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Citation. 2002 WL 1759828
Alexander, Deon Page, George Hollins, and Tina Williams (Plaintiffs), African-American and Latino employees, sued the Defendant, their employer Precoat Metals (Defendant), alleging race and national origin discrimination and retaliation in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (the Act).
Synopsis of Rule of Law. Discovery that is narrowly tailored to the allegations of a complaint is discoverable, even if it involves the personnel files of employees other than the parties to the suit.
Facts. Plaintiffs, employees in Defendant’s Chicago plant, filed suit against Defendant alleging that they had been exposed to a hostile working environment, including being subjected to racially insulting and derogatory comments by Defendant’s management- level employees. Plaintiffs filed a motion to compel discovery regarding discrimination complaints made against Defendant by non-clerical/non-administrative employees who worked at the same plant as Plaintiffs and personnel and disciplinary files of non- clerical/non-administrative employees who worked at the Chicago plant. Defendants oppose the motion, arguing that the discovery requests were overbroad in that they improperly sought information regarding all allegedly discriminatory actions by Defendant.
Issue. Whether a plaintiff may seek discovery of a former employer’s personnel files regarding employees other than the plaintiffs.