In April of 2013, the United States District Court for the Western District of Kentucky heard a case that involved the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) and the Kentucky Civil Rights Act (“KCRA”) in Louisville, KY. (see Brown v. Humana Insurance Co., 2013 WL 1831308 (W.D. KY 2013)).
In this Louisville FMLA and KCRA discrimination case, the plaintiff claims she was fired because of her health condition. The defendant insurance company filed motions for summary judgment to dismiss the claims stating that the plaintiff did not submit enough evidence to support her claims.
Plaintiff began working for the defendant insurance company in December of 2005. She worked in the division that built and implemented various health insurance plans for clients, and handles changes and renewals to those plans. She was initially hired as an Account Installation Coordinator. Id. She was promoted in 2008. Id. But, in 2010 plaintiff was placed on a Competency and Contribution Improvement Plan because of her work performance deficiencies. Three months later on June 16, 2010, defendant fired plaintiff. Id. The details of plaintiff’s performance history are disputed in this Louisville FMLA and KCRA Discrimination case. Id. There were actions taken by the plaintiff that were mistakes in the workforce. Some she admits to, but some she does not.
Plaintiff in this Louisville FMLA and KCRA Discrimination case suffers in part from Crohn’s disease. Crohn’s is a chronic gastrointestinal condition that causes severe inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract. Id. In early 2010, because of her ailment, plaintiff applied and received approval for intermittent FMLA leave. Plaintiff hired a lawyer and through her Louisville FMLA and KCRA Discrimination lawyer claimed that the defendant failed to reasonably accommodate her disability with permission to work from home on a standing basis. Defendant in this Louisville FMLA and KCRA Discrimination case argued that her termination was purely the result of performance deficiencies. Id.
“To establish a prima facie case for failure to accommodate, the plaintiff must show: 1) she is disabled within the meaning of the Act, 2) she is otherwise qualified for the position, with or without reasonable accommodation, 3) her employer knew or had reason to know about her disability, 4) she requested an accommodation, and 5) the employer failed to provide the necessary accommodation.” (cites omitted).
The defendant argued that plaintiff did not meet the first, fourth and fifth elements. As to the first element, the court held that she had. That her ailment was a disability under the Act. As to the fourth element, a reasonable accommodation may not be allowing the plaintiff to work from home. Courts have held that the ADA does not require employers to permit employees to work from home, “where their productivity inevitably would be greatly reduced.” (cites omitted). It would be an “exceptional case” where a work-from-home accommodation would be reasonable. Id.
Next, as to the FMLA claim, and her claim of retaliation, a prima facie case is proven when the plaintiff shows that: 1) she engaged in a statutory protected activity, 2) the defendant knew she was so acting, 3) she suffered an adverse employment action, and 4) the exercising of her FMLA rights was causally connected to the adverse employment action. (cites omitted). The court in this Louisville FMLA and KCRA Discrimination matter found that the plaintiff’s lawyer had sustained her burden and was allowed to proceed on this matter. There was temporal proximity and the defendant did not contest any of the other elements for a prima facie case.
If you have been the subject of a Louisville FMLA and MCRA Discrimination case, please call and speak to a Louisville FMLA and MCRA Discrimination 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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