United States District Court, W.D. Oklahoma
MILES-LAGRANGE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the Court is defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment,
filed August 1, 2017. On January 8, 2018, plaintiff filed her
response, and on January 16, 2018, defendant filed its reply.
Based upon the parties' submissions, the Court makes its
provides services to home health patients. Plaintiff was
hired by defendant in December 2014 as an RN Case Manager. In
late March or early April 2015, plaintiff advised defendant
that she was seeking to become pregnant through in vitro
fertilization (“IVF”). Between March and July,
Kathy Graham, plaintiff's supervisor, learned that
plaintiff had conceived, and plaintiff learned that Ms.
Graham's daughter's IVF had failed. After these
events, plaintiff alleges that Ms. Graham was treating her
differently. Plaintiff was ultimately allowed to report to
another RN Case Manager, rather than reporting to Ms. Graham.
September 2015, plaintiff was assigned to patient J.L. to
perform skilled nursing services. Plaintiff reported that
patient J.L. was not homebound and that if defendant
continued to bill TRICARE for the patient's care,
defendant would be committing fraud. Plaintiff also wrote in
patient J.L's chart that he was not homebound. Plaintiff
alleges that Ms. Graham threatened to fire her if she did not
delete portions of her nursing note that stated her belief
that patient J.L. was not homebound. Plaintiff, however,
refused to alter the patient's chart.
October 12, 2015, defendant transferred plaintiff to solely
working at the Chateau, an assisted living facility.
Plaintiff asserts that the transfer to the Chateau added new
duties to her job. On November 13, 2015, defendant terminated
22, 2016, plaintiff filed the instant action, alleging
pregnancy discrimination and wrongful discharge in violation
of Oklahoma's public policy. Defendant now moves for
summary judgment as to both of plaintiff's claims.
Summary Judgment Standard
judgment is appropriate if the record shows that there is no
genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving
party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. The moving
party is entitled to summary judgment where the record taken
as a whole could not lead a rational trier of fact to find
for the non-moving party. When applying this standard, [the
Court] examines the record and reasonable inferences drawn
therefrom in the light most favorable to the non-moving
party.” 19 Solid Waste Dep't Mechs. v. City of
Albuquerque, 156 F.3d 1068, 1071-72 (10th Cir. 1998)
(internal citations and quotations omitted).
disputes over facts that might affect the outcome of the suit
under the governing law will properly preclude the entry of
summary judgment. Furthermore, the non-movant has a burden of
doing more than simply showing there is some metaphysical
doubt as to the material facts. Rather, the relevant inquiry
is whether the evidence presents a sufficient disagreement to
require submission to a jury or whether it is so one-sided
that one party must prevail as a matter of law.”
Neustrom v. Union Pac. R.R. Co., 156 F.3d 1057, 1066
(10th Cir. 1998) (internal citations and quotations omitted).
Tenth Circuit has held that “a pregnancy discrimination
claim is analyzed the same as other Title VII claims.”
Atchley v. Nordam Grp., Inc., 180 F.3d 1143, 1148
(10th Cir. 1999) (internal citation omitted). Thus, when
reviewing a pregnancy discrimination claim, a court follows
the three stage analysis outlined in McDonnell Douglas
Corp. v. Green, 411 U.S. 792 (1973). “At the first
stage, the plaintiff must prove a prima facie case of
discrimination. She must show: (1) she is within the
protected class; (2) she was doing satisfactory work; (3) she
was discharged; and (4) her position remained open and was
ultimately filled by a nonpregnant employee.”
Id. (internal citations omitted). For purposes of
its motion for summary judgment, defendant assumes that
plaintiff can state a prima facie case of discrimination.
plaintiff proves a prima facie case of discrimination, the
burden of production moves to the defendant to articulate a
legitimate, nondiscriminatory reason for its action. See
Id. Having carefully reviewed the parties'
submissions, the Court finds that defendant has satisfied its
burden of production and has articulated a legitimate,
nondiscriminatory reason for terminating plaintiff.
Specifically, defendant asserts that it terminated plaintiff
because she engaged in disruptive behavior including, but not
limited to: (1) repetitively calling current employees to
complain about working conditions; (2) general negativity;
(3) employees reporting to management that plaintiff's
constant negativity was draining them emotionally and they
had begun to screen out ...