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Bolin v. General Motors, LLC

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

May 4, 2018

JOHN BOLIN, GARY DOMKE, and MICHAEL PROCASKEY, Plaintiff,
v.
GENERAL MOTORS, LLC, a foreign limited liability company, UAW-GM CENTER FOR HUMAN RESOURCES, a domestic nonprofit corporation, and INTERNATIONAL UNION, UNITED AUTOMOBILE, AEROSPACE AND AGRICULTURAL IMPLEMENT WORKERS OF AMERICA UAW, a domestic nonprofit corporation, Defendants.

          Elizabeth A. Stafford Magistrate Judge

          OPINION AND ORDER DENYING UAW-GM CENTER FOR HUMAN RESOURCES' MOTION TO DISMISS SECOND AMENDED COMPLAINT [48]

          LAURIE J. MICHELSON, U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE

         After beginning their General Motors' careers working in automotive plants, Plaintiffs were “Special Assigned” to more desirable positions at the UAW-GM Center for Human Resources (“CHR”). Over ten years later, Plaintiffs were reassigned back to their home plants or new ones. They say that this decision was made due to their age. Therefore, they filed this lawsuit pursuant to federal and state age discrimination law.

         After surviving a motion to dismiss by Defendant UAW, Plaintiffs were permitted to file a second amended complaint. (R. 44.) Now Defendant CHR has filed a motion to dismiss. (R. 48.)

         For the reasons set forth below, the Court will DENY the motion.

         I.

         The Court recites as fact the non-conclusory allegations of Plaintiffs' second amended complaint. See Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 677 (2009).

         GM and UAW created CHR as a joint program through their collective bargaining agreement. (R. 44, PID 627.) CHR is a nonprofit corporation jointly funded by GM and UAW that provides for the development, coordination, and administration of programs designed to provide education and training to GM employees. (R. 44, PID 625, 627, 629-30.)

         Plaintiffs John Bolin, Gary Domke, and Michael Procaskey began working for GM in the 1970s. (R. 44, PID 626.) In the 1990s, they were all assigned to the CHR by the UAW Vice President. (R. 44, PID 626, 633.)

         UAW, CHR, and GM jointly controlled the work and working conditions of Plaintiffs after they were assigned to CHR. (R. 44, PID 632.) UAW or CHR provided the assigned employees instruction, supervision, evaluation, and assignments. (R. 44, PID 633-34.)

         In September 2014, Cindy Estrada, the UAW Vice President, became a member of CHR's Executive Committee. (R. 44, PID 630.) This role entitled her to exercise the power and authority of the CHR Board of Trustees between Board meetings. (Id.) Estrada in her role as UAW VP or Executive Committee Member of the CHR (or both) was able to make personnel decisions regarding assignments to CHR. (R. 44, PID 634.)

         In February 2015, Estrada made the decision to end Plaintiffs' assignments to CHR. (R. 44, PID 636.) She did so “in her role as the [UAW VP] alone.” (Id.) It was her administrative assistants, however, who actually broke the news to Plaintiffs. (R. 44, PID 635.) Plaintiffs were informed that their special assignments to CHR were ending on March 1, 2015, after which they were to return to their home plant or retire. (Id.) When Plaintiffs returned to their home plants, their pay decreased as much as 50% and their hours and working conditions were negatively affected. (Id.)

         Since April 1, 2015, at least five of the vacated positions at CHR were filled with younger, and less-experienced, individuals. (R. 44, PID 638.)

         In December 2015, each of the Plaintiffs prepared and submitted an Equal Employment Commission Intake Questionnaire with their complaint. (R. 44, PID 638-39.) They allege that their special assignments to CHR were terminated because of their age, in violation of the Age Discrimination and Employment Act ...


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