United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT SANFORD LINDEN'S MOTION
FOR PARTIAL DISMISSAL[#10] AND CANCELING THE HEARING AND
SCHEDULING CONFERENCE SCHEDULED FOR JULY 17, 2017
GERSHWIN A. DRAIN United States District Judge.
February 2, 2017, Allison Pettinato (“Plaintiff”)
filed an amended complaint for damages against Professional
Parent Care (“PPC”), a Michigan company, Sanford
Linden (“Linden”), and Morris Huppert
(“Huppert”). Plaintiff asserts that all three
Defendants violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of
1964. Presently before the Court is Linden's Motion for
Partial Dismissal. This matter is fully briefed and a hearing
is scheduled for July 17, 2017. Upon review of the
parties' submissions, the Court concludes that oral
argument will not aid in the disposition of this matter.
Accordingly, the Court will cancel the hearing and resolve
the instant motion on the briefs. See E.D. Mich.
L.R. 7.1(f)(2). For the reasons that follow, the Court will
grant Linden's Motion for Partial Dismissal.
October 14, 2015, Plaintiff began her employment as a Direct
Service Provider (“caregiver, ”) for Defendant
PPC, a home health care provider. Pl.'s Compl. Pg. ID 41.
A caregiver's duty is to provide personal care to
PPC's clients and assist them through daily living
activities. Id.at Pg ID 40. Defendant Linden is the
owner/CEO of PPC.
November 9, 2015, Linden assigned Plaintiff to the home of
Defendant Huppert, an elderly man. Id. at Pg ID 41.
Neither Linden nor anyone at PPC informed Plaintiff that
Huppert has a history of sexual harassment towards his
caregiver. Id. at Pg ID 56. Almost immediately upon
the start of her service at the Huppert home, Huppert
repeatedly kissed and hugged the Plaintiff. Id. at
Pg ID 41-42. Huppert also grabbed the Plaintiff's breasts
and buttocks. Id. Huppert continued these actions
despite clear objections by the Plaintiff. Id. at Pg
ID 43. On November 19, 2015, Plaintiff reported Huppert's
conduct to her PPC supervisor. Id. The supervisor
relayed the report to Linden. Id.
Plaintiff's assignment at Huppert's home was not
changed. Id. at Pg ID 44. During her shift at
Huppert's home on November 28, 2015, Huppert informed the
Plaintiff that he has a personal relationship with Linden and
that he could have her fired if he wanted. Id. On or
about December 1, 2015, Huppert offered the Plaintiff money
for sexual favors. Id. at Pg ID 46. He then told her
that he made similar arrangements with his previous
caregivers. Id. The following day, Plaintiff told
PPC's manager that she would not be returning to
Huppert's home and that she wanted to meet with Linden to
discuss the inappropriate conduct she had endured working for
PPC in the Huppert home. Id. at Pg ID 48.
thereafter contacted Plaintiff by phone to discuss why she
did not want to go back to the Huppert home. Id.
When Plaintiff informed Linden began to explain why she did
not want to return to the Huppert home, Linden interrupted
her and said, “I assume this is about the inappropriate
touching.” Id. at Pg ID 48-49. Linden
explained “that there were a few complaints”
about Huppert's conduct from other former PPC employees
from over “one-half years” ago. Id. at
Pg ID 49.
that conversation, Plaintiff met with Linden to discuss in
detail the harassment she was enduring at the Huppert home.
Id. After Plaintiff was finished, Linden assured her
that she would not be losing her job; he would investigate
the situation and would report his findings to her; and that
he would transfer her to another PPC facility (Pine Ridge)
where she would retain her fulltime hours. Id.
Linden also told Plaintiff that she was being considered for
a promotion to a managerial position with PPC. Id.
at Pg ID 50.
days after their meeting however, Linden informed the
Plaintiff that she was not being considered as a candidate
for the managerial position. Id. Additionally
Plaintiff's full-time schedule was reduced to nine hours
per week. Id. at Pg ID 54. Plaintiff was also
removed from a client's home without an explanation.
Id. at Pg ID 53. Plaintiff tried to reach Linden
regarding these issues, but Linden never returned her calls.
Id. at Pg ID 54-55.
ultimately experienced an anxiety attack as a result of these
circumstances. Id. at Pg ID 53. She was hospitalized
and treated for emotional distress. Id.
Plaintiff's hospitalization resulted in her involuntary
and/or constructive discharge from her employment with PPC.
Id. at Pg ID 55. Huppert remained a client of PPC
and sexually assaulted his next caregiver who was assigned by
Linden. Id. at Pg ID 56-57.
filed a discrimination charge with the EEOC, which provided
her with a right to sue letter. Id. at Pg ID 40.
Plaintiff then timely filed the instant civil rights lawsuit
alleging: Count I (sexual harassment and/or discrimination or
retaliation in violation of Title VII); Count II (unlawful
retaliation for engaging in protected activity under Title
VII); Count III (violation of Title VII - hostile work
environment); and Count IV (violation of the Michigan
Elliot-Larson Civil Rights Act). Defendant Linden moves for
the dismissal of Count I, II, and III of Plaintiff's
complaint. Defendant Linden argues that there is no
individual liability under Title VII, therefore Counts I-III
fail to state a claim upon which relief may be granted.
Def.'s Mot. for Dismissal Pg ID 125.
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