In February of 2013 the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky heard a case involving the ADA and FMLA. (See Huffer v. University of Kentucky, 2013 WL 431823 (E.D. Ky.)). The plaintiff in this case began working for UK in 2003 and was soon promoted to senior parking officer. All of the problems began in September/October of 2010. Plaintiff was working when a vehicle assigned to her did not work properly so she to walk her assignment in the parking lots that day. On October 4, 2010 plaintiff applied for intermittent FMLA leave until November 29th. The doctor said she could do no more lifting than fifteen pounds. So, plaintiff was assigned to work in a cash booth. But, even this she said she could not do. So, plaintiff was asked to bring a note from the doctor.
Plaintiff went to the doctor and got the note. It stated that the Plaintiff should be allowed to walk her route and not work in the cash booth. Defendant a few days later gave Plaintiff her job duties and asked her to have her doctor clarify how her medical restrictions would impact these job duties. Id.
On October 29 plaintiff applied for FMLA leave from November 3 until December 15 including a note that she was scheduled for fusion surgery. On November 10 plaintiff filed a charge of discrimination with the EEOC alleging ADA discrimination. Plaintiff was still out to work and was advised that her FMLA leave would expire on February 1, 2013 and that if she could not return to work then that she had to provide additional medical documentation from her doctor. Id. Plaintiff never responded to defendants and on February 11 was place on “approved unpaid special leave until February 28, 2011.” Id. Plaintiff never responded so defendants determined that plaintiff had voluntarily quit.
“In 2001, the United States Supreme Court held that “States are not required by the Fourteenth Amendment to make special accommodations for the disabled, so long as their actions toward such individuals are rational.”” (cites omitted). Further, the University of Kentucky was entitled to sovereign immunity, as it was a state agency. Id. Accordingly, the monetary claims for damages under the ADA and FMLA must be dismissed since they are barred by sovereign immunity. Id.
One must note that this lawsuit was filed pro se. That means the plaintiff filed her lawsuit on her own and without a lawyer. I do not know if plaintiff spoke to a Kentucky ADA and FLSA overtime lawyer but if she had someone would have told her that sovereign immunity applied and that there was no case to be had.
If you have been the subject of a Kentucky ADA and FLSA overtime case, please call and speak to a Kentucky ADA and FLSA overtime lawyer at the Law Offices of Andrew Alitowski, P.A. at 888-ASK-ANDREW (888-275-2637) or contact us. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
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