennett (“Bennett”), the General Manager of Daily Press, terminated Telano's employment. Telano alleges that he did so in retaliation for making a request for accommodation and that she was told that she was being terminated for filing a workers' compensation claim. Defendants contend that Telano was terminated for serious food safety issues that occurred under her supervision.

         On or about April 4, 2017, Telano filed a charge of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) against Evans Oil d/b/a Daily Press, alleging that she had been subjected to discrimination based on sex and disability.

         On April 11, 2017, counsel for Telano sent a letter of representation to Evans Oil, Petro Evans, LLC (“Petro Evans”), and Daily Press, noting that Telano was a joint employee of all three companies. Telano made written demand for failure to pay leave time accrued but not taken at the end of her employment. On April 21, 2017, an attorney sent a letter to Telano's counsel responding to Telano's claims, denying that Telano was employed by Evans Oil or Petro Evans and further denying that she was entitled to further payments.

         On or about May 16, 2018, the EEOC terminated its processing of the charge and, at Telano's request, issued a Notice of Right to Sue.

         On August 13, 2018, Telano filed a Petition in the Fourth Judicial District Court, Ouachita Parish, State of Louisiana, alleging sex discrimination in violation of Title VII, disability discrimination in violation of the ADA, and failure to properly pay wages in violation of the Louisiana Wage Payment Statute.

         On November 8, 2018, Defendant removed the case to this Court.

         On December 3, 2018, Evans Oil filed an Answer alleging Telano was never an employee of Evans Oil, she was an employee of Daily Press at all material times, and ...


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