Heldt v. Tata Consultancy Services, LTD

Northern District of California, cand-4:2015-cv-01696

PRETRIAL ORDER NO. 6 RE: PLAINTIFFS' MOTIONS IN LIMINE NOS. 7 & 8 by Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers; granting {{525}} Motion in Limine; granting {{527}} Motion in Limine.

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1 2 3 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 4 NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 5 6 BRIAN BUCHANAN, ET AL., CASE NO. 15-cv-01696-YGR 7 Plaintiffs, PRETRIAL ORDER NO. 6 RE: PLAINTIFFS' 8 vs. MOTIONS IN LIMINE NOS. 7 & 8 9 TATA CONSULTANCY SERVICES, LTD, Re: Dkt. Nos. 525, 527 10 Defendant. 11 12 The Court, having considered plaintiffs' motions in limine nos. 7 and 8 (Dkt. Nos. 525, Northern District of California United States District Court 13 527) and the parties' arguments raised at the pretrial conference held on October 12, 2018 14 regarding the same, ORDERS as follows: 15 Plaintiffs' No. 7: To Exclude TCS's Termination Forms: 16 This motion is GRANTED. The termination forms contain hearsay and do not fall within 17 any of the exceptions to the rule against hearsay. These forms are prepared by the human 18 resources department in preparation of a request to terminate an employee. They are reviewed 19 and, in some cases, revised after the legal department reviews them. They are not shown to the 20 employee nor are they used for any ongoing business purpose. "[I]t is manifest that in this case 21 th[e] [forms] are not for the systematic conduct of [TCS] as a [company that contracts with clients 22 to provide consulting, technology, and outsourcing services]." Palmer v. Hoffman, 318 U.S. 109, 23 114 (1943); cf. id. ("Unlike payrolls, accounts receivable, accounts payable, bills of lading and the 24 like these [accident] reports are calculated for use essentially in the court, not in business. Their 25 primarily utility is in litigating, not in railroading."). 26 TCS argues that it does not seek to introduce the forms for the truth of the statements 27 contained therein but rather to show the lack of discriminatory intent. The cases TCS cites in 28 support of this argument do not persuade. First, while the cases indicate that evidence of lack of 1 discriminatory intent is admissible, they do not consider these kinds of forms or use of the same in 2 a class action context. See Haddad v. Lockheed Cal. Corp., 720 F.2d 1454 (1983) (employee 3 brought individual suit alleging employment discrimination on the basis of national origin and 4 age); Rosebrock v. Beiter, CV 10-01878 SJO (SSx), 2011 WL 13214270 (C.D. Cal. May 26, 5 2011) (veteran brought individual suit alleging viewpoint discrimination in violation of the First 6 Amendment). Additionally, and in any event, the probative value of admitting the termination 7 forms to show an alleged lack of discriminatory intent is outweighed by the volumes of 8 inadmissible hearsay contained therein. See Fed. R. Evid. 403; Fed. R. Evid. 801(c). 9 Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Court will allow a witness to discuss the existence of 10 the forms and the lack of any statement therein of intent to discriminate. In addition, the forms 11 can be used as a demonstrative, i.e., a witness can show the jury how many pages exist if all the 12 forms were to be printed out, but the forms themselves will not be admitted. Further, the Court Northern District of California United States District Court 13 will allow the introduction of a template or redacted termination form which shows only the 14 questions included on the form, but no other content and/or appended materials.1 15 Plaintiffs' No. 8: To Exclude TCS's Termination Form Summaries: 16 In light of the Court's ruling regarding plaintiffs' motion in limine no. 7, this motion is also 17 GRANTED. 18 This Order terminates Docket Numbers 525 and 527. 19 IT IS SO ORDERED. 20 21 Dated: October 23, 2018 YVONNE GONZALEZ ROGERS 22 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT JUDGE 23 24 25 26 27 1 To the extent that a specific form is needed for purposes of an admission or recorded 28 recollection regarding a specific issue, the Court will address those instances on a case-by-case basis. 2