The opinion of the court was delivered by: Kahn, District Judge.
MEMORANDUM — DECISION AND ORDER
The Court must here determine whether Plaintiff Ms. Iva
Woodford was an eligible employee for purposes of the Family and
Medical Leave Act. This requires an assessment of the relevance
of Plaintiff's time sheets to the question of whether she worked
the minimum number of hours required to qualify under the act.
The Court must also determine whether Defendants may have
improperly interfered with Plaintiff's rights when they suspended
her from work, and whether they provided her with timely notice,
when she sought leave, that they might not restore her to her job
at the end of her leave. Finally, the Court must determine
whether Plaintiff may be liable to Defendants for any false or
defamatory statements she has made in prosecuting this action.
Plaintiff in this action claims that Defendants violated her
rights under the Family and Medical Leave Act ("FMLA"),
29 U.S.C. § 2601 to 2654, and also asserts a supplemental state law claim
for intentional infliction of emotional distress, based on
Defendants' conduct pursuant to their purported violations of the
FMLA. Defendants have made a counterclaim for defamation in the
form of libel, alleging false and defamatory statements made in
connection with this action.
Plaintiff Ms Woodford was employed by Defendant Community
Action of Greene County, Inc. ("CAGC") from March 1985 to 15
January 1998. She was a teacher until 1987, and then was promoted
to day care Director. She was promoted to Head Start Director in
1988, and held that job until her employment with CAGC ended. The
individual Defendants are or were members of the CAGC Board of
Disputes related to the present action arose in 1996. Plaintiff
alleged improper conduct on the part of one the Defendants;
Defendants instituted disciplinary actions against Plaintiff.
Plaintiff claims that stress arising from these incidents led to
extreme mental and physical problems, and on that basis she
sought leave under the FMLA in November 1997. Defendants
initially rejected her application for leave, and required that
she return to work. Defendants subsequently granted leave, but
told her she had no right under the FMLA to be restored to her
position once her leave ended. As the dispute over Plaintiff's
application for FMLA leave continued, and Plaintiff remained away
from work, Defendants hired an interim Head Start Director.
Eventually, in January 1998, Defendants denied Plaintiff's
request to be restored to her position as Director pursuant to
Plaintiff filed this action 9 February 1998. The Court has
jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1331. Plaintiff seeks damages,
punitive damages, and such other relief as the Court may deem
just and proper. Defendants in their counterclaim seek damages
and such other relief as the Court may deem just and proper.
Now before the Court are Defendants' motions for summary
judgment and Plaintiff's cross motion to dismiss Defendants'
A motion to dismiss pursuant to Fed. R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) for
"failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted," must
be denied "unless it appears beyond doubt that the plaintiff can
prove no set of facts in support of his claim which would entitle
him to relief." Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 45-46, 78 S.Ct.
99, 2 L.Ed.2d 80 (1957). (Black, J.) In assessing the sufficiency
of a pleading, "all factual allegations in the complaint must be
taken as true," LaBounty v. Adler, 933 F.2d 121, 123 (2d Cir.
1991), and all reasonable inferences must be construed in favor
of the plaintiff. Scheuer v. Rhodes, 416 U.S. 232, 236, 94
S.Ct. 1683, 40 L.Ed.2d 90 (1974); see also Bankers Trust Co. v.
Rhoades, 859 F.2d 1096, 1099 (2d Cir. 1988), (applying the
principle of construing inferences in
favor of plaintiff) cert. denied sub nom. Soifer v. Bankers
Trust Co., 490 U.S. 1007, 109 S.Ct. 1642, 104 L.Ed.2d 158
[C]onsideration is limited to the factual allegations
in [the] complaint, which are accepted as true, to
documents attached to the complaint as an exhibit or
incorporated in it by reference, to matters of which
judicial notice may be taken, or to documents either
in plaintiffs' ...