Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Wendy Shoop v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

February 24, 2012

WENDY SHOOP, PLAINTIFF
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE, DEFENDANT



The opinion of the court was delivered by: William W. Caldwell United States District Judge

MEMORANDUM

I. Introduction

We are considering a motion to dismiss filed by defendant, Pennsylvania

Department of Revenue ("DOR"). The case involves the termination of plaintiff's employment. Shoop brought claims arising under the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA"), 42 U.S.C. §§ 1201, et seq., the Family Medical Leave Act ("FMLA"), 29 U.S.C. § 2615, and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act ("PHRA"), 43 P.S. §§ 951 et seq.

II. Background

The following facts are set forth in plaintiff's complaint and are taken as

true, as they must be when considering a motion to dismiss. Fowler v. UPMC Shadyside, 578 F.3d 203, 210 (3d Cir. 2009). Plaintiff worked as a tax examiner for the DOR for sixteen years. She was diagnosed with sleep apnea in July 2008 and narcolepsy in October 2009, and informed defendant of her conditions. Plaintiff asserts that both conditions affect the major life activity of sleeping, making them disabilities under the ADA and PHRA. Due to these conditions, plaintiff would fall asleep during work approximately three times a year. The period of somnolence would last for up to several minutes.

Plaintiff was terminated for six alleged instances of somnolence from May 2008 through April 2010.She sought an accommodation of "indulgence," and the possibility of working over breaks and after hours for any lost time or productivity. This request was denied. Plaintiff filed the instant suit on October 28, 2011, alleging defendant did not reasonably accommodate her disabilities as required by the ADA and the PHRA. She also brought a retaliation claim under the FMLA. Defendant moves to dismiss, asserting that plaintiff's requested accommodation is not reasonable.

III. Discussion

A. Standard of Review

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) authorizes dismissal of a complaint for "failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted." Under Rule 12(b)(6), we must "accept all factual allegations as true, construe the complaint in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, and determine whether, under any reasonable reading of the complaint, the plaintiff may be entitled to relief." Fowler v. UPMC Shadyside, 578 F.3d 203, 210 (3d Cir. 2009) (quoting Phillips v. County of Allegheny, 515 F.3d 224, 231 (3d Cir. 2008)). While a complaint need only contain "a short and plain statement of the claim," Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2), and detailed factual allegations are not required, Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 1964, 167 L.Ed.2d. 929 (2007), a complaint must plead "enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face." Id.at 570, 127 S.Ct. 1955 at 1974. "The plausibility standard is not akin to a 'probability requirement,' but it asks for more than a sheer possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, - - - U.S. - - -, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556, 127 S.Ct. at 1965.) "[L]abels and conclusions" are not enough, Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555, 127 S.Ct. at 1964-65, and a court "'is not bound to accept as true a legal conclusion couched as a factual allegation.'" Id., 127 S.Ct. at 1965 (quoted case omitted).

In resolving the motion to dismiss, we thus "conduct a two-part analysis." Fowler, supra, 578 F.3d at 210. First, we separate the factual elements from the legal elements and disregard the legal conclusions. Id. at 210-11. Second, we "determine whether the facts alleged in the complaint are sufficient to show that the plaintiff has a 'plausible claim for relief.'" Id. at 211 (quoted case omitted).

B. Plaintiff's Prima Facie Case

Plaintiff brings a claim for failure to provide a reasonable accommodation under the ADA.*fn1 The ADA prohibits disability discrimination in the hiring and discharge process of otherwise qualified individuals. 42 U.S.C. ยง 12112(a). The ADA defines a "qualified individual" as "an individual who, with or without reasonable accommodation, can perform the essential ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.