MBJ Victory: Federal Court Dismisses Claim of Disability Discrimination

The United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts recently granted summary judgment for the defendant employer on claims of disability and gender discrimination, retaliation, and infliction of emotional distress filed by an employee.  Morgan, Brown & Joy’s representation of the employer in this case was successful – the Court dismissed all of the employee’s claims.

The Plaintiff, an employee of Home Depot U.S.A., Inc., claimed Home Depot discriminated against him because of his alleged disability (anxiety and depression) and gender (male) when it failed to allow his schedule to be changed (starting an hour earlier and ending an hour earlier).  Plaintiff sought this change to accommodate his daughter’s new bus schedule.  Home Depot denied each of Plaintiff’s claims and produced evidence that his alleged disability did not substantially impair any of his major life activities, and, even if it did, the requested schedule change was to accommodate his daughter’s schedule, not his disability.  Home Depot argued Plaintiff’s gender and retaliation claims failed because he did not suffer from an adverse employment action, and, with regard to the gender claim, he could point to no female employees in the same position who were allowed the type of schedule change that he was denied.

The United States District Court allowed summary judgment, dismissing each of Plaintiff’s claims.  The Court found that the Plaintiff was not substantially limited in any of his major life activities by his anxiety and depression and that, even if he had been, it was not unreasonable for Home Depot to refuse to change his schedule.  The Court also found the Plaintiff had no evidence that he suffered the adverse employment action vital to his claims of gender discrimination and retaliation. Finally, Plaintiff’s claim of intentional infliction of emotional distress was barred by law.

Robert P. JoyJoseph P. McConnell, and Tracy Thomas Boland represented the defendant employer in the case.  A copy of the decision can be found here.