United States District Court, D. Massachusetts
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER ON DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR
Dennis Saylor IV United States District Judge.
action arises out of an employment dispute between plaintiff
and her former employer, Security Industry Specialists, Inc.
Plaintiff's only remaining claim seeks the expungement of
allegedly false information from her personnel record
pursuant to the Massachusetts Personnel Records Law, Mass.
Gen. Laws ch. 149, § 52C. Defendant Security Industry
Specialists, Inc. has moved for summary judgment on the
ground that it has already expunged the information at issue
from plaintiff's records, thereby granting plaintiff all
of the relief to which she is entitled under the statute.
Because it appears undisputed that defendant has in fact
expunged the information, defendant's motion for summary
judgment will be granted.
following facts are either undisputed or stated in the light
most favorable to the plaintiff as the non-moving party.
Janice Stevenson was employed by Security Industry
Specialists, Inc. (“SIS”) to provide security
services to its client, Amazon.com, Inc. (Venturini Aff.
¶ 2, 4 & Ex. A). On September 30, 2015, her
supervisor issued an Employee Counseling Form-essentially, a
disciplinary report-to her. (Def. Ex. A). According to the
form, the reasons stated for the counseling were
“refusal to perform work duties” and
took issue with the form, contending that it contained false
information. (Venturini Aff. ¶ 5; Compl. ¶ 27). On
October 5, 2015, she filed this pro se action
alleging, among other things, a violation of Massachusetts
Personnel Records Law, Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 149, § 52C.
(Compl. ¶¶ 27-33). As relevant here, she sought
relief in the form of the removal of the September 30, 2015
counseling form from her personnel record. (Id. at
¶ R-2). On March 17, 2016, the Director of Human
Resources at SIS, Jeffrey Venturini, removed the form at
issue from Stevenson's personnel record. (Venturini Aff.
¶ 6). Stevenson's personnel record no longer
includes any reference to the September 30, 2015 counseling
form. (Id. at ¶ 7).
January 20, 2017, defendant moved for summary judgment on the
only remaining claim. For the reasons stated below, that
motion will be granted.
role of summary judgment is to “pierce the pleadings
and to assess the proof in order to see whether there is a
genuine need for trial.” Mesnick v. General Elec.
Co., 950 F.2d 816, 822 (1st Cir. 1991) (quoting
Garside v. Osco Drug, Inc., 895 F.2d 46, 50 (1st
Cir.1990)). Summary judgment is appropriate when the moving
party shows that “there is no genuine dispute as to any
material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a
matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). A genuine issue is
“one that must be decided at trial because the
evidence, viewed in the light most flattering to the
nonmovant . . . would permit a rational fact finder to
resolve the issue in favor of either party.”
Medina-Munoz v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., 896 F.2d
5, 8 (1st Cir. 1990) (citation omitted). In evaluating a
summary judgment motion, the court indulges all reasonable
inferences in favor of the nonmoving party. See
O'Connor v. Steeves, 994 F.2d 905, 907 (1st Cir.
1993). When “a properly supported motion for summary
judgment is made, the adverse party must set forth specific
facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial.”
Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 250
(1986) (quotations omitted). The non-moving party may not
simply “rest upon mere allegation or denials of his
pleading, ” but instead must “present affirmative
evidence.” Id. at 256-57.
Massachusetts Personnel Records Law provides employees with
the right to review their personnel record. Mass. Gen. Laws
ch. 149, § 52C. It also provides that “[i]f an
employer places in a personnel record any information which
such employer knew or should have known to be false, then the
employer shall have the remedy through the collective
bargaining agreement, other personnel procedures or judicial
process to have such information expunged.”
Id. Having the false information corrected or
expunged is the only remedy available under the statute.
See Kessler v. Cambridge Health Alliance, 62
Mass.App.Ct. 589, 597 (2004).
appears undisputed that SIS removed the counseling form at
issue on March 17, 2016. (Venturini Aff. ¶ 6). As a
result, there is no genuine dispute as to a material fact,
and defendant is entitled to judgment as a matter of