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July 2012

Phoenix Office Gives Plaintiff Wake-Up Call With Summary Judgment Decision

Senior Counsel Molly Machold obtained dismissal of a disability discrimination and retaliation claim in Federal District Court for the District of Arizona, made by an employee of a private security company working at a State Prison under a contract with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. The Plaintiff alleged he was put on leave and not properly accommodated when he complained of a "sleep disorder." 

We filed a Motion for Summary Judgment and argued that the security company was simply following protocol as outlined in its contract with ICE and per requirements of the Collective Bargaining Agreement with the Plaintiffs' union. We relied on U.S. Airways v. Barnett,1 in which the Court addressed claimed ADA violations and alleged failure to provide reasonable accommodations in a situation where the accommodation conflicted with the seniority system of the employer. The court held that if an employer shows that a requested accommodation conflicts with established seniority system, it is generally sufficient to support that the accommodation is not reasonable under the ADA. The court agreed that U.S. Airways v. Barnett precluded Plaintiffs' claims and granted our Motion for Summary Judgment, dismissing the case.




1 U.S. Airways v. Barnett, 533 U.S. 391 (2002)

 



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