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Moore v. Illinois Dep't of Corrections

December 16, 2009


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Reagan, District Judge


A. Introduction

Juli Moore has been employed by the Illinois Department of Corrections ("IDOC") since 1992. In this lawsuit, Moore maintains that the IDOC interfered with her rights and retaliated against her exercising her rights under the Family and Medical Leave Act, 29 U.S.C. § 2601 et seq. ("FMLA").

A two-day bench trial was conducted before the undersigned District Judge on June 22 and 23, 2009. A transcript was prepared and filed on July 27, 2009. The parties filed proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law, and this matter became ripe for ruling on October 1, 2009.

Pursuant to FEDERAL RULE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE 52, the Court now finds and concludes as follows.

B. Findings of Fact

1. Juli Moore has been employed by the IDOC continuously since January 20, 1992. Trial Transcript, Vol. I, 7:14-16.*fn1

2. When Moore commenced her employment with the IDOC, she was employed as a Correctional Officer at the Vienna Correctional Center ("Vienna"). Vol. I, 7:17-19.

3. In order to become a Correctional Medical Technician ("CMT"), a person must hold either an Illinois EMT license, an Illinois LPN license or an RN license. Vol. I, 14:10-15. In August 1995, Moore, who held an Illinois EMT license, was promoted to the position of CMT. Vol. I, 8:13-17; 14:14-15.

4. As a CMT, Moore dispensed medication to inmates and drew blood, as well as being responsible for processing newly-arrived inmates, for sick call and for providing emergency medical assistance to inmates. Vol. I, pp. 9-13.

5. On February 16, 2005, Moore became a Correctional Nurse I ("CN-1"). Vol. I, 16:18-20; 24:13-15.2.

6. The CN-1 position at Vienna entails the following responsibilities: Under Supervision of the Health Care Unit Administrator and in conformance with established standards, procedures, policies and security guidelines, provides full range of professional nursing services in the care and treatment of inmate patients in a Correctional facility. Responsible for assigned nursing care activities utilizing professional training and expertise in the field of nursing: 40% 1. Performs a variety of nursing care functions such as, administering medications, monitoring vital signs, examining inmates using nursing assessment skills and monitoring physical condition and reactions to various treatments, obtaining laboratory specimens and providing emergency treatment; provides personal patient care such as assisting patients in eating, bathing and exercising; maintains safe and sanitary conditions in patient environment.

25% 2. Makes regular rounds of patients in relation to nursing duties and physician rounds; consults with physician and other professional staff regarding patient treatment and care; participates in patient treatment and management meetings; develops nursing care plans for inmates with special medical or mental health needs including those with chronic illnesses or requiring infirmary care.

10% 3. Prepares and maintains medical records and histories such as recording physician's orders, charting medications, recording patient reactions and behavior.

10% 4. Coordinates nursing functions with programs and activities within the institution; interprets policies and procedures as well as medical orders to inmates.

5% 5. Distributes medications directly to inmates as ordered by the physician.

Makes daily rounds of segregation or confinement units/conducts segregation evaluations as required. Vol. I, 17-18; Pl's Exhibit 7.

7. Moore was promoted to the position of Correctional Nurse II ("CN-2") on February 1, 2008. Vol. I, 23:2-6.

8. The CN-2 position at Vienna entails the following responsibilities: Under direction of the Health Care Administrator (Public Service Adm.), and in accordance with established standards and administrative policies of the health care unit, provides nursing services to residents of the Vienna Correctional Center on all shifts; serves as a lead worker to Corrections Medical Technicians and lower level Correctional Nurses and/or contractual nurses. 30% 1. Provides direct patient care and primary nursing care services such as medical treatments; administer medications, patient assessment; records inmates data into nursing records, initial assignment sheet; assists the physician on sick call lines; collaborates with other personnel in planning and implementing comprehensive patient care programs. 20% 2. Monitors and reviews the various functions carried out by the medical technician; instructs and explains the purpose, procedures and proper methods in carrying out the assigned duties; serve as a resource to assigned personnel in developing nursing policy and procedures. 20% 3. Reviews record keeping functions to ensure that physician orders are implemented, medications are properly charted and records of nursing care and patient treatment and observations are maintained; certifies that admission interviews are conducted to determine inmates medical history, physical and mental status and facility placement. 10% 4. Serves as a lead worker; assigns and reviews work; provides input into performance evaluations; reviews time slip prior to submission to management for approval. 10% 5. Verifies adequate supply and security of medical equipment; maintains a security chain of custody on specimens required for forensic reasons; monitors safety and sanitation of treatment examination rooms, infirmary, and cell house medical treatment rooms. 05% 6. Reviews medical records and completes health summary forms for inmate transfers; reviews all inmates received in transfer. Vol. 1, pp. 24-25; Pl's Exhibit 8.

9. During the period that Moore worked as a CMT, she was often temporarily assigned to the position of CN-1 - collectively for a period of ten months to more than a year. Vol. I, 21:11-19.

10. When Moore was temporarily assigned to the CN-1 position, she performed the actual job duties of that position and received an increase in pay. Vol. I, 18:23-19:4; 21:25-22:2.

11. At Vienna, there is little distinction between the CMT and CN-1 positions because Vienna maintains only an 8-bed observation unit and not an infirmary. Vol. 1, 22:7-19.

12. Moore's job duties as a CN-2 did not differ from her job duties as a CN-1. Vol. II, 97:22-98:1.

13. After Moore was promoted from CMT to CN-1, the CMT position at Vienna was eliminated; similarly, the CN-1 position was not filled after Moore was promoted to CN-2. Vol. I, 29:1-3; Vol. II, 34:11-15.

14. Moore suffers from a medical condition which causes "recurrent migraine headaches." Vol. I, 30:2-8; Pl's Exhs. 33-35, 54-55.

15. Moore has been on a non-occupational leave of absence from the IDOC since February 2009. Vol. I, 29:13-19; Vol. II, 47:20-25.

16. The parties agree that Moore suffers from a "serious health condition" as that term is defined by the FMLA. Doc. 40, Final Pretrial Order, Section IV, ¶ 2.

17. Dr. Roger Watters is Moore's personal primary care physician. Vol. I, 32:21-23.

18. Moore lives 14 miles from Dr. Watters's office, and she cannot receive IV therapy unless she has someone to drive her home. Vol. II, 86:3-10.

19. Moore can receive an IV any day of the week between 7:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Vol. II, 93:13-21.

20. Moore's husband, who drove her to her appointments, also worked at Vienna and was off on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Vol. II, 58:2-4.

21. Moore's husband worked the 11:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. shift. Vol. II, 57:24-58:1.

22. When Moore was appointed to CN-2 in February 2008, her days off were changed from Tuesday and Wednesday to Sunday and Monday. Vol. II, 85:5-13.

23. After Moore's days off were changed to Sunday and Monday, her husband also changed his days off to Sunday and Monday. Moore then withdrew her request to have her days off changed ...

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