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Colee Asia v. Res-Care Inc.

United States District Court, D. Massachusetts

November 14, 2014

COLEE ASIA, Plaintiff,
v.
RES-CARE INC. and ALUTIIQ EDUCATION & TRAINING, LLC., Defendants

For Colee Asia, Plaintiff: Dan Vernon Bair, II, LEAD ATTORNEY, Brodeur-McGan, P.C., Springfield, MA; Lisa S. Lippiello, Burrows, Weiss, Mintz & Lippiello LLP, Northampton, MA.

For Res-Care, Inc, Defendant: J. Kent Wicker, LEAD ATTORNEY, Dressman Benzinger LaVelle psc, Louisville, KY; Leslie Bilby, Nicole S. Elver, LEAD ATTORNEYS, PRO HAC VICES, Dressman Benzinger LaVelle psc, Louisville, KY; Matthew A. Porter, Jackson Lewis PC, Boston, MA.

For Alutiiq Education & Training, LLC, Defendant: Matthew A. Porter, LEAD ATTORNEY, Matthew D. Freeman, Jackson Lewis PC, Boston, MA.

Page 261

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER REGARDING DEFENDANTS' MOTIONS FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

MARK G. MASTROIANNI, United States District Judge.

(Dkt. Nos. 35 and 40)

I. Introduction

Colee Asia (" Plaintiff" ) filed a one-count complaint alleging that Defendants, Res-Care Inc. (" ResCare" ) and Alutiiq Education & Training, LLC (" Alutiiq" ), violated Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 119, § 51A[1] (" ch.

Page 262

119" ) by retaliating against her after she reported a student's allegations of physical abuse to the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families (" DCF" ), and subsequently to the Chicopee Police Department (" Chicopee Police" ). Defendants deny all material allegations and have moved for summary judgment.[2]

For the reasons set forth below, the court denies both Defendants' motions for summary judgment in their entirety.

II. Facts

A. Relationship between ResCare and Alutiiq

ResCare is a company that provides unemployed individuals with developmental and job-training services. (Dkt. No. 41, ResCare's Statement of Facts (" SOF" ) ¶ 1-4.) Alutiiq contracts with the U.S. Department of Labor (" DOL" ) to perform contracts for Job Corps, which is a free education and career technical training program, administered by the U.S. Department of Labor for young people between the ages of sixteen and twenty-four. (Dkt. No. 41, ResCare's SOF 41 ¶ 3-6.) Alutiiq subcontracts with ResCare to operate a number of Job Corps centers, including the Westover Job Corps Center (" Westover" ) in Chicopee, Massachusetts. (Dkt. No. 38, Affidavit of Kim Addair ¶ 5; Dkt. No. 48-2, Westover Contract.)

ResCare's and Alutiiq's subcontracting agreement is memorialized in a contract (" Contract" ), which was drafted by Alutiiq and signed by representatives of both parties.[3] (Dkt. No. 48-2, Westover Contract.) In this document, Alutiiq states that it will designate a " Director of the Center" (" Director" ), which it defines as " the individual duly appointed by Alutiiq with responsibility and authority for planning, budgeting, directing, and operating the entire program at [Westover]." (Dkt. No. 48-2, Westover Contract 4.[4] Pursuant to this contract, the Director's additional responsibilities include: establishing all " [c]enter disciplinary procedures" (Dkt. No. 48-2, Westover Contract 7); approving all staff work schedules (Dkt. No. 48-2, Westover Contract 8-9); approving all requests for overtime (Dkt. No. 48-3, Overtime Approval form (" all overtime...must be approved in advance by the center director" )); and approving all vacation requests. (Dkt. No. 48-4, Employee Leave Request.)

The Contract further holds all academic instructors responsible for enforcing " [a]ll safety rules and regulations of Alutiiq." (Dkt. No. 48-2, Westover Contract 8.) Additionally, though the contract purports to instill direct employee supervisory responsibility in ResCare, Alutiiq expressly reserves the right to " approve the hire and continued employment of [ResCare's] Supervisor level employees." (Dkt. No. 48-2, Westover Contract 6.)

B. Plaintiff's Report

In November of 2011, Plaintiff was hired to work as an English ...


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