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Snoozing worker wins reversal on ADA claim against employer

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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.
 

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  1. Uh oh, someone is really going to get their panti ... uh, um ... I mean get upset now: http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/mar/31/arkansas-passes-indiana-style-religious-freedom-bill

  2. Bryan, stop insulting the Swedes by comparing them to the American oligarchs. Otherwise your point is well taken.

  3. Sociologist of religion Peter Berger once said that the US is a “nation of Indians ruled by Swedes.” He meant an irreligious elite ruling a religious people, as that Sweden is the world’s least religious country and India the most religious. The idea is that American social elites tend to be much less religious than just about everyone else in the country. If this is true, it helps explain the controversy raking Indiana over Hollywood, San Fran, NYC, academia and downtown Indy hot coals. Nevermind logic, nevermind it is just the 1993 fed bill did, forget the Founders, abandon of historic dedication to religious liberty. The Swedes rule. You cannot argue with elitists. They have the power, they will use the power, sit down and shut up or feel the power. I know firsthand, having been dealt blows from the elite's high and mighty hands often as a mere religious plebe.

  4. I need helping gaining custody of my 5 and 1 year old from my alcoholic girlfriend. This should be an easy case for any lawyer to win... I've just never had the courage to take her that far. She has a record of public intox and other things. She has no job and no where to live othe than with me. But after 5 years of trying to help her with her bad habit, she has put our kids in danger by driving after drinking with them... She got detained yesterday and the police chief released my kids to me from the police station. I live paycheck to paycheck and Im under alot of stress dealing with this situation. Can anyone please help?

  5. The more a state tries to force people to associate, who don't like each other and simply want to lead separate lives, the more that state invalidates itself....... This conflict has shown clearly that the advocates of "tolerance" are themselves intolerant, the advocates of "diversity" intend to inflict themselves on an unwilling majority by force if necessary, until that people complies and relents and allows itself to be made homogenous with the politically correct preferences of the diversity-lobbies. Let's clearly understand, this is force versus force and democracy has nothing to do with this. Democracy is a false god in the first place, even if it is a valid ideal for politics, but it is becoming ever more just an empty slogan that just suckers a bunch of cattle into paying their taxes and volunteering for stupid wars.

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