Legal Memorandum: Discovery of Other Employee's Information

Issue: Does a plaintiff in an employment discrimination suit have a right to discover information relating to other employees, including their number and their ages?

Area of Law: Employee Law
Keywords: Employment discrimination case; Right to discover information; Employees number and age
Jurisdiction: Federal
Cited Cases: None
Cited Statutes: None
Date: 08/01/2001

It is well established that such a request is entirely proper in an employment discrimination lawsuit.  “In an individual plaintiff’s age and sex discrimination suit, statistical data regarding similarly situated employees is relevant to establish an employer’s pattern of conduct and to facilitate a determination a to whether the employer has discriminated against the plaintiff.”  Moore’s Federal Practice, supra, at § 33.05 (citing Lyoch, 164 F.R.D. at 66).

In Lyoch v. Anheuser-Busch Cos., 164 F.R.D. 62, 65 (E.D. Mo. 1995), an age and gender discrimination case, the federal district court granted the plaintiff’s motion to compel discovery of various information about other employees, finding it relevant, not privileged, and not overly burdensome.  164 F.R.D. at 66-70.  The information required to be produced included information about promotions, about positions the plaintiff sought, about the defendant’s employment practices during the relevant time period, and information about other employees, including their salaries.  Id. at 66-67.  Acknowledging that the salary information in particular was private, the court nevertheless found that its usefulness to the plaintiff’s case outweighed the defendant’s concerns, which could be addressed by fashioning a protective order.  Similarly, in the employment case of Oleson v. Kmart Corp., 175 F.R.D. 560, 565 (D. Kan. 1997), the court rejected the employer’s objections  to the plaintiff’s discovery requests, finding that names, addresses, telephone numbers and reasons for leaves of absence for all employees who were granted such leaves in the preceding five years was not overly burdensome.  175 F.R.D. at 565.  In Finch […]

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