United States District Court, D. Idaho
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER
C. Nye Chief U.S. District Court Judge
before the Court is Plaintiff Dorothy Astorga's Motion
for Protective Order. Dkt. 17. Having reviewed the record and
briefs, the Court finds that the facts and legal arguments
are adequately presented. Accordingly, in the interest of
avoiding further delay, and because the Court finds that the
decisional process would not be significantly aided by oral
argument, the Court will decide the Motion without oral
argument. Dist. Idaho Loc. Civ. R. 7.1(d)(2)(ii). For the
reasons set forth below, the Court finds good cause to DENY
filed her Complaint and Demand for Jury Trial on May 4, 2018,
alleging her former employer, Idahoan Foods
(“Idahoan”), violated the Americans with
Disabilities Act (“ADA”) and the Age
Discrimination in Employment Act (“ADEA”).
Specifically, Astorga alleges that she suffers from an
arthritic wrist condition and that she requested a reasonable
accommodation from Idahoan. Astorga claims Idahoan refused to
provide a reasonable accommodation, instead choosing to
terminate her employment on April 5, 2018. Idahoan disputes
that Astorga ever requested a reasonable accommodation or
that she informed anyone at Idahoan about having wrist pain
or arthritis. For its part, Idahoan maintains that it
terminated Astorga's employment because of her poor work
performance and other disciplinary issues.
her termination, Astorga was hired part-time as a housekeeper
by Le Ritz Hotel (“Le Ritz”). Ultimately, Astorga
signed up with a temp agency-BBSI-who in turn found her
employment with Northwest Cosmetic Labs (“Northwest
Cosmetics”)- her current employer.
of the discovery process, Idahoan notified Astorga that it
intended to subpoena both Le Ritz and Northwest Cosmetic to
ask for the following information: “Records in your
possession relating to Dorothy Astorga . . . including her
personnel file, employment history, job description, job
application, job restrictions, performance reviews and
evaluations, disciplinary actions, wage/salary adjustments,
physician's notes, and time off requests.” Dkt.
18-1, at 8-12.
notified Idahoan of her objection to the subpoenas. After an
unsuccessful informal mediation between the Court and
Counsel, Astorga filed the instant motion seeking a
protective order prohibiting Idahoan from serving the two
if no claim of privilege applies, a party can be compelled to
produce evidence regarding any matter “relevant to the
subject matter involved in the pending action” or
“reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of
admissible evidence.” See Fed.R.Civ.P.
26(b)(1). Under Federal Rule of Evidence 401,
“[e]vidence is relevant if: (a) it has any tendency to
make a fact more or less probable than it would be without
the evidence; and (b) the fact is of consequence in
determining the action.” “[P]re-trial discovery
is ordinarily ‘accorded a broad and liberal treatment,
'” because “wide access to relevant facts
serves the integrity and fairness of the judicial process by
promoting the search for the truth.” Shoen v.
Shoen, 5 F.3d 1289, 1292 (9th Cir. 1993) (quoting
Hickman v. Taylor, 329 U.S. 495, 507 (1947)).
“Under Rule 26, however, ‘[t]he court may, for
good cause, issue an order to protect a party or person from
annoyance, embarrassment, oppression, or undue burden or
expense.'” In re Roman Catholic Archbishop of
Portland in Oregon, 661 F.3d 417, 424 (9th Cir. 2011)
(quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(c)(1)). “The party opposing
disclosure has the burden of proving ‘good cause,'
which requires a showing ‘that specific prejudice or
harm will result' if the protective order is not
granted.” Id. (quoting Foltz v. State Farm
Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., 331 F.3d 1122, 1130 (9th Cir.
case, Astorga argues that Idahoan's subpoenas are
improper for two reasons: first, Astorga claims that the
information sought is irrelevant; and second, Astorga
contends that even if the information has some relevance in
this case, the potential harm that might come from these
subpoenas-namely that they could negatively interfere with
her employment-outweighs any value they otherwise bring. The
Court will address each argument in turn.
repeatedly notes that under the ADA she is not required to
tell her employers about her disability unless she needs an
accommodation. Because she is not required to tell her
employers anything, Astorga contends that Idahoan's
subpoenas are a ...