ILNews

Snoozing worker wins reversal on ADA claim against employer

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

An Indiana company violated the Americans with Disabilities Act when it fired an employee for falling asleep on the job after it learned the worker had a medical condition covered by the federal protection.

The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed, in part, the summary judgment on the ADA claim in favor of the company, C&M Fine Pack  Inc., by the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of Indiana, Fort Wayne Division.

In Kimberly Spurling v. C&M Fine Pack, Inc., 13-1708, the 7th Circuit found, despite the company’s claim to the contrary, C&M fired Spurling after it had been notified that she had a medical disability that was interfering with her ability to do her work.   

Following several warnings and suspensions for sleeping at work, Spurling was given a final warning/suspension on April 15, 2010. Six days later, she gave the company the paperwork her physician had just filled out, indicating she had a disability covered under the ADA and that more medical testing was needed.

On April 28, C&M fired Spurling. About a month later she received a definitive diagnosis for narcolepsy that, in her case, was manageable with medication.

The District Court ruled that C&M terminated Spurling on April 15, before it knew of her disability.

The 7th Circuit reversed because, although C&M traded emails about firing Spurling on April 15, the company did not clearly communicate its intentions to her and it did not inform her of the decision to terminate prior to April 28.

Moreover, C&M received the doctor’s note on April 21 but did not talk to Spurling to find out whether a reasonable accommodation could be made for her disability. C&M did not contact her doctor to determine the severity of Spurling’s claim or how to adapt her work to her condition.
 

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in Indiana Lawyer editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT
Subscribe to Indiana Lawyer
  1. Ah yes... Echoes of 1963 as a ghostly George Wallace makes his stand at the Schoolhouse door. We now know about the stand of personal belief over service to all constituents at the Carter County Clerk door. The results are the same, bigotry unable to follow the directions of the courts and the courts win. Interesting to watch the personal belief take a back seat rather than resign from a perception of local power to make the statement.

  2. An oath of office, does it override the conscience? That is the defense of overall soldier who violates higher laws, isnt it? "I was just following orders" and "I swore an oath of loyalty to der Fuhrer" etc. So this is an interesting case of swearing a false oath and then knowing that it was wrong and doing the right thing. Maybe they should chop her head off too like the "king's good servant-- but God's first" like St Thomas More. ...... We wont hold our breath waiting for the aclu or other "civil liberterians" to come to her defense since they are all arrayed on the gay side, to a man or should I say to a man and womyn?

  3. Perhaps we should also convene a panel of independent anthropological experts to study the issues surrounding this little-known branch of human sacrifice?

  4. I'm going to court the beginning of Oct. 2015 to establish visitation and request my daughters visits while she is in jail. I raised my grandchild for the first two and half years. She was born out of wedlock and the father and his adopted mother wantwd her aborted, they went as far as sueing my daughter for abortion money back 5mo. After my grandchild was born. Now because of depression and drug abuse my daughter lost custody 2 and a half years ago. Everyting went wrong in court when i went for custody my lawyer was thrown out and a replacment could only stay 45 min. The judge would not allow a postponement. So the father won. Now he is aleinating me and my daughter. No matter the amount of time spent getting help for my daughter and her doing better he runs her in the ground to the point of suicide because he wants her to be in a relationship with him. It is a sick game of using my grandchild as a pawn to make my daughter suffer for not wanting to be with him. I became the intervener in the case when my daughter first got into trouble. Because of this they gave me her visitation. Im hoping to get it again there is questions of abuse on his part and I want to make sure my grandchild is doing alright. I really dont understand how the parents have rights to walk in and do whatever they want when the refuse to stand up and raise the child at first . Why should it take two and a half years to decide you want to raise your child.The father used me so he could finish college get a job and stop paying support by getting custody. Support he was paying my daughter that I never saw.

  5. Pence said when he ordered the investigation that Indiana residents should be troubled by the allegations after the video went viral. Planned Parenthood has asked the government s top health scientists at the National Institutes of Health to convene a panel of independent experts to study the issues surrounding the little-known branch of medicine.

ADVERTISEMENT