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Flowers v. FLLAC Educational Collaborative

United States District Court, D. Massachusetts

February 5, 2018

MARY FLOWERS, Plaintiff,
v.
FLLAC EDUCATIONAL COLLABORATIVE, et al. Defendants.

          ORDER

          DAVID H. HENNESSY, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         This matter comes before the Court on Plaintiff Mary Flowers' motion for reconsideration (Docket #22). Defendants have filed an opposition to the motion. (Docket #24). This matter is now ripe for adjudication. For the reasons that follow, the motion for reconsideration (Docket #22) is DENIED.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Flowers is a current employee of FLLAC, a nonprofit corporation that develops and operates educational programs to serve a wide range of students. (Docket #10-1 at 2; Docket #10-2 at 3). One of the educational programs operated by FLLAC is the Caldwell Alternative High School/Middle School (the “Caldwell Alternative School”). (Docket #10-2 at 4). The Caldwell Alternative School provides educational services to approximately forty middle to high school students with emotional/behavioral concerns, limited academic success, and/or specific learning disabilities. (Id.). Flowers was hired by FLLAC in 1997 as a paraprofessional at the Caldwell Alternative School. (Docket #10-1 at 2).

         On December 3, 2012, Flowers filed a Charge of Discrimination with the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (“MCAD”) alleging a racially hostile work environment, and retaliation. (Id. at 2-3). The MCAD Charge was jointly filed with the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (the “EEOC”). (Id. at 4-5).

         On March 4, 2016, the MCAD made a “Lack of Probable Cause Finding.” (Docket #10-3). Flowers appealed the decision with the MCAD. (Docket #10-4). Following a hearing, the lack of probable cause finding was affirmed on July 22, 2016. (Id.). On February 24, 2017, the EEOC adopted the findings of the MCAD, dismissed the claims, and issued a right-to-sue letter. (Docket #10-5).

         On April 13, 2017, Flowers filed the instant action. (Docket #1). In addition to suing FLACC, Flowers also sued co-workers as individual defendants. (Id.). In the complaint, Flower asserts the following “Statement of Claim:”

Racial Harassment, the mistreatment of my complaints along with a fals[l]ey written warning involving trickery and neglect. Also learning 3 months later of a violent write-up and police report filed against me.

(Docket #1 at 4 (emphasis in original)).

         On November 28, 2017, this court granted the Defendants' motions to dismiss. (Docket #20). The court determined that Flowers' claims pursuant to Massachusetts General Laws chapter 151B were time-barred and that Flowers had failed to state a claim under Title VII for either a racially hostile work environment or retaliation. (Id.). The court entered judgment for the Defendants the following day. (Docket #21).

         Flowers filed the instant motion on December 28, 2017. (Docket #22). Defendants filed their opposition to the motion on January 17, 2018. (Docket #24).

         II. STANDARD

         Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 59(e), a party may file a motion to alter or amend a judgment; however, a party cannot use such a motion as a vehicle “to undo its own procedural failures” or “to advance arguments that could and should have been presented to the district court prior to judgment.” United States v. Allen, 573 F.3d 42, 53 (1st Cir. 2009) (quoting Iverson v. City of Boston, 452 F.3d 94, 104 (1st Cir. 2006)).

Instead, motions for reconsideration are appropriate only in a limited number of circumstances: if the moving party presents newly discovered evidence, if there has been an intervening change in the law, or if the movant can demonstrate that the original ...

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