United States District Court, D. Massachusetts
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER ON PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO
AMEND AND DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY
DENNIS SAYLOR IV UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
an action for wrongful termination. Plaintiff Mary Takki was
employed as a pharmacist for 40 years by defendant Beth
Israel Deaconess Hospital-Plymouth. On June 21, 2016, Takki
cut the hair of a coworker, apparently without her consent.
Beth Israel's human resources department then
investigated the incident, culminating in Takki's
resignation on July 12, 2016.
brought suit against Beth Israel in state court, alleging
state-law claims for breach of contract and breach of the
implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing. Defendant
removed the action to this Court on the basis that the claims
were preempted by the Labor Management Relations Act
(“LMRA”), 29 U.S.C. § 185(a).
Israel has moved for summary judgment, and Takki has moved to
amend the complaint to assert a claim under the LMRA. For the
following reasons, plaintiff's motion to amend will be
granted, and defendant's motion for summary judgment will
be denied as moot.
following facts are as set forth in the record and appear to
be undisputed. The Court will draw heavily from factual
findings made by the Massachusetts Department of Unemployment
Assistance, attached as plaintiff's Exhibit A.
Takki worked as a pharmacist for Beth Israel from June 26,
1976, to July 12, 2016. (Compl. ¶ 1). At all relevant
times, she was represented by the 1199 SEIU United Healthcare
Workers East union, and the terms and conditions of her
employment were governed by a collective bargaining
agreement. (Melvin Aff. ¶¶ 3-4).
21, 2016, one of Takki's coworkers arrived to work with
“windblown” hair. (Pl. Ex. A ¶ 5). Takki
told her coworker, whom she had worked with for approximately
30 years, that “I can fix your hair for you.”
(Id. ¶¶ 5-6). The coworker responded,
“sure, go ahead.” (Id. ¶ 6). Takki
then cut the coworker's hair with a pair of scissors.
worked together without incident for the following two days.
(Id. ¶¶ 10-11). However, news of the
haircut quickly spread. On June 23, 2016, the Director of
Pharmacy and a human resources manager questioned the
coworker. (Id. ¶ 13). The coworker stated that
she had not intended that Takki cut her hair, and was
surprised when she did so. (Id.).
was on vacation from June 24 to July 11, 2016. (Id.
¶ 14). After she returned, she met with the Director of
Pharmacy, the human resources manager, and a union
representative. (Id. ¶ 15). She admitted to
cutting the coworker's hair, but stated that she had
misunderstood her intentions. (Id.). The following
day, on July 12, 2016, the human resources manager informed
Takki that her employment would be terminated for cause
because she had violated the hospital's workplace
violence policy. (Id. ¶ 16). The parties
agreed, however, that in lieu of termination, Takki would
sign a resignation agreement, agreeing to “waive any
rights either [she] or the union may have under the
collective bargaining agreement . . . to file a grievance or
arbitration in connection with the [haircut incident and
separation of employment].” (Id. ¶ 17;
Def. Ex. E).
filed suit against Beth Israel in Plymouth Superior Court on
December 19, 2017. The complaint asserted state-law claims
for breach of contract and breach of the implied covenant of
good faith and fair dealing. Beth Israel timely removed the
action to this Court on January 18, 2018, alleging that both
claims were preempted by the LMRA.
Israel has moved to dismiss the complaint for failure to
state a claim or, in the alternative, for summary judgment.
In her opposition, Takki also moved to amend the complaint to
add a claim under the LMRA. Because Beth Israel submitted
documents outside the pleadings, on April 9, 2018, the Court
entered an order converting the motion to dismiss into a
motion for summary judgment, and invited the parties ...