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Hampton v. National Am. Red Cross

United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky

February 26, 2014

LENORA HAMPTON, PLAINTIFF
v.
THE NATIONAL AMERICAN RED CROSS, ET AL., DEFENDANT

For Lenora Hampton, Plaintiff: Ninamary Buba Maginnis, Maginnis Law Office, Louisville, KY.

For The National American Red Cross, The Louisville Area Chapter of the American Red Cross, also known as American Red Cross Louisville Area Chapter, Defendants: Donald L. Miller, II, Kristin M. Lomond, Quintairos, Prieto, Wood & Boyer, PA, Louisville, KY; Jeffrey W. Larroca, Michael A. Graziano, Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott, LLC - DC, Washington, DC.

OPINION

Page 613

MEMORANDUM OPINION

Charles R. Simpson, III, Senior United States District Judge.

This case is before the Court on cross motions for summary judgment filed by Plaintiff Lenora Hampton (" Hampton" ) (DN 42) and Defendants American National Red Cross (" National" ) and American Red Cross, Louisville Area Chapter (" Chapter" ) (collectively " Defendants" ) (DN 41). For the reasons set forth below, the Court will grant Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment, and deny Hampton's Motion for Summary Judgment.[1]

Page 614

BACKGROUND

Unless otherwise indicated, the following facts are undisputed. Hampton is a former employee of Chapter, where she worked as a driver in the transportation department. On February 26, 2008, Hampton informed her immediate supervisors Charles M. Steinhofer, Jr. (" Steinhofer" ), and Beecher Hudson (" Hudson" ), tat she had recently been granted joint legal custody of her two grandchildren. Because Hampton's daughter, the other legal custodian, had been committed to the Jefferson Alcohol and Drug Abuse Center, Hampton stated that she was the only person available to care for her grandchildren. In addition, Hampton informed them that one of her grandchildren had a serious medical condition requiring special medical treatment. As discussed more fully below, the parties vigorously dispute whether Hampton specifically requested leave during the course of this meeting, or merely informed her supervisors of her situation without actually requesting to take time off. However, it is undisputed that, at the end of the meeting, Steinhofer and Hudson suggested that Hampton take the remainder of the week off.

The following week, Hampton was absent from work without explanation on Monday March 3, 2008, and Tuesday March 4, 2008. In accordance with Chapter's attendance policy, Hampton was fired for failing to show up to work for two consecutive days.

On February 25, 2010, Hampton filed the present action alleging that Defendants violated the FMLA by interfering with her rights thereunder and terminating her in retaliation for taking FMLA leave. On April 29, 2013, Defendants filed a motion for summary judgment (DN 41) arguing that: 1) Defendant National was not Hampton's employer and therefore is not a proper party to this lawsuit; and 2) Hampton's FMLA claims fail as a matter of law against Defendant Chapter. While conceding that Defendant National is not a proper party,[2] Hampton argued that Defendant Chapter had failed to satisfy its burden of demonstrating that summary judgment was warranted. On April 30, 2013, Hampton filed her own motion for summary judgment (DN 42), arguing that there was no genuine dispute that Defendant Chapter violated the FMLA.

Having considered the parties' briefs and being otherwise sufficiently advised, the Court will not consider the motions for summary judgment.

STANDARD

Before granting a motion for summary judgment, the Court must find that there is no genuine issue of material fact such that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). The party moving for summary judgment bears the initial burden of establishing the nonexistence of any issue of material fact, Celotex Corp. v. Catrett,477 U.S. 317, 322, 106 S.Ct. 2548, 91 L.Ed.2d 265 (1986), a burden which may only be satisfied by " citing to particular parts of materials in the record..." or " showing that the materials cited do not establish ...


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