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Rafferty v. Keypoint Government Solutions, Inc.

United States District Court, D. Idaho

June 19, 2018

CONSTANCE R. RAFFERTY, Plaintiff,
v.
KEYPOINT GOVERNMENT SOLUTIONS, INC., and JOINT TECHNICAL SERVICES, LLC, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER

          David C. Nye U.S. District Court Judge.

         I. INTRODUCTION

         This matter comes before the Court on two motions: Plaintiff Constance Rafferty's Motion to Reopen Discovery and Compel Compliance with Discovery Obligations (Dkt. 48) and Defendant KeyPoint Government Solution's (“KeyPoint”) Motion for Protective Order (Dkt. 47). The Court held oral argument on these two Motions on May 23, 2018. For the reasons outlined below, the Court finds good cause to GRANT the Motion to Reopen Discovery and DENY the Motion for Protective Order.

         II. BACKGROUND

         A. Facts Relevant to Complaint

         Defendant Joint Technical Services, LLC (“JTS”) hired Rafferty as a Program Manager in March 2010. JTS is a New Mexico company, but it does a substantial amount of business in Idaho, including employing individuals in and around Idaho Falls, Idaho, to process security clearance applications for the U.S. Department of Energy Idaho (“DOE-ID”) related to the Idaho National Laboratory (“INL”). JTS is a direct subcontractor with DOE-ID's Personnel Security Office (“PERSEC”) that is employed to process security clearance background checks for the INL. JTS works in the same office suite as DOE-ID and interacts with PERSEC employees frequently. As a Program Manager for JTS, Rafferty herself was required to pass a security clearance periodically. She successfully passed this review while working for JTS for the last time on June 30, 2014.

         Rafferty asserts a variety of grievances about her employment at JTS. She first claims she was cited for minor procedural security issues and other trivial concerns initiated by a DOE-ID employee whom she had investigated after he was accused of making racial comments. Second, she asserts JTS employees did not receive her “disabilities” very well. Specifically, she asserts she was suffering from insulin resistance that caused additional health issues, including sleep deprivation. In addition, she suffered from some mental health problems. Finally, Rafferty alleges she was “physically assaulted” by an DOE-ID employee, Edith Ruiz, on July 3, 2014, after Rafferty took down signs Ruiz placed in the women's restroom that Rafferty thought were offensive to people with disabilities. Rafferty reported the incident. Ruiz had also made allegations about Rafferty. As a result of this incident, Rafferty's supervisor, Patrick Lashinski, gave Rafferty the option of resigning or being terminated. Rafferty chose to resign from JTS on July 10, 2014.

         After she resigned, Rafferty began searching for new employment in the same field. On September 26, 2014, KeyPoint offered Rafferty a position as an Investigator 2. Like JTS, KeyPoint also employs individuals in and around Idaho Falls, Idaho, to conduct security clearance background checks, often for INL employees. Rafferty accepted the position immediately. Like with her position at JTS, Rafferty also needed to pass a background check for this position with KeyPoint. To pass the background check, Rafferty was required to complete and submit the electronic version of an SF86 form, also known as an Electronic Questionnaires for Investigations Processing or “e-QIP.” Plaintiff submitted her e-QIP directly to the Office of Personnel Management (“OPM”) on October 20, 2014. She then began training on December 1, 2014. As part of her training, Rafferty was required to review files at DOE-ID PERSEC. While visiting DOE-ID PERSEC, some of Rafferty's former co-workers discovered Rafferty was working at KeyPoint. Rafferty alleges these former co-workers acted strange during the visit.

         On December 18 or 19, 2014, OPM contacted KeyPoint to inform it that Rafferty's security clearance had been suspended. Rafferty could not continue her training with KeyPoint without this security clearance. KeyPoint then terminated Rafferty. Rafferty believes JTS, or DOE-ID at the urging of JTS, contacted KeyPoint to provide derogatory information about her, including information about her alleged disabilities, which she had not told KeyPoint about. Rafferty claims KeyPoint decided to terminate her because of those communications and because of KeyPoint's belief that she suffered from a disability, and that it used the fact that OPM suspended her clearance as an excuse to terminate her. During discovery, Rafferty obtained a letter from OPM stating that the agency had “suspended Ms. Rafferty's access, as part of the adjudicative process, pending the outcome of her scheduled RSI[1] (case #1500421324).” Dkt. 51-8, at 2. Rafferty alleges that, after OPM received notification that KeyPoint had terminated her, OPM discontinued “all work on the RSI.” Id. Based on this evidence, Rafferty asserts OPM suspended her access as a formality rather than because she had any real problems that would prevent her from passing a background check and that, if KeyPoint had not terminated her, OPM would have continued working on her RSI and ultimately reinstated her access. Accordingly, Rafferty argues that KeyPoint's reasons for terminating her are illegitimate.

         After KeyPoint terminated her, Rafferty filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”). KeyPoint undertook an internal investigation in response to the complaint. Michael Hegedus, KeyPoint's Corporate Security Director, conducted the investigation. At the end of his investigation, he produced a one-page report, which KeyPoint's counsel used in responding to the EEOC complaint. KeyPoint claims attorney-client privilege protects this report.

         In early 2016, Rafferty received right to sue letters. Rafferty then filed this case against JTS and KeyPoint. She asserts the following claims against JTS: (1) retaliation in violation of federal law; (2) retaliation in violation of the Idaho Human Rights Act (“IHRA”); (3) intentional interference with prospective economic advantage; (4) intentional infliction of emotional distress; and (5) negligent infliction of emotional distress. She also asserts the following claims against KeyPoint: (6) discrimination based on perceived disability in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments (“ADAA”); (7) discrimination based on perceived disability in violation of the IHRA; (8 disability discrimination in violation of the ADAA; and (9) disability discrimination in violation of the IHRA.

         B. Facts Relevant to Pending Motions

         The parties originally stipulated to a discovery plan under which fact discovery would end July 28, 2017. However, the parties subsequently stipulated to extending this deadline several times. Fact discovery ended near the end of November 2017. Rafferty now asks the Court to reopen discovery for 60 days and to compel Defendants to produc certain discovery. Specifically, Rafferty requests the following:

1. That Angela Deabler's deposition be reopened and KeyPoint directed to adequately prepare her for Rule 30(b)(6) topics;
2. That KeyPoint be ordered to provide the information from or contained within the KIPPTS database regarding Plaintiff;
3. That KeyPoint be ordered to identify who had discussions with DOE-ID PERSEC as identified in the ...

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