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Harris v. Heritage Home Health Care

United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division

March 29, 2013

KANICA HARRIS, Plaintiff,
v.
HERITAGE HOME HEALTH CARE, ANTHONIA BAMISHE and TAIWO OGUNLEYE, Defendant(s)

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[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

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For Kanica Harris, Plaintiff: Shawn C. Cabot, Christopher Trainer and Assoc (White Lake), White Lake, MI; Amy J. DeRouin, Christopher Trainor Assoc., White Lake, MI.

For Heritage Home Health Care, Taiwo Ogunleye, Anthonia Bamishe, Defendants: Kenneth A. Rich, Rich and Campbell, Farmington Hills, MI.

PAUL D. BORMAN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE., Mona K. Majzoub, United States Magistrate Judge.

OPINION

PAUL D. BORMAN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

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OPINION AND ORDER GRANTING IN PART DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR PARTIAL SUMMARY JUDGMENT (ECF NO. 21)

This matter is before the Court on Defendants' Motion for Partial Summary Judgment. (ECF No. 21.) Plaintiff filed a Response. (ECF No. 33.) Defendants did not file a reply. The Court held a hearing on March 9, 2012. Following the hearing, the parties informed the Court that there were engaged in settlement negotiations. On or about March 19, 2013, the Court was informed that the parties have been unable to reach a settlement. Now, for the reasons that follow, the Court GRANTS IN PART Defendants' Motion for Partial Summary Judgment.

I. INTRODUCTION

In May 2005, Kanica Harris (" Harris" ) began working for Heritage Home Health Care (" Heritage" ) as a medical biller. Plaintiff's main responsibility was to ensure that Defendant Heritage received insurance and Medicare reimbursements for medical treatment provided to patients. In April 2008, Taiwo Ogunleye (" Ogunleye" ) joined Heritage and became a fifty percent co-owner of Heritage with Anthonia Bamishe (" Bamishe" ).

In late 2008, Defendants realized there were an unusually large number of bill denials from Medicare which Plaintiff had not appealed. On December 2, 2008, Defendant Bamishe left a note for Plaintiff regarding the issue. On December 3, 2008, Defendant Ogunleye and Defendant Bamishe met with Plaintiff to address the issue. Defendant Bamishe gave Plaintiff a memorandum assigning Plaintiff certain daily and monthly tasks to resolve the billing problem. Prior to this early December performance issue, and as recently as May, 2008, Plaintiff had received very good, indeed " outstanding," performance reviews. (ECF No. 33, Pl.'s Resp. Ex. D, September 14, 2011 Deposition of Anthonia Bamishe, 71-72.)

On December 9, 2008, Plaintiff reported to Defendant Bamishe that Defendant Ogunleye had sexually harassed Plaintiff. (ECF No. 1, Compl. ¶ 23.) Plaintiff testified at her deposition that Defendant Ogunleye would rub his hands on Plaintiff's upper arms, shoulders, thighs, and under her skirt; that Defendant Ogunleye would comment to Plaintiff that Plaintiff was afraid to have sex with him; that on April 12, 2008, Defendant Ogunleye attempted to pull down the top of Plaintiff's dress; that on June 15, 2008, Defendant Ogunleye told Plaintiff's coworkers, in reference to Plaintiff and in Plaintiff's presence, " look at that b****, she wants me to f*** her; " that on August 16, 2008, Defendant Ogunleye followed Plaintiff into the women's bathroom, exposed his erect penis, and said he wanted Plaintiff to perform oral sex on him; and that on December 15, 2008, Defendant Ogunleye called Plaintiff at work and said he loved her. (ECF No. 33, Pl.'s Resp. Ex. A, June 7, 2011 Deposition of Kanica Harris, 34-36; Compl. ¶ ¶ 16-22.)

Ursula Rious, a co-worker of Plaintiff at Heritage, testified that she observed Defendant Ogunleye rub Plaintiff's arms, that Defendant Ogunleye commented to Plaintiff and others about Plaintiff's breasts being large and commented to Ms. Rious and others that Plaintiff " just wanted [Ogunleye] to f*** her." (ECF No. 33, Pl.'s Resp. Ex. B, Sept. 16, 2011 Deposition of Ursula Rious, 18-19.) Ms. Rious testified that she encouraged Plaintiff to file a complaint with the EEOC. Id. at 20.

Erika Smith, another Heritage employee, also heard Defendant Ogunleye comment that Plaintiff dressed like she " wanted [Ogunleye] to f*** her." (ECF No. 33, Pl.'s Resp. Ex. E, July 26, 2011 Deposition

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of Erika Smith, 19.) Ms. Smith testified that this was said in a joking manner and that Plaintiff did not indicate that she was upset with the comment. Id. at 21-22. Another co-worker, Erika Posey, testified that Plaintiff told her that Defendant Ogunleye pushed Plaintiff into the bathroom at work and tried to show Plaintiff his " private parts." (ECF No. 33, Ex. F, August 16, 2011 Deposition of Erika Posey, 24, 116-17.)

After receiving Plaintiff's complaints on December 9, 2008, Defendant Bamishe instituted a new sexual harassment policy, installed surveillance cameras, decreased Defendant Ogunleye's time in the office and required Plaintiff to report to Monica Miller in an effort to decrease the necessity of contact between Defendant Ogunleye and Plaintiff. (ECF No. 22-3, Def.'s Mot. App. Sept. 14, 2011 Deposition of Anthonia Bamishe, Pg ID 639-40; ECF No. 22, Def.'s Mot. App., August 16, 2011 Deposition of Erika Posey, Pg ID 199.)

On January 24, 2009, Plaintiff filed a Charge of Discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).[1] On February 11, 2009, Defendant Bamishe fired Plaintiff for insubordination, poor attitude, and for directing derogatory remarks toward Defendant Bamishe. Plaintiff ...


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