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Payne v. Baptist Life Communities

United States District Court, E.D. Kentucky, Northern Division, Covington

February 11, 2014




This is an action by Anthony Payne and Bridgett Hughes Payne ("Plaintiffs"), against Baptist Life Communities and Baptist Towers ("Defendants"). Anthony Payne asserts claims under state and federal law for race and gender discrimination, state law age discrimination, and state and federal retaliation, while Bridget Hughes Payne asserts a Title III ADA claim.

This matter is before the Court on Defendants' motion for summary judgment. (Doc. 51).

Having reviewed the parties' briefs, the Court concludes that oral argument is unnecessary to the resolution of this motion. The Court therefore issues the following Memorandum Opinion and Order.


Plaintiff Anthony Payne, an African-American male over forty years old, began working for Baptist Life Communities in early 2009 as a housekeeper, and he was terminated on December 5, 2012. (Doc. 49-13, Letter to Anthony Payne Confirming Termination). Plaintiff alleges several incidents of alleged discrimination.

First, a cash box went missing in February 2011.[1] Plaintiff Anthony Payne alleges his cleaning cart was the only one searched, he was the only employee drug tested, and he was suspended. (Doc. 21 ¶¶ 10-14, Amended Complaint). However, in his deposition he stated that he merely believes his cart was the only one searched but he never asked the other housekeepers if their carts were searched. (Doc. 49 p. 22-23).

Further, a summary of notes taken by Ryan Woodle, a Human Resources representative, which is cited by the Defendants, states that all housekeeping carts were searched, all of the housekeepers were drug tested, and that the most senior housekeeper was the only one given access to the first floor after the incident. (Doc. 49-7, Formal Meeting Notes from June 15, 2011). In addition, these records reflect that two drug tests came back positive, those of Plaintiff Anthony Payne and another male employee. ( Id. ) Both men were sent for another test which came back negative, and both were paid for their time off pending the second test's results. ( Id. )

Second, Plaintiff Anthony Payne alleges he complained to Erin Koshover in June 2011 about his pay, and in response to his complaint, he was suspended. (Doc. 21 ¶ 15). Erin Koshover, Assistant Administrator, suspended Plaintiff Anthony Payne for three days because she felt threatened by his loud and harsh tone, his refusal to leave her office, and his apparent agitation. (Doc. 49-3, Employee Warning Notice). Further, Plaintiff Anthony Payne agreed that the notes taken by Ryan Woodle in the June 9, 2011, meeting are accurate. (Doc. 49 pp. 40-41, Deposition of Anthony Payne).

Finally, Plaintiff Anthony Payne asserts that he was suspended after complaining about a hostile work environment. (Doc. 21 ¶ 9). However, in his deposition he was asked to whom he complained about the hostile work environment, and he replied: "I don't know, probably my lawyer." (Doc. 49 p. 62, Deposition of Anthony Payne). When asked if he specifically complained to anyone at Baptist Life Communities about a hostile work environment, he answered simply: "No." ( Id. )

Plaintiff Bridgett Payne asserts a Title III ADA claim. (Doc. 21 ¶¶ 43-63, Amended Complaint). In April 2011, she arrived to pick up Plaintiff Anthony Payne, her husband, from work. (Doc. 21 ¶ 16, Amended Complaint). She alleges that she suffers from a condition called "DDD" which results in a sudden urge to use the bathroom. ( Id. at ¶ 17). She entered Baptist Towers, used the restroom, and went back to her car, where she was approached by Erin Koshover and another employee named Sarah. ( Id. at ¶¶ 18-26). She was then told that she could no longer enter Baptist Towers for any reason, only that she could pick up her husband. ( Id. at ¶ 27).

However, in Plaintiff Bridgett Payne's deposition she stated that when she entered Baptist Towers on this day, she called Krystal Clayton a "thieving bitch" after she walked past her. (Doc. 50 pp. 10-11, Deposition of Bridgett Payne). After Bridgett Payne returned to her vehicle, Erin Koshover and Sarah came out and told her that because she attacked one of Baptist Tower's employees she was not allowed back into the building. ( Id. at p. 14). The confrontation escalated with Plaintiff Bridgett Payne raising her voice and exiting her vehicle. (Doc. 49 p. 104, Deposition of Anthony Payne).

Plaintiff Bridgett Payne admits that, after this incident, she never requested to use the bathrooms at Baptist Towers again. (Doc. 50 pp. 21-22, Deposition of Bridgett Payne). In addition, she never notified anyone at Baptist Towers that she had a ...

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