United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
OPINION & ORDER DENYING DEFENDANTS' MOTION
FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT (Dkt. 26) AND DENYING PLAINTIFF'S
MOTION FOR LEAVE TO FILE SUR-REPLY (Dkt. 32)
A. GOLDSMITH UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court on a motion for summary judgment
filed by Defendants Michigan Department of Corrections
(“MDOC”) and the State of Michigan (Dkt. 26), and
Plaintiff Lou Ann Kasprzycki's motion for leave to file a
sur-reply in opposition to Defendants' motion (Dkt. 32).
Because oral argument will not aid the decisional process,
the motions will be decided based on the parties'
briefing. See E.D. Mich. LR 7.1(f)(2); Fed.R.Civ.P.
78(b). For the reasons that follow, both motions are denied.
Kasprzycki was employed by MDOC as a
Corrections Officer (“CO”) from September 14,
2003 until her termination on March 16, 2016. Defendants'
Statement of Material Facts (“DSMF”) ¶ 1
(Dkt. 26). She worked at the Women's Huron Valley
Facility (“WHV”). DSMF ¶ 2.
the only women's prison facility in Michigan. In 2000,
MDOC reached a settlement with the United States Department
of Justice following a lawsuit:
[The lawsuit] was over the fact that there were numerous
complaints by female offenders of sexual assault and sexual
abuse by male staff. It focused primarily on corrections
officers at the - at the female facilities within the -
within the State, which at that time I believe there were
three still facilities.
So the DOJ brought a lawsuit against the Department because
it didn't believe we were - the Department was doing
enough to protect the female offenders. Which resulted in a
settlement eventually. Which one of the conditions as part
of, to ensure protection of the female offenders, was to only
have female officers supervise female offenders in a period
or time where they could be in a state of undress.
8/23/2018 Patterson Dep., Ex. 2 to Pl. Resp., at 61 (Dkt.
29-3). In 2004, the Sixth Circuit upheld MDOC's
designation of 250 Correctional Officer and Residential Unit
Officer positions in female prisons as “female
only” against challenges that this violated Title VII.
Everson v. Mich. Dep't of Corrs., 391 F.3d 737
(6th Cir. 2004). In this context, the court determined that
being female was a bona fide occupational qualification
(“BFOQ”) permitted under Title VII.
about 2009 - when Michigan's three women-only facilities
were consolidated into only one, WHV - only staff who worked
in the housing units were required to be women. 8/23/2018
Patterson Dep. at 63. In 2009, the number of women-only
positions expanded to include non-housing unit positions,
such as food service officer, yard control officer, and
electronic monitor officer. Id. at 63, 99. This
caused staffing issues at WHV, as some positions could only
be staffed by women. Id. at 65.
at WHV were sometimes “mandated, ” or required to
work overtime following their regularly-scheduled shift.
Kasprzycki Dep., Ex. 1 to Pl. Resp., at 75 (Dkt. 29-2).
Kasprzycki estimated that she was manDated: WHV approximately
one to two times per week. Id. at 76. She testified
that this was “overwhelming, ” “[w]ondering
every day if you went to work if you're going to have to
spend another eight hours there or even an hour. It took
ahold [sic] of you mentally and physically[.]”
Id. at 88. Kasprzycki testified that she would
rarely see a male CO mandated. Id. at 79.
15 of the collective bargaining agreement between the MDOC
and the Michigan Corrections Organization discusses a
CO's eligibility to transfer. Security Unit Agreement,
Ex. H to Defs. Mot. (Dkt. 26-9). There are three types of
transfers: seniority-based, closer-to-home, and a one-for-one
or exchange. 8/23/2018 Patterson Dep. at 45-46. For a
“seniority-based transfer, ” an employee must
“[h]ave no record of disciplinary action or
unsatisfactory rating during the two years preceding the date
of the transfer request[.]” Security Unit Agreement at
96. A closer-to-home transfer is “hardship based,
” and allows an employee who resides more than forty
miles from his or her place of employment to transfer to a
facility that is within forty miles of his or her residence.
8/23/2018 Patterson Dep. at 46. A one-for-one transfer is an
informal process by which an individual looking to transfer
to a different facility finds another person at that facility
who wants to transfer to the individual's current
facility. Id. at 46-47.
2005, MDOC has had a “transfer freeze” in place
at WHV. WHV Transfer Freeze, Ex. K to Defs. Mot., at
PageID.423 (Dkt. 26-12). During a transfer freeze, an
individual's ability to transfer to another facility is
restricted, although one-for-one transfers could be allowed
if approved by the deputy director. 8/23/2018 Patterson Dep.
Report from October 12, 2011 found that MDOC's
“broad application of the BFOQ has a negative impact on
female officers' ability to transfer to other
correctional facilities.” EEOC Findings, Ex. 5 to Pl.
Resp., at 430 (Dkt. 29-6). The report stated that
“female officers should be allowed the same rights the
male officers are given when it comes to being transferred to
other Correctional Facilities. . . . As currently
implemented, the gender based policy disqualifies females
from positions without a clear analysis and consideration of
non-gender specific alternatives.” Id at 431.
employee is unable to transfer if he or she has a
disciplinary record. 8/23/2018 Patterson Dep. at 47. Formal
discipline stays on an employee's record for two years,
and then, provided there is no further discipline,
“falls off.” Id However, because
one-for-one transfers are discretionary, the warden would
review the discipline and then determine whether to approve
the transfer. Id at 49. Seniority-based and
close-to-home transfers are not permitted at all if an
employee has been disciplined within the last two years.
was disciplined several times throughout her employment:
• She was disciplined for a refusal to work mandatory
overtime on June 3, 2011. MDOC Disciplinary Records, Ex. A to
Defs. Mot., at MDOC 01058 (Dkt. 26-2). The reason for her
refusal was a bleeding nose.
• She also refused to work mandatory overtime on May 27,
2012. MDOC Disciplinary Records, Ex. B to Defs. Mot., at MDOC
01085 (Dkt. 26-3). Kasprzycki stated that she could not stay
due to daycare ...