The opinion of the court was delivered by: Joyner, District Judge.
This is a civil action brought by Plaintiff, Kevin Baltuskonis
("Baltuskonis") against Defendant, U.S. Airways, Inc., ("US
Airways") alleging U.S. Airways terminated his employment in
violation of the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993,
29 U.S.C.A. § 2601 et seq. (1999) ("FMLA"). Presently before the
court is U.S. Airways' Motion for Summary Judgment pursuant to
Federal Rule 56 of Civil Procedure. For the following reasons,
U.S. Airways' motion shall be granted.
The note and Griffin's Record of Attendance Discussion Form
were forwarded to Administrative Assistant Judy Combs ("Combs").
It became evident to Combs that portions of the doctor's note
were altered. The reference to "Kevin and his" and the return
date "3/17/96" on the doctor's note were in different handwriting
and ink than the writing of the rest of the note. Combs contacted
the doctor's office to discover that the doctor examined and
treated Baltuskonis' daughter and not Baltuskonis. A nurse from
the doctor's office told Combs that she did not write the words
"Kevin and his" and did not fill out the return date to work as
Production Foreman Alex Deputron ("Deputron") met with
Baltuskonis to question Baltuskonis about his absence and the
note. Baltuskonis only stated that he had not altered the
doctor's note. Baltuskonis' wife actually altered the note. On
March 21, 1996, Deputron terminated Baltuskonis for
misrepresentation to obtain employee benefits in violation of
U.S. Airways' Posted Rule of Conduct No. 32. On March 11, 1998,
Baltuskonis filed suit. US Airways now moves for summary
I. Summary Judgment Standard
The standards applicable to summary judgment motions are well
established. Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(c), a court
may grant a motion for summary judgment if all of the information
before the court shows there is no genuine issue of material fact
and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.
Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322, 106 S.Ct. 2548,
2552, 91 L.Ed.2d 265 (1986). The moving party does not have to
disprove the opposing party's claim, but does have the burden to
show the absence of any genuine issues of material fact based on
relevant portions of the pleadings, depositions, answers to
interrogatories, and admissions in the file. Celotex, 477 U.S.
at 322-23, 106 S.Ct. at 2552-53.
Once the moving party meets this burden, the burden shifts to
the non-moving party who must set forth affirmative evidence and
specific facts showing there is a genuine issue in dispute.
Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 249, 106 S.Ct.
2505, 2511-12, 91 L.Ed.2d 202 (1986), Celotex, 477 U.S. at 323,
106 S.Ct. at 2552. The non-moving party must go beyond the
pleadings, its own affidavits, and depositions to show that there
is a genuine issue for trial. Celotex, 477 U.S. at 323, 106
S.Ct. at 2552. In fact, the non-moving party must furnish
sufficient evidence favoring the non-moving party that would
enable a jury to return a verdict in its favor. Anderson, 477
U.S. at 249, 106 S.Ct. at 2511-12, Celotex, 477 U.S. at 324,
106 S.Ct. at 2553. An action is void of a material issue for
trial where the evidence, taken as a whole, could not lead a jury
to find for the non-moving party. Matsushita Elec. Indus. Corp.
v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586, 106 S.Ct. 1348, 89
L.Ed.2d 538 (1986). We remain mindful, however, that in ruling on
a motion for summary judgment, we must review the facts in the
light most favorable to the plaintiff. Id.
Baltuskonis brought suit under Section 105(a) of the FMLA,
29 U.S.C.A. § 2615(a). FMLA § 105(a) provides that:
It shall be unlawful for any employer to interfere
with, restrain, or deny the exercise of or the
attempt to exercise, any right ...