Home » Blog » Constructive Discharge » Court Declines to Order Production of Plaintiff’s Tax Returns in Race/Sex Hostile Work Environment Case

Court Declines to Order Production of Plaintiff’s Tax Returns in Race/Sex Hostile Work Environment Case

by mjpospis on April 14, 2017

in Constructive Discharge, Employment Discrimination, Employment Law, Hostile Work Environment, Sexual Harassment

In Black v. Buffalo Meat Serv., Inc., No. 15CV49S, 2017 WL 1196469 (W.D.N.Y. Mar. 31, 2017) – a race/sex hostile work environment and constructive discharge case – the court ruled on the parties’ respective discovery motions.

The facts, as summarized by the court:

Plaintiff claims that defendants created a hostile work environment on the basis of race and sex and had constructively discharged her. … [Plaintiff claims that male coworkers were paid more than she was and were allowed more breaks than she was; that her coworkers made sexual and racial comments; that the shop rejected African American applicants (although plaintiff is a Caucasian female); and a coworker allegedly made comments regarding her biracial children.

Defendants moved to compel the production of plaintiff’s joint tax returns; plaintiff argued that her production of W-2 statements was sufficient. The court agreed with plaintiff.

“Tax returns need not be produced unless: (1) it clearly appears that they are relevant to the subject matter of the action or to the issues raised thereunder; and (2) there is a compelling need for their disclosure because the information contained in the tax returns is not otherwise readily available.”

Applying the law, the court explained:

[P]laintiff’s earnings are relevant to her lost wages claims and her Equal Pay Act claims, but there are other sources for plaintiff’s earning, such as the sought W-2 statements. … There is no need for plaintiff to produce her joint tax returns, which she argued did not distinguish her spouse’s income from her own. W-2 statements clearly would state her earnings for a particular year and employer(s). The entire tax return contains otherwise extraneous information that should not be produced.

Categories: Constructive Discharge, Employment Discrimination, Employment Law, Hostile Work Environment, Sexual Harassment

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Previous post:

Next post: