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Skiles v. McConway & Torley, LLC

United States District Court, W.D. Pennsylvania

January 30, 2015



ARTHUR, J. SCHWAB, District Judge.

I. Introduction

This case centers on alleged adverse employment actions based upon disability, hostile work environment, and interference with and retaliation based upon Plaintiff's implicated federal rights. Doc. No. 1. Specifically, Plaintiff has advanced claims for: (1) violations of the Family & Medical Leave Act ("FMLA") based upon interference and retaliation (Count I); (2) violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA") based upon discrimination, failure to accommodate, retaliation, and hostile work environment (Count II); and (3) wrongful discharge (Count III). Id.

Defendants McConway & Torley, LLC and Trinity Industries, Inc. ("Defendants") move this Court to dismiss portions of Plaintiff's Complaint for failure to timely exhaust administrative remedies and/or failure to sufficiently plead his claim for hostile work environment. Doc. No. 11. Plaintiff wholly opposes Defendants' Motion. Doc. No. 13. After consideration of Plaintiff's Complaint, Defendants' Motion to Dismiss, and briefs filed in support and in opposition thereto, Defendants' Motion to Dismiss will be granted in part and denied in part. Doc. Nos. 1, 11, 12, 13, 14.

II. Statement of Facts

The facts of the case, from Plaintiff's Complaint and taken as true solely for the purposes of this Memorandum Order, are:

Plaintiff was hired by Defendants in or around March of 2011 and was employed as a Quality Insurance Inspector. Doc. No. 1, ¶ 13. Plaintiff, consistent with Defendants' attendance point system and related policy, was permitted 10 points before termination. Id. at ¶ 14.

Plaintiff suffers from various physical and mental impairments, including knee problems and anxiety (including panic attacks). Id. at ¶ 15. In or about the summer of 2012, Plaintiff suffered a work-related injury, which caused him to have a hernia. Id. at ¶ 17. Plaintiff reported his injury to management and sought workers' compensation benefits for said injury. Id. at ¶ 18. Plaintiff's injury prevented him from working for approximately a week and required surgery. Id. at ¶ 17. Defendants did not inform Plaintiff of his individualized FMLA rights as to the time period he could not work. Id. at ¶ 19. Therefore, Plaintiff was forced to use vacation time for this period so that he would not receive attendance points for his absences. Id.

Plaintiff was forced to intermittently take time off from work to treat his knee condition. Id. at ¶ 20. Plaintiff was not informed of his FMLA rights and was assessed points for the time he missed work to treat his knee condition. Id.

"Toward the end of his employment, " Plaintiff began to suffer severe panic attacks and anxiety, which caused him to intermittently miss work. Id. at ¶¶ 21, 23. Plaintiff apprised Defendants' management that he was suffering from panic attacks and anxiety and that he was taking medication to treat these conditions. Id. at ¶ 22. Plaintiff was assessed points for his absences under the Defendants' attendance policy. Id. at ¶ 23.

In or around October or November of 2013 (two weeks before he was terminated), Plaintiff requested FMLA paperwork from management so that he could intermittently take time off work for his health problems without being assessed points under Defendants' attendance policy for these absences. Id. at ¶ 24.

In or around early November 2013, Plaintiff suffered from a severe panic attack and needed to seek treatment. Id. at ¶ 26. Plaintiff's girlfriend informed Defendants' management that Plaintiff would not be able to report to work because of his panic attack. Id. at ¶ 26. Plaintiff called management later that day and left a voicemail to inquire whether he would be allowed to return to work because he believed that he had exceeded the allowable absences under the attendance policy. Id. at ¶ 27. Management never returned Plaintiff's phone call. Id. at ¶ 28.

Plaintiff was terminated in or around November of 2013 for his absences. Id. at ¶ 30. Defendants terminated Plaintiff because of his disabilities and/or in retaliation for his requested time off work due to his serious health conditions. Id. at ¶ 31. Plaintiff was subsequently told by his supervisor that he was aware that Plaintiff had called into work, but was directed not to speak with Plaintiff by Human Resources. Id. at ¶ 29. Human Resources informed the supervisor that Plaintiff had exceeded the number of absences allowed ...

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