The opinion of the court was delivered by: Robin S. Rosenbaum United States Magistrate Judge
This matter comes before the Court upon Defendant Camp Dresser & McKee, Inc.'s Motion in Limine [D.E. 40]. The Court has reviewed Defendant's Motion, all filings in support thereof and in opposition thereto, and the record in this matter. After careful consideration, the Court now grants in part and denies in part Defendant's Motion for the reasons set forth below.
In its current status, this matter involves a claim that Defendant Camp Dresser & McKee, Inc. ("CDM"), retaliated against Plaintiff Jeanine V. DuChateau for exercising her rights under the Family and Medical Leave Act ("FMLA"), see 29 U.S.C. §§ 2601--2654. More specifically, DuChateau argues that CDM retaliated against her for taking FMLA leave when it removed her as a manager of a project called Go Green.
CDM seeks through the pending Motion in Limine to exclude from evidence CDM employee Steve Brewer's remarks from August 2008 in which he allegedly commented that DuChateau had been "irresponsible" in becoming pregnant when she was supposed to be managing the Go Green contract and that he had done "such a hard job to sell her to" the client, and "now she can't manage this contract like she agreed to." See D.E. 19 at 2, ¶ 8; D.E. 26-2 at 1, ¶ 8.
The Court has previously summarized the parties' factual allegations in this matter in ruling on CDM's Motion for Summary Judgment. See D.E. 41. Because CDM's Motion in Limine depends in part on the relevancy of the evidence that CDM seeks to exclude, however, the Court repeats here, in pertinent part, the statement of allegations set forth in its prior Order to consider in context the relevancy, if any, of the Brewer statements to the FMLA retaliation claim.
CDM provides consulting, engineering, construction, and operation services for public and private clients in the United States and around the world. See D.E. 19 at 1, ¶ 1. As pertinent here, these services include developing renewable-energy management solutions. See id. at 1, ¶ 2. Plaintiff Jeannine V. DuChateau started working for CDM in 2007. See id. at 2, ¶ 3. DuChateau worked as a project lead in CDM's Management Consulting Division, first in Tampa and later in West Palm Beach. See id.
In early 2008, DuChateau and other CDM employees began working on "Go Green," a proposed environmental project for long-time CDM client Lockheed Martin ("Lockheed"). See id. at 2, ¶ 5. Go Green involved plans for Lockheed to improve conservation of resources, engage in recycling efforts, and conduct other environmental activities at its domestic facilities. See id. Throughout 2008, DuChateau was being considered for a project-management role in Go Green, in which she would manage the overall project from CDM's side. See id. at 2, ¶ 6.
In August 2008, Plaintiff announced her intention to take maternity leave beginning in January 2009, the approximate time that Go Green would be implemented if everything went as planned. See id. at 2, ¶ 7. When DuChateau made this announcement, Go Green was still in the initial planning stages. See id.
Later that month, DuChateau overheard Steve Brewer, who managed CDM's client relationship with Lockheed, tell another CDM employee on a conference call that DuChateau was "irresponsible" for getting pregnant when she was supposed to be managing the Go Green contract. See D.E. 19 at 2, ¶¶ 8-9; D.E. 26-2 at 1, ¶¶ 8-9. Brewer further remarked that he had done "such a hard job to sell her to" Lockheed and "now she can't manage this contract like she agreed to." See D.E. 19 at 2, ¶ 8; D.E. 26-2 at 1, ¶ 8.
DuChateau promptly called another of her supervisors, Phil Chernin, to complain about Brewer's comments. See D.E. 19 at 3, ¶ 10; D.E. 26-2 at 2, ¶ 10. She also spoke with Brewer, who did not apologize for the remarks but asked DuChateau to remain on the Go Green project. See D.E. 19 at 3, ¶ 10; D.E. 26-2 at 2, ¶ 10. Thereafter, Brewer made no comments that DuChateau found inappropriate. See D.E. 19 at 3, ¶ 11; D.E. 26-2 at 2, ¶ 11. He did, however, frequently ignore e-mails from DuChateau and sometimes failed to attend scheduled meetings with her. See D.E. 26-2 at 2, ¶ 11. Further, although Brewer told DuChateau that she was to serve as Go Green's project manager, he did not give her access to electronic project-management tools and entered his own name into the system as project manager. See id.
Because of DuChateau's planned maternity leave, CDM had to re-evaluate its proposed management team for Go Green. See D.E. 19 at 3, ¶ 12. In September 2008, CDM hired Nancy Wheatley into its Program Management Group. See id. at 3, ¶ 13. Wheatley, a graduate of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, had many years of experience working on health, environmental, and safety projects in the public and private sectors. See id. CDM placed Wheatley into the role of project manager for Lockheed's remediation program, which included supervision of the Go Green project. See id. at 3, ¶ 14; D.E. 26-2 at 2, ¶ 14. Wheatley described the management structure of Go Green as "not particularly well formed" when she arrived. See D.E. 19 at 3-4, ¶ 14; D.E. 26-2 at 2, ¶ 14.
Upon Wheatley's arrival, it was determined that DuChateau would serve as deputy program manager for Go Green and that Tom Pedersen, a veteran CDM employee with environmental expertise, would assist with strategy development for the project. See D.E. 19 at 4, ¶ 15; D.E. 26-2 at 2, ¶ 15. DuChateau's role as deputy program manager was a project assignment and did not affect her compensation, benefits, or terms of employment. See D.E. 19 at 4, ¶ 16. Another employee in CDM's Management Consulting Division, Andrew Brady, was assigned to work with DuChateau on Go ...