United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
U.S. EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY COMMISSION, Plaintiff,
AUTOZONE, INC. AND AUTOZONERS, LLC, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
M. ROWLAND United States Magistrate Judge.
EEOC (“EEOC”) filed this lawsuit under the
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. § 12101
et seq, seeking relief for Gonzala Gomez, Gary Clay,
and Herman Matasar (“Claimants”) and any other
individual who suffered from a qualified disability and was
adversely affected by AutoZone's “no fault”
attendance point policy. (Dkt. 18). This Court previously
granted the EEOC's motion to quash document subpoenas
that Defendants Autozone, Inc. and Autozoners, LLC
(collectively, “AutoZone”) intended to issue on
three subsequent employers of Claimants. (Dkt. 71). After
AutoZone sought relief from that order, the District Judge
ordered AutoZone to file a motion for reconsideration so that
this Court could rule in the first instance whether new
developments warranted modification of this Court's prior
order quashing the subpoenas to subsequent employers. (Dkt.
90). For the reasons set forth below, Autozone's Motion
for Relief from Order Quashing Subpoenas
(“Motion”) (Dkt. 91) is granted in part.
24, 2016, this Court quashed four subpoenas to three
subsequent employers of the Claimants. (Dkt. 64-1 at
5-9, 45-49, 85-94; Dkt. 71). On September 20 and 21, 2016,
AutoZone deposed the Claimants. (Dkts. 92-2-4, Exhs. B-C). On
October 19, 2016, AutoZone filed its Motion arguing that the
deposition testimony revealed that EEOC's discovery
responses regarding the Claimants' subsequent employment
were incomplete and contained misrepresentations. (Dkt. 92 at
1). AutoZone requested relief from this Court's order and
also requested to subpoena “all subsequent employment
records for any other claimants in this litigation.”
(Dkt. 91 at 2; Dkt. 92 at 6). However, at oral argument on
November 2, 2016, AutoZone represented that it was no longer
seeking leave to subpoena all subsequent employment records
for any other claimants in the case.
subpoenas that were the subject of the Court's prior
order were to Advance Auto Parts, Daily Solutions, and Hot
Rod Barn. (Dkt. 64-1 at 5-9, 45-49, 85-94). Gomez worked at
Advance Auto Parts from November 20, 2010 to January
2011.(Dkt. 92-1 at 5). Clay worked at Daily
Solutions from 2010 to 2013. Id. at 4. Matasar
worked at Hot Rod Barn in 2011 or 2012 for 4-6 weeks and at
Advance Auto Parts from January or February 2013 to August
2013. Id. at 5; Dkt. 92-4 at 9.
EEOC maintains that the subpoenas should be quashed because
the discovery sought through the subpoenas: (1) is
duplicative of information already provided; (2) not
relevant; and (3) would harm Claimants.
courts have broad discretion in supervising discovery and
ruling on discovery motions. Cent. States, Se. & Sw.
Areas Pension Fund v. Waste Mgmt. of Mich., Inc., 674
F.3d 630, 636 (7th Cir. 2012); United States v.
Ashman, 979 F.2d 469, 495 (7th Cir. 1992). A court
considering a motion to quash a subpoena weighs the benefits
of producing the information sought, the burdens of
compliance, whether the information is available from another
source, the relevance and scope of the requests, and the
interests of the non-parties as well as the parties. HTG
Capital Partners, LLC v. Doe, No. 15 C 02129, 2015 U.S.
Dist. LEXIS 126358, at *9-10 (N.D. Ill. Sep. 22, 2015);
Charvat v. Travel Servs., No. 12 CV 5746, 2015 U.S.
Dist. LEXIS 472, at *4 (N.D. Ill. Jan. 5, 2015) (citations
omitted); Purzel Video GmbH v. Doe, No. 13 C 0792,
2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 179738, at *27 (N.D. Ill.Dec. 19, 2013)
(citing Nw. Mem'l Hosp. v. Ashcroft, 362 F.3d
923, 928 (7th Cir. 2004)); Salas v. 3M Co., No. 08 C
1614, 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 124993, at *2 (N.D. Ill. Aug. 28,
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 45, the scope of discovery
that a party may seek in a subpoena is as broad as the rules
of discovery allow. EEOC v. Rexnord Indus., LLC, No.
11-CV-777, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 91006, at *15 (E.D. Wis.
June 29, 2012). A subpoena may request information about
“any nonprivileged matter that is relevant to any
party's claim or defense and proportional to the needs of
the case…” Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b)(1). The party
opposing discovery has the burden to show why the discovery
is not proper. HTG Capital Partners, LLC, 2015 U.S.
Dist. LEXIS 126358, at *9 (citation and quotations omitted).
AutoZone Can Subpoena Wage and Benefits Information
EEOC argues that wage and benefits information sought in the
subpoenas is duplicative of information AutoZone sought from
the EEOC. (Dkt. 77 at 2).
second set of document requests seeks all documents
reflecting “any and all employment, including work as
an independent contractor or under self-employment status,
for which [Claimants] have applied or have been offered since
their employment separation with AutoZone” (Dkt. 72-2
at 7). The EEOC objected to the request as overly broad,
unduly burdensome, and not relevant but agreed to produce W-2
and 1099 forms or other documents sufficient to reflect all
income earned by each Claimant “as well as documents
that reflect the Aggrieved Individual's efforts to obtain
employment during that period of time.” (Dkt. 72-1 at
3-4). The EEOC produced the W-2 and 1099 records within
Claimants' possession and requested transcripts from the
IRS of earned income reported for each Claimant subsequent to
their discharge from AutoZone (Dkt. 77 at 2). The EEOC
produced some information, but AutoZone still does not have
complete wage information. (Dkt. 92 at 3). At the November 2,
2016 hearing, the EEOC argued that an employer is not likely
to have a W-2 if the IRS does not have it; however, the
employer likely would have payroll and benefit records.
undisputed that these records are relevant and AutoZone
limited the subpoenas to the time period during which the
EEOC is seeking backpay for the Claimants (Dkt. 72-1 at
And since the EEOC has not been able to ...