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United States District Court for the District of Nevada
February 2, 2021, Decided; February 2, 2021, Filed
Case No.: 2:20-cv-00517-GMN-VCF
Pending before the Court is Defendant State of Nevada, Department of Taxation's ("Defendant's") Motion to Dismiss, (ECF No. 6). Plaintiff Rino Tenorio ("Plaintiff") filed a Response, (ECF No. 10), and Defendant filed a Reply, (ECF No. 13).
Also pending before the Court is Plaintiff's Motion to Remand, (ECF No. 11). Defendant filed a Response, (ECF No. 17), and Plaintiff filed a Reply, (ECF No. 19).
Also pending before the Court is Defendant's Motion to Strike, (ECF No. 21), regarding Plaintiff's Request for Judicial Notice, (ECF No. 14). Plaintiff filed a Response, (ECF No. 22), and Defendant filed a Reply, (ECF No. 23).
Also pending before the Court is Plaintiff's Objection/Appeal, (ECF No. 25), of the Magistrate Judge's Order to Stay Discovery, (ECF No. 24). Defendant [*2] filed a Response, (ECF No. 27), and Plaintiff did not file a reply.1
Also pending before the Court is Plaintiff's Motion for Leave to File Supplement, (ECF No. 30). Defendant filed a Response, (ECF No. 31), and Plaintiff filed a Reply, (ECF No. 32).
For the reasons discussed below, the Court GRANTS in part and DENIES in part the Motion to Dismiss, DENIES the Motion to Remand and Motion to Strike, and DENIES as moot the Objection/Appeal and Motion for Leave to File Supplement.
This case arises from Plaintiff's allegations that he suffered discrimination on the basis of his sexual orientation while an employee of the State of Nevada's Department of Taxation. (See generally Compl., Ex. 1 to Pet. Removal, ECF No. 1). Plaintiff, a gay man, works for the Department as an auditor II. (Compl. ¶ 5). During his employment with Defendant, Plaintiff asserts that he encountered a "hostile work environment that included severe, pervasive and unwelcomed sexual harassment against [Plaintiff] because of his sexual orientation[.]" (Id. ¶ 6). Plaintiff details two specific instances of discrimination he allegedly suffered. First, on or about December 12-17, Plaintiff's supervisor, Karalyn [*3] Cronkhite, with Andrea Fountain, a management analyst II, "superimposed/photo shopped [Plaintiff's] face in the place of a women's [sic] face who is wearing a Mexican style dress and shared this photo making fun of [Plaintiff's] sexual orientation with other employees in the Department[.]" (Id ¶ 8) (internal citation omitted). Second, on or about January 8, 2019, Plaintiff alleges that Chris Jacobson, another Department employee, emboldened by Cronkhite's behavior, "further sexually harass[ed] [Plaintiff] based on [Plaintiff's] sexual orientation when he placed chocolate kisses candy on [Plaintiff's] desk stating, 'ok you can kiss me now[.]'" (Id. ¶ 9). Additionally, Plaintiff generally alleges that Cronkhite "fostered an environment of sexual harassment/hostile work environment within the Division based on [Plaintiff's] sexual orientation and allowed, directly encouraged and participated in, with laughter, Brian Chittenden's (marijuana inspector I) [and Jacobson's] sexual harassment of [Plaintiff] about his sexual orientation, which included unwanted and uninvited discussions of gay sex, gay jokes, obscene gay gestures and gay sexual sounds[.]" (Id. ¶ 7).
Plaintiff alleges that he [*4] complained about the hostility to both Cronkhite and the human resources department on or about December 17, 2018. (Id. ¶ 8). Plaintiff alleges that Melanie Young, the Director of Taxation, retaliated against Plaintiff by purportedly initiating baseless allegations of workplace misconduct against him. (Id. ¶ 10). Plaintiff contends that he has been placed on "a severe and prolonged administrative leave," and investigations of his complaints have been deliberately stalled and left incomplete for over a year. (Id.). Plaintiff also contends that he has been excluded from official office functions including having access to training on new auditing software. (Id.). Plaintiff further alleges that on October 11, 2019, Tyler Klimas, Deputy Director, "approached [Plaintiff] at work and misled him by stating that he would accompany him to the Human Resources Department under the guise that Human Resources wanted to speak with him, while all along knowing that he was escorting [Plaintiff] to be interrogated by Sgt. Peterson in the Department of Public Safety," which Plaintiff also alleges was retaliatory. (Id.).
Full case includes Shepard's, Headnotes, Legal Analytics from Lex Machina, and more.
2021 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20066 *; 2021 WL 372794
RINO TENORIO, Plaintiff, vs. STATE OF NEVADA, DEPARTMENT OF TAXATION, Defendant.
alleges, retaliation, harassment, sexual orientation, motion to dismiss, sexual, district court, investigations, severe emotional distress, argues, outrageous conduct, subjected, workplace, exhaust, severe, email, kiss, administrative remedy, human resources, retaliatory, initiating, hostile work environment, chocolate, sex, hostile work environment claim, employees, removal, jokes, intentional infliction of emotional distress, administrative charge