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Hall v. Portfolio Recovery Associates, L.L.C.

United States District Court, D. Nevada

February 14, 2017

DENISE HALL, Plaintiffs,


         Presently before the court is defendant Portfolio Recovery Associates, L.L.C.'s (“PRA”) motion for summary judgment. (ECF No. 31). Plaintiff Denise Hall filed a response (ECF No. 39), and defendant filed a reply (ECF No. 40).

         As an initial matter, this court considers plaintiff's assertion that there are three claims pending in this action: (1) retaliation; (2) harassment; and (3) wrongful termination. (ECF No. 39). The supposed second and third claims are not included in the complaint and therefore are not at issue in this case.[1] Minor v. Fedex Office & Print Servs., Inc., 182 F.Supp.3d 966, 977 (N.D. Cal. 2016) (“Plaintiff may not use his opposition to raise and argue new allegations or claims not in the complaint.”); see also Coleman v. Quaker Oats Co., 232 F.3d 1271, 1292 (9th Cir. 2000); (ECF No. 1).

         I. Introduction

         Plaintiff, a former legal collector who was employed by defendant, initiated suit in this court on December 24, 2014. (ECF No. 1). Plaintiff's complaint alleges, under Nevada Revised Statute (“NRS”) 613.330 et seq. and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, that PRA retaliated against plaintiff for her complaint to corporate headquarters about the behavior of her operations manager, Carla Moran, and for plaintiff's charge to the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”). (Id.). Specifically, plaintiff alleges that, after she submitted her corporate complaint against Moran on June 21, 2012, plaintiff “was moved off of Carla Moran's team and given a less desirable schedule.” (ECF No. 1 at 4).

         On August 27, 2012, Plaintiff filed a formal charge of discrimination with the EEOC. (Id.). Plaintiff alleges that she thereafter “receiv[ed] written disciplinary actions for alleged infractions she previously had not been disciplined for” and was relocated to a desk where she could be under greater scrutiny. (Id. at 3-5). Plaintiff was eventually terminated on January 17, 2013. (Id.).

         In its motion, defendant argues that plaintiff has failed to establish a prima facie case of retaliation under federal or state law and has not overcome her burden to show that any adverse employment action was the result of plaintiff's protected conduct. (ECF No. 31).

         II. Legal Standard

         The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure allow summary judgment when the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show that “there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). A principal purpose of summary judgment is “to isolate and dispose of factually unsupported claims . . . .” Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323- 24 (1986).

         For purposes of summary judgment, disputed factual issues should be construed in favor of the non-moving party. Lujan v. Nat'l Wildlife Fed., 497 U.S. 871, 888 (1990). However, to be entitled to a denial of summary judgment, the non-moving party must “set forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial.” Id.

         In determining summary judgment, the court applies a burden-shifting analysis. “When the party moving for summary judgment would bear the burden of proof at trial, it must come forward with evidence which would entitle it to a directed verdict if the evidence went uncontroverted at trial.” C.A.R. Transp. Brokerage Co. v. Darden Rests., Inc., 213 F.3d 474, 480 (9th Cir. 2000). Moreover, “[i]n such a case, the moving party has the initial burden of establishing the absence of a genuine issue of fact on each issue material to its case.” Id.

         By contrast, when the non-moving party bears the burden of proving the claim or defense, the moving party can meet its burden in two ways: (1) by presenting evidence to negate an essential element of the non-moving party's case; or (2) by demonstrating that the non-moving party failed to make a showing sufficient to establish an element essential to that party's case on which that party will bear the burden of proof at trial. See Celotex Corp., 477 U.S. at 323-24. If the moving party fails to meet its initial burden, summary judgment must be denied and the court need not consider the non-moving party's evidence. See Adickes v. S.H. Kress & Co., 398 U.S. 144, 159- 60 (1970).

         If the moving party satisfies its initial burden, the burden then shifts to the opposing party to establish that a genuine issue of material fact exists. See Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586 (1986). To establish the existence of a factual dispute, the opposing party need not establish a material issue of fact conclusively in its favor. It is sufficient that “the claimed factual dispute be shown to require a jury or judge to resolve the parties' differing versions of the truth at trial.” T.W. Elec. Serv., Inc. v. Pac. Elec. Contractors Ass'n, 809 F.2d 626, 630 (9th Cir. 1987).

         III. Discussion

         a. ...

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