Case name: Morgan v. Rowe Materials, LLC, No. 3:08CV576 (E.D. Va. 05/11/09).
Ruling: The U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Virginia dismissed a former employee's Americans with Disabilities Act, Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and state law claims against a concrete company.
What it means:
An employee pursuing a discrimination suit against his employer under federal or state statutes must follow court procedures and carefully articulate his claim in his complaint or face dismissal before the merits of his claims are reviewed. He must address all the elements of the statutes he is invoking, must meet strict deadlines for administrative complaints and commencing suit, and must exhaust his administrative remedies for all claims.
An employee for a concrete company developed a permanent injury to an arm nerve arising from his work duties. He was given temporary light duty while he applied for two other positions with the company. He alleged that the company hired younger, less qualified applicants for the positions. He pointed out that he was certified and had extensive experience in the work required for one of the positions, contrary to the selected candidate. The company terminated his employment, claiming there were no available positions that met his medical restrictions and that it could not keep him on light duty indefinitely. The employee sued under the ADA, the ADEA, and state laws. The District Court dismissed all claims.
The court held that the employee did not sufficiently plead that he was disabled under the ADA. The court pointed out that the employee did not list a major life activity in which he was substantially limited; he did not identify his job and its qualifications and job duties; and he did not assert that he was qualified for his original job. The court decided not to further address the merits of his disability discrimination claims.
The court also ruled that the employee did not commence suit within the one-year statute of limitations for the state disability discrimination claims. His discharge, which was the focus of his complaint, occurred more than one year prior to his lawsuit. The court determined that the employee had not exhausted his administrative remedies in his ADEA suit. Further, the state civil rights statute did not provide for private causes of action where a violation of another law was not found.
July 6, 2009
Copyright 2009© LRP Publications