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EEOC v. Simply Storage Mgmt., LLC

EEOC v. Simply Storage Mgmt., LLC

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Published by jhyman

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Published by: jhyman on May 25, 2010
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10/29/2012

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1UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURTSOUTHERN DISTRICT OF INDIANAINDIANAPOLIS DIVISIONEQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY )COMMISSION, ))Plaintiff, ))v. ) Case No. 1:09-cv-1223-WTL-DML)SIMPLY STORAGE MANAGEMENT, LLC and )O.B. MANAGEMENT SERVICES, INC. ))Defendants. )
Order on Discovery Issues Raised During April 21 Conference
The parties appeared by counsel for a telephone discovery conference on April 21, 2010,and presented two issues: (1) whether two of the claimants must produce the internet socialnetworking site (SNS) profiles
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and other communication from their Facebook andMySpace.com accounts, and (2) whether the EEOC must produce information about theclaimants’ prior employment since 2003, including the names and addresses of the employers,dates of employment, positions held, and reasons for separation. After directing the parties tosubmit any pertinent decisions they wish the court to consider, the court took the matters underadvisement.
Facts
On September 29, 2009, the EEOC filed a complaint on behalf of two named claimantsand similarly situated individuals who allege the defendant businesses (collectively referred to inthis Order as “Simply Storage”) are liable for sexual harassment by a supervisor. The EEOC
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The court interprets “profile” to mean any content – including postings, pictures, blogs,messages, personal information, lists of “friends” or causes joined – that the user has placed orcreated online by using her user account.
Case 1:09-cv-01223-WTL-DML Document 46 Filed 05/11/10 Page 1 of 13
 
2amended its complaint in November 2009 to sue different defendants, but the EEOC did notchange its substantive allegations or the named claimants.
See
Dkt. 7.On April 16, 2010, the EEOC requested a discovery conference because counsel for theparties disagree about the proper scope of discovery as it relates to the two issues identifiedabove. These disputes affect both pending written discovery requests and the scope of upcomingdepositions. The disputed requests for production of documents that seek SNS information are:
REQUEST NO. 1
: All photographs or videos posted byJoanie Zupan or anyone on her behalf on Facebook or MySpacefrom April 23, 2007 to the present.
REQUEST NO. 2
: Electronic copies of Joanie Zupan’scomplete profile on Facebook and MySpace (including all updates,changes, or modifications to Zupan’s profile) and all statusupdates, messages, wall comments, causes joined, groups joined,activity streams, blog entries, details, blurbs, comments, andapplications (including, but not limited to, “How well do you knowme” and the “Naughty Application”) for the period from April 23,2007 to the present. To the extent electronic copies are notavailable, please provide the documents in hard copy form.
REQUEST NO. 3
: All photographs or videos posted byTara Strahl or anyone on her behalf on Facebook or MySpace fromOctober 11, 2007 to November 26, 2008.
REQUEST NO. 4
: Electronic copies of Tara Strahl’scomplete profile on Facebook and MySpace (including all updates,changes, or modifications to Strahl’s profile) and all status updates,messages, wall comments, causes joined, groups joined, activitystreams, blog entries, details, blurbs, comments, and applications(including, but not limited to, “How well do you know me” and the“Naughty Application”) for the period from October 11, 2007 toNovember 26, 2008. To the extent electronic copies are notavailable, please provide these documents in hard copy form.Dkt. 38 Ex. 1.The disputed interrogatory that seeks information related to prior employment history is:
Case 1:09-cv-01223-WTL-DML Document 46 Filed 05/11/10 Page 2 of 13
 
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INTERROGATORY NO. 2
: For Martin, Burkett, and allsimilarly situated individuals, identify each employer sinceJanuary 1, 2003 to the present, including dates of employment,positions held, and reason for leaving.
 Id.
The EEOC objects to production of all SNS content (and to similar depositionquestioning) on the grounds that the requests are overbroad, not relevant, unduly burdensomebecause they improperly infringe on claimants’ privacy, and will harass and embarrass theclaimants.
See
Dkt. 33. Simply Storage claims that discovery of these matters is proper becausecertain EEOC supplemental discovery responses place the emotional health of particularclaimants at issue beyond that typically encountered with “garden variety emotional distressclaims.” Dkt. 43-1. Simply Storage’s Interrogatory No. 4 asked for details about the EEOC’sdamage calculation, and the EEOC responded in pertinent part:[I]t is known that Bunny Baker, Marilou Burkett, and Ellen Martinsustained “garden variety” and non ongoing emotional distress inassociation with the sexual harassment they endured, whichincludes emotional pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life,anxiety, fear, bitterness, humiliation, embarrassment andinconvenience. They do not claim ongoing emotional harm.Defendants’ sexually hostile workplace increased Tara Strahl’sanxiety for which she sought medical treatment. As a result of thesexual harassment she experienced, Joanalle Zupan becamedepressed and suffers from post traumatic stress disorder.
 Id.
Simply Storage’s Interrogatory No. 8 requested information about any medical orpsychological counseling or treatment the claimants had sought related to their employment withSimply Storage and the EEOC responded in pertinent part:
Case 1:09-cv-01223-WTL-DML Document 46 Filed 05/11/10 Page 3 of 13

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