United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
VELMA M. HILL, Plaintiff,
MEGAN J. BRENNAN, Postmaster General, Defendant.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
L. WHITE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court on Defendant's Motion to
Consolidate. (ECF No. 10) Defendant moves the Court to
consolidate this cause of action with another case Plaintiff
has filed in this District, Hill v. Brennan, No.
4:19-cv-1315-JCH. For reasons that follow, the Court finds
the cases should be consolidated under Rule 42 of the Federal
Rules of Civil Procedure to avoid unnecessary costs and
promote judicial efficiency.
filed her pro se Employment Discrimination Complaint
in case number 4:19-cv-345-RLW on February 27, 2019 against
Megan J. Brennan, the Postmaster General of the United
States. (ECF No. 1) She brings claims under Title VII of the
Civil Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000e, et
seq., the Age Discrimination in Employment Act
("ADEA"), 29 U.S.C. §§621, et
seq., the Americans with Disabilities Act
("ADA"), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12101, et
seq., the Rehabilitation Act, 29 U.S.C. §§
701, et seq. (Id. at ¶ 1) She also claims
Plaintiff claims between December 2012 and December 2013,
while she was employed at the Chouteau Post Office, employees
for the U.S. Postal Service ("USPS") discriminated
against her because of her physical/mental disability, race,
and age; harassed her; failed to accommodate her disability;
subjected her to terms and conditions of employment which
were different from other similarly situated employees;
retaliated against her; and created a hostile work
environment. (Id. at ¶¶ 4-5, 10-12) She
requests money damages and requests reassignment and
relocation. (Id. at p. 7) Defendant filed an Answer,
and the Court set the case for a Rule 16 conference. (ECF
Nos. 8, 9) However, pursuant to Defendant's Motion to
Consolidate, the Court canceled the Rule 16 conference
pending disposition of the motion. (ECF No. 11)
15, 2019, Plaintiff filed another pro se Employment
Discrimination Complaint against Defendant Megan J. Brennan
under the ADEA, ADA, Rehabilitation Act, and for harassment.
Hill v. Brennan, No. 4:19-cv-1315-JCH (ECF No. 1
¶ 1) Plaintiff claims while employed at the Gaffney Post
Office in St. Louis, Missouri from October 2015 through
February 2016, employees of the USPS discriminated against
her because of her physical/mental disability, race, and age;
harassed her; failed to accommodate her disability; subjected
her to terms and conditions of employment which were
different from other similarly situated employees; retaliated
against her; and created a hostile work environment.
(Id. at ¶¶ 4-5, 10-12) Plaintiff seeks
monetary damages in her request for relief. (Id. at
p. 7) On July 9, 2019, United States District Judge Jean C.
Hamilton dismissed Plaintiffs ADA claim without prejudice and
directed the Clerk of the Court to issue process as to the
remaining claims. (ECF No. 4) Defendant filed her Answer on
September 24, 2019. (ECF No. 10)
motion to consolidate, Defendant argues the Court should
consolidate case number 4:19-cv-1315-JCH with the lower
numbered case, 4:19-cv-345-RLW. Defendant asserts both of
Plaintiffs Complaints include similar allegations against the
same Defendant, Postmaster General Megan J. Brennan.
Defendant acknowledges the allegedly discriminatory conduct
occurred at two different postal locations. However, she
contends both Complaints center around common questions of
law and fact pertaining to Plaintiffs employment with the
Rule 42 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure,
consolidation of cases is proper "if actions before the
court involve common questions of law or fact."
Fed.R.Civ.P. 42(a). A district court has broad discretion in
determining whether to order consolidation. Enter. Bank
v. Saettele, 21 F.3d 233, 235 (8th Cir. 1994). "The
threshold issue is whether the proceedings involve a common
party and common issues of fact or law... . The mere
existence of common issues, however, does not mandate that
the cases be joined." A.O.A. v. Doe Run Res.
Corp., No. 4:11 CV 44 CDP, 2016 WL 1182631, at *2 (E.D.
Mo. Mar. 28, 2016) (internal citation omitted). The purpose
of consolidation is to promote convenience and economy in the
administration of actions. Saettele, 21 F.3d at 235
(citation omitted). However, consolidation is not appropriate
if it leads to inefficiency, inconvenience, or unfair
prejudice to a party. E.E.O.C. v. HBE Corp., 135
F.3d 543, 551 (8th Cir. 1998).
the Court finds consolidation of Plaintiff s causes of action
is warranted. Plaintiffs Complaints are against the same
Defendant, Megan J. Brennan, Postmaster General. Further,
although the alleged discriminatory actions occurred at
different post office locations and involved different
employees, both Complaints involve common questions of law
and fact. Plaintiff alleges USPS employees at the Chouteau
Post Office and the Gaffney Post Office subjected her to
discrimination, harassment, disparate treatment, and a
hostile work environment. Specifically, Plaintiff claims
employees at both locations retaliated against Plaintiff for
prior EEO activity, called Plaintiff disparaging names and
made hurtful statements about her, failed to accommodate her
disability, and allowed other employees similarly situated to
Plaintiff to take breaks and work 4-hour days, while
Plaintiff had to clock in/out and work 8-hour days.
Court finds each Complaint raises employment discrimination
claims based on common questions of law and fact against the
same Defendant. Therefore, consolidation would serve the
interests of justice, avoid unnecessary costs, and promote
judicial efficiency. See Headrick v. Glass, No.
4:18-CV-1683 CDP, 2019 WL 2437028, at *1 (E.D. Mo. June 11,
2019) (finding consolidation proper where each complaint
alleged civil rights violations based on common questions of
law and fact against the same or similar defendants);
Thompson v. Curators of Univ. of Missouri, No.
4:09CV2083 FRB, 2010 WL 174318, at *1 (E.D. Mo. Jan. 15,
2010) (consolidating two similar employment discrimination
actions against defendants where they involved common issues
of law and fact). Because consolidation is justified, the
cases will be consolidated into the lowest case number
pursuant to Rule 4.03 of the Local Rules of the United States
District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Defendant
Postmaster General Megan J. Brennan's Motion to
Consolidate (ECF No. 10) is GRANTED. The
Clerk of the Court shall reassign Velma M. Hill v. Megan
J. Brennan, No. 4:19-cv-1315-JCH to the undersigned for
full disposition. The Clerk of the Court ...