United States District Court, D. Minnesota
Antonio G. Amador, Jr., Plaintiff,
U.S. Bank National Association, Defendant.
Matthew J. Schaap and Robert B. Bauer, Dougherty, Molenda,
Solfest, Hills & Bauer P.A., for Plaintiff.
A. Schooler and Ellen A. Brinkman, Briggs & Morgan, PA,
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
RICHARD NELSON United States District Court Judge
the Court is the Objection/Appeal [Doc. No. 35] filed by
Plaintiff Antonio G. Amador, Jr. to the magistrate
judge's order of November 29, 2016, (“the
Order”), as reflected in the Court's minutes [Doc.
No. 33] and the hearing transcript [Doc. No. 37]. Plaintiff
objects to a portion of the ruling on his Motion to Modify
the Scheduling Order and to Compel Discovery [Doc. No. 22]
that Magistrate Judge Hildy Bowbeer denied in
part. Specifically, Amador objects to paragraphs
3 and 5 of the Order, consisting of Magistrate Judge
Bowbeer's ruling concerning Plaintiff's request for
all customer advice debit (“CAD”)
services/tickets not previously produced by Defendant U.S.
Bank and her denial of Plaintiff's request for
attorneys' fees or expenses. (Pl.'s Obj. at 1.) Based
on the Court's review of the parties' arguments and
the record, the Court grants in part and denies in part
a race discrimination action brought pursuant to the
Minnesota Human Rights Act, Minn. Stat. § 363A.01, and
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended by the
Civil Rights Act of 1991, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e. (Compl.
¶ 5 [Doc. No. 1-1].) Plaintiff was employed by U.S. Bank
as a branch bank manager from September 2011 to April 2015.
(Id. ¶¶ 7; 24; 38 .) Amador, who is
Hispanic, alleges that he was terminated by U.S. Bank based
on unlawful racial discrimination. (Id. ¶ 41.)
He alleges that his superiors subjected him to treatment that
was different than that of non-Hispanic persons.
(Id. ¶¶ 13-17.) Defendant, however,
contends that it terminated Amador's employment for two
primary reasons: (1) the improper use of a company credit
card; and (2) compliance concerns related to Amador's use
of CAD slips. (Decl. of Christine Hobrough (“Hobrough
Decl.”) ¶ 5 [Doc. No. 30].)
maintains that he occasionally provided CAD service to known
customers, consistent with his training at U.S. Bank. (Aff.
of Antonio Amador (“Amador Aff.”) ¶¶
6-7 [Doc. No. 24].) Through a CAD slip, a branch manager
could transfer money from one account controlled by a good
customer to another account, also controlled by the same
customer, without the customer's signature. (Compl.
¶ 26.) Plaintiff alleges that when he was hired and
trained by Defendant, he was trained to use the CAD service
for particular customers. (Id.) As relevant here,
Amador performed the service on behalf of “DK, ”
the owner of a major restaurant in the Twin Cities, who
maintained commercial and personal accounts with U.S. .Bank.
(Id. ¶ 26; Def.'s Opp'n Mem. at 2, n.1
[Doc. No. 38].) Amador worked as a branch manager at U.S.
Bank branches in the Midway of St. Paul and in Eagan. (Compl.
¶¶ 7; 9.) Although U.S. Bank denied Amador's
request to bring DK's account with him when he
transferred to the Eagan branch, (Hobrough Decl. ¶ 3),
he nonetheless continued to respond to DK's email, text,
or telephone requests to transfer money from his business
account to his personal account. (Amador Dep. at 126-27, Ex.
4 to Decl. of David A. Schooler [Doc. No. 31-4].) Amador
accomplished this through CAD slips. (Amador Aff.
argues that it discourages the use of CAD slips, because they
are normally reserved for correcting teller errors. (Hobrough
Decl. at ¶ 4.) Defendant contends that CAD slips create
risk for the bank because if a customer later challenges the
transfer, there is no signature by which the customer can
validate the transfer, nor an electronic footprint.
(Id.; Def.'s Opp'n Mem. at 3 [Doc. No. 38].)
discovery, Plaintiff made the following document requests,
pertinent to the instant dispute:
REQUEST NO. 1: All documents consulted, referred to,
or identified in your Answers to Interrogatories and your
Responses to the Request for Admissions served
REQUEST NO. 15: All documents or tangible material
of any kind, including but not limited to all notes,
memoranda, diaries, journals or other tangible evidence that
concern or relate in any manner to the subject matter of the
REQUEST NO. 16: To the extent that you deny any of
Plaintiff's Requests for Admissions served
contemporaneously herewith, provide each and every document
that you believe supports your denials.
(Pl.'s Doc. Prod. Req., Ex. 2 to Decl. of Matthew J.
Schaap (“Schaap Decl.”) [Doc. No. 25-2].)
Plaintiff also served the following requests for admissions,
in pertinent part:
REQUEST NO. 13: Admit that U.S. Bank transfers funds
for some of its good clients, including paying a credit card
from one of the client's U.S. Bank accounts or
transferring money from the client's account to a family
member's account, when requested by the client, through
the branch manager's use of customer service debits to