Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Acheampong v. Las Vegas Valley Water District

United States District Court, D. Nevada

March 30, 2018

STEPHEN ACHEAMPONG, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
LAS VEGAS VALLEY WATER DISTRICT, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER MOTIONS FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

          RICHARD F. BOULWARE, II UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         I. INTRODUCTION

         Before the Court are Defendant's Motions for Summary Judgment. ECF Nos. 45 - 54. For the reasons stated below, the Motions are granted in part and denied in part.

         II. PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         Defendant filed a petition for removal on May 27, 2015. ECF No. 1. On June 3, 2015, Defendant filed a Motion to Dismiss. ECF No. 7. On February 18, 2016, this Court held a hearing on the Motion to Dismiss, in which it granted the motion and gave the Plaintiffs 45 days to file an amended complaint. Plaintiffs filed an Amended Complaint on April 18, 2016. ECF No. 35. Defendant filed an Answer on May 2, 2016. ECF No. 37. Discovery closed on January 30, 2017. ECF No. 42. Dispositive motions were due on March 30, 2017. ECF No. 44. Defendant filed the instant Motions for Summary Judgment on March 17 and 18, 2017. ECF Nos. 45-54. On May 30, 2017, Defendant filed a Stipulation and Order to Consolidate Cases for Trial. ECF No. 75.

         III. LEGAL STANDARD

         A. Motion for Summary Judgment

         Summary judgment is appropriate 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); accord Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986). When considering the propriety of summary judgment, the court views all facts and draws all inferences in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party. Gonzalez v. City of Anaheim, 747 F.3d 789, 793 (9th Cir. 2014). If the movant has carried its burden, the non-moving party “must do more than simply show that there is some metaphysical doubt as to the material facts . . . . Where the record taken as a whole could not lead a rational trier of fact to find for the nonmoving party, there is no genuine issue for trial.” Scott v. Harris, 550 U.S. 372, 380 (2007) (alteration in original) (internal quotation marks omitted).

         IV. UNDISPUTED FACTS

         The Court finds the following facts to be undisputed.

         A. Facts Relevant to All Plaintiffs

         The Las Vegas Valley Water District (“The District”) is a not-for-profit utility that began providing water to the Las Vegas Valley in 1954. The Southern Nevada Water Authority (“SNWA”) is a separate joint powers authority formed in the early 1990's by a number of area political subdivisions of the State of Nevada (including the District, North Las Vegas, Las Vegas, Boulder City, and Henderson) to manage the region's water resources. The District supplies personnel and funds to operate the SNWA.

         When the District hires an employee, the employee receives a Handbook, which outlines the District's general policies and procedures (“Handbook”). Some, but not all, employees are members of unions covered by Collective Bargaining Agreements (“CBAs”).

         From 2008 to 2011, the nation was mired in a severe economic downturn, and Las Vegas' economy was profoundly affected. The economic downturn dramatically diminished the District's revenues, as the level of new construction during that timeframe declined. Declining construction meant declining connection fees. Connection revenue went from approximately $188 million in 2008 to approximately $3 million by 2010.

         General Manager Pat Mulroy addressed the economic downturn in her “General Manager Briefings” from 2009 to 2011. She informed those in attendance that, “under her watch, ” the District was doing its best to not lay anyone off during recession, and it was utilizing other options in an effort to address the decreasing revenue. However, the District continued to have financial challenges, experiencing the absence of new construction in the Valley and facing difficulties with bond obligations. In 2013, the Board approved a new Strategic Plan, in which the central goal was the management of resources in a responsible manner. This led to a major shift in the District's focus, from growth and development of new resources to operation and maintenance of existing resources.

         When the new General Manager, John Entsminger, took over in February of 2014, he met with his Deputy General Managers to evaluate a reduction in force to address the lack of new development, falling revenues, and to better meet the District's new Strategic Plan. In doing so, Entsminger directed department heads to review workload and staffing levels for their respective departments and focus on retaining only what was necessary to sustain the core functions of the District and SNWA from 2014 to the “reasonably foreseeable future.” Entsminger did not set any targets for the reduction and each department was solely responsible for selection of employees for the layoffs. It was not a District-wide reduction by any set classification. Department heads would provide the list to the Senior Management Committee, and Pat Maxwell-the director of the Human Resources department-would review the list for any disparate impact on protected categories of employees. She ultimately approved a list that she believed had no disparate impact. In total, 101 positions from the District and the SNWA were eliminated in the reduction in force (“RIF”), spanning nearly all departments.

         B. Facts Relevant to Plaintiff Talley (ECF No. 48)

         Plaintiff Talley began working at the District in 2005 and was employed as a Materials Handler II when he was included in the RIF in 2013. Plaintiff Talley was over forty years of age when he was included in the RIF. Three of the four material handlers in Plaintiff Talley's department were included in the RIF, with only the most senior employee remaining with the District. Plaintiff Talley was covered by a CBA.

         C. Facts Relevant to Plaintiff Pridgen (ECF No. 49)

         Plaintiff Pridgen was employed as a Business Analyst in the IT Department at the District when she was included in the RIF in 2013. Plaintiff Pridgen was over forty years old when she was included in the RIF. Plaintiff Pridgen was not covered by a CBA.

         D. Facts Relevant to Plaintiff Halverson (ECF No. 50)

         Plaintiff Halverson was employed as a Resource Analyst on the Resource Planning Team at the District when he was included in the RIF in 2013. Plaintiff Halverson was over forty years old when he was included in the RIF. During the RIF, the District retained William Murray, the other Resource Analyst on the Resource Planning Team, who was younger than Halverson and had been with the District for less time. Plaintiff Halverson was not covered by a CBA.

         E. Facts Relevant to Plaintiff Bordelois (ECF No. 50)

         Plaintiff Bordelois was employed as a Civil Engineer at the District when she was included in the RIF in 2013. Plaintiff Bordelois and her same-sex partner spoke with Pat Maxwell in human resources regarding the mishandling of insurance and tax issues related to their status as a same-sex couple and filed a complaint with the District regarding these issues. Plaintiff Bordelois was included in the RIF fifteen months later.

         F. Facts Relevant to Plaintiff Jackson (ECF No. 51)

         Plaintiff Jackson was employed as a Civil Engineer in the Engineering Services Division of the District when he was included in the RIF in 2013. Plaintiff Jackson was over forty years old when he was included in the RIF. During the RIF, the District retained Jason Ghadery, another Civil Engineer, who was younger than Plaintiff Jackson. Plaintiff Jackson was not covered by a CBA.

         G. Facts Relevant to Plaintiff Morgan (ECF No. 51)

         Plaintiff Morgan was employed as a Senior Civil Engineer in the Engineering Services Division of the District when he was included in the RIF in 2013. Plaintiff Morgan was over forty years old when he was included in the RIF. During the RIF, the District retained Michael Dishari, another Senior Civil ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.