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

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Indiana State Bar Association

Indianapolis Bar Association

Evansville Bar Association

Allen County Bar Association

Indiana Lawyer on Facebook

facebook
ADVERTISEMENT
Subscribe to Indiana Lawyer
  1. It is amazing how selectively courts can read cases and how two very similar factpatterns can result in quite different renderings. I cited this very same argument in Brown v. Bowman, lost. I guess it is panel, panel, panel when one is on appeal. Sad thing is, I had Sykes. Same argument, she went the opposite. Her Rooker-Feldman jurisprudence is now decidedly unintelligible.

  2. November, 2014, I was charged with OWI/Endangering a person. I was not given a Breathalyzer test and the arresting officer did not believe that alcohol was in any way involved. I was self-overmedicated with prescription medications. I was taken to local hospital for blood draw to be sent to State Tox Lab. My attorney gave me a cookie-cutter plea which amounts to an ALCOHOL-related charge. Totally unacceptable!! HOW can I get my TOX report from the state lab???

  3. My mother got temporary guardianship of my children in 2012. my husband and I got divorced 2015 the judge ordered me to have full custody of all my children. Does this mean the temporary guardianship is over? I'm confused because my divorce papers say I have custody and he gets visits and i get to claim the kids every year on my taxes. So just wondered since I have in black and white that I have custody if I can go get my kids from my moms and not go to jail?

  4. Someone off their meds? C'mon John, it is called the politics of Empire. Get with the program, will ya? How can we build one world under secularist ideals without breaking a few eggs? Of course, once it is fully built, is the American public who will feel the deadly grip of the velvet glove. One cannot lay down with dogs without getting fleas. The cup of wrath is nearly full, John Smith, nearly full. Oops, there I go, almost sounding as alarmist as Smith. Guess he and I both need to listen to this again: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CRnQ65J02XA

  5. Charles Rice was one of the greatest of the so-called great generation in America. I was privileged to count him among my mentors. He stood firm for Christ and Christ's Church in the Spirit of Thomas More, always quick to be a good servant of the King, but always God's first. I had Rice come speak to 700 in Fort Wayne as Obama took office. Rice was concerned that this rise of aggressive secularism and militant Islam were dual threats to Christendom,er, please forgive, I meant to say "Western Civilization". RIP Charlie. You are safe at home.

ADVERTISEMENT