United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
OPINION AND ORDER DENYING DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR
PARTIAL DISMISSAL CONSTRUED AS A MOTION FOR PARTIAL SUMMARY
GERSHWIN A. DRAIN U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE
before the Court is Defendant Concentrix Corporation's
Motion for Partial Summary Judgment, filed on June 26, 2019.
Defendant's filing was originally brought pursuant to
Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. In
Defendant's Motion for Partial Dismissal, Defendant
argued that Plaintiff's Title VII and ADA claims are
barred because Plaintiff failed to file a timely charge of
discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity
response to Defendant's Motion for Partial Dismissal,
Plaintiff submitted an affidavit along with argument
asserting that she began the process for filing a charge
within 300 days of her termination, continued to participate
in the EEOC process and then executed a charge. As such,
Plaintiff maintained that she had exhausted her
administrative remedies contrary to Defendant's argument.
Because Plaintiff's affidavit was a matter outside of the
pleadings but had direct bearing on the exhaustion of
administrative remedies issue, the Court determined that it
was appropriate to convert Defendant's Motion for Partial
Dismissal into a Motion for Summary Judgment pursuant to Rule
12(d) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. ECF No. 8,
PageID.122. The Court also provided the parties with an
opportunity to engage in discovery related to the exhaustion
of administrative remedies issue. Id.
parties have submitted supplemental briefing (ECF Nos. 10-11,
13). A hearing on this matter was held on December 10, 2019.
For the reasons that follow, the Court will deny
Defendant's Motion for Partial Summary Judgment.
began working for Defendant as a customer service
representative in August of 2016. In early 2016, Plaintiff
became pregnant. Plaintiff gave birth to a son in October of
2016. After the birth of her son, Plaintiff developed
post-partum depression. Plaintiff returned to work in
February of 2017.
of 2017, Plaintiff's post-partum depression had escalated
to the point where she had thoughts of harming herself.
Plaintiff sent an email to her supervisor, Dan Keehlisen, and
a human resources representative, Lynn Dolson, describing her
post-partum depression, including her suicidal thoughts.
Plaintiff advised Keehlisen and Dolson that her post-partum
depression made her subject to tardiness. Keehlisen and
Dolson urged Plaintiff to get help, and to apply for
intermittent leave under the FMLA to cover instances of
tardiness, as well as therapy appointments. Plaintiff applied
and was approved for intermittent FMLA leave.
the time that Plaintiff was approved for intermittent FMLA
leave, she applied for a promotion. Plaintiff's promotion
was denied by her supervisor, Christina Tipton, who told her
that “when you start to feel better and back to your
old self we can look into promoting you.”
October 20, 2017, Defendant terminated Plaintiff. Keehlisen
advised Plaintiff that the termination was due to her
tardiness and that it did not matter that she was taking
intermittent FMLA leave.
went to the EEOC to file a charge of discrimination against
Defendant on July 26, 2018. ECF No. 11-4, PageID.211. An EEOC
agent advised Plaintiff that the procedure to initiate a
charge was to submit an EEOC Inquiry Questionnaire.
Id. Plaintiff filled out the form indicating that:
I was fired from my job due to factors stemming from
post-partum depression. My FMLA was approved due to my
post-partum depression and the employer failed to accommodate
I was told that my attendance was the reason that I was being
ECF No. 10-2, PageID.154. She also indicated on the form that
she was represented by counsel. Id. at PageID.155.
The EEOC Inquiry Questionnaire form states on each page in
capital letters: THIS QUESTIONNAIRE IS NOT A CHARGE OF
DISCRIMINATION. Id. at PageID.152.
August 2, 2018, EEOC investigator Anthony Warren sent
Plaintiff an email confirming receipt of the Inquiry
Questionnaire. ECF No. 10-3, PageID.159. In his email, Warren
indicated that he would like to discuss the matter with her.
Id. He warned her that she should contact him
“as soon as possible” because the “EEOC has
a statute of limitations of 300 days (10 months) from the
last date of ...