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Davis v. Chenal Heights Nursing and Rehab.

United States District Court, E.D. Arkansas, Western Division

September 24, 2014

ROSILAND DAVIS, Plaintiff,
v.
CHENAL HEIGHTS NURSING and REHAB, ET AL., Defendants.

FINDINGS OF FACT AND CONCLUSIONS OF LAW

SUSAN WEBBER WRIGHT, District Judge

Plaintiff Rosiland Davis ("Davis") brought this gender and age discrimination action against two former employers, Chenal Heights Healthcare and Rehab LLC ("Chenal") and Woodland Hills Nursing and Rehab ("Woodland"), [1] and two former supervisors, Sam Adams ("Adams") and Victoria Ray ("Ray"), [2] pursuant to Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, as amended by the Civil Rights Act of 1991, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and the Arkansas Civil Rights Act ("ACRA"). The case proceeded to a bench trial on August 15, 2014. The Court now reaffirms and augments findings of fact and conclusions of law stated from the bench in accordance with Rule 52 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

I.

Davis is presently fifty-eight years old, and she worked at Chenal from May 19, 2011 through January 28, 2012. She began her employment in housekeeping, but after approximately two months, Chenal transferred her to the dietary department, where Adams served as her supervisor. During Davis's employment, Chenal utilized an employee disciplinary system that called for progressively serious levels of discipline, ranging from verbal counseling to termination. Pursuant to that progressive system, Davis's supervisors took the following actions:

• On August 12, 2011, Davis's supervisor, last name Williams, verbally counseled her for failing to clock out on time.
• On September 27, 2011, Davis's supervisor, Carol Jackson, gave her a written warning for failing to use a food heating tray when taking food to residents' rooms.
• On December 11, 2011, Adams gave Davis a written warning for refusing to work during her assigned shift.
• On January 14, 2012, Adams issued Davis a written warning after she engaged in a loud, angry altercation with a coworker in the foyer of the nursing home. Adams counseled Davis and warned that her employment would be terminated if she engaged in similar misconduct in future.
• Shortly after Adams counseled Davis regarding the January 14, 2012 altercation, he documented that Davis was "offensive and inappropriate" with a co-worker and refused the coworker's request for work-related assistance. Adams recommended that Davis be terminated, and his recommendation was adopted by Chenal's administrator.

On February 2, 2012, Woodland hired Davis as a cook. In March 2012, Davis received a verbal disciplinary warning and two written disciplinary warnings from her new employer, and on April 11, 2012, Woodland temporarily suspended Davis's employment.

On April 11, 2012, Davis filed separate discrimination charges with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") against Chenal and Woodland. She charged that Chenal terminated her employment based on her age and gender, and her charge against Woodland stated: "I believe I have been disciplined because my current employer and prior employer are friends."

Davis commenced this lawsuit on July 12, 2012. She alleges that Chenal terminated her employment based on her age and gender, and Woodland took pre-termination disciplinary action against her, including employment suspension, based on her age and gender. Also on July 12, 2012, Davis filed a second EEOC charge against Woodland, charging that it discharged her on July 10, 2012 in retaliation for her April 11, 2012 EEOC charge.

On September 12, 2012, Davis entered a compromise agreement with Woodland, whereby she agreed not to institute a lawsuit against Woodland related to the relation claim she ...


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