United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania
P. HART, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
case, Ricky Ramdeen has sued Trihop 69th Street LLC d/b/a
IHOP (“Trihop”) under the Americans with
Disabilities Act (“ADA”), 42 U.S.C. §§
1201, et seq., and the Pennsylvania Human Relations
Act (“PHRA”), 43 P.S. §§ 951 et
seq. He alleges that Trihop failed to accommodate his
disability; discriminated against him because of his
disability (or perceived disability); and terminated him in
retaliation for his requests for accommodations. Trihop has
now moved for summary judgment on all counts. For the reasons
set forth below, its motion will be denied.
Factual and Procedural Background
to Ramdeen, he is disabled by a severe head injury he
suffered in 2010, which continues to cause an impairment in
the major life activities of processing information quickly
and working. Second Amended Complaint at ¶12. He
receives Social Security disability payments. Ramdeen
Deposition, attached to Response as Exhibit A, at 9.
August, 2015, he was hired by Trihop and asked to work as a
restaurant host. Id. at ¶15. Ramdeen alleges
that on the day he was hired, he explained to the
interviewing manager, Rachid Anjaou, that he needed to limit
his hours to 20 per week so that he did not endanger his
eligibility for Social Security. Id. at 117. Mr.
Anajou agreed to that. Id. He began training on
August 31, 2015, and received no negative comments on his
work on that day. Id. at 167. However, on his second
day of training, a different manager, Jazmin Rowe, called him
to her office and asked him to work additional hours.
Id. at 125.
to Ramdeen, he told Rowe that he received disability benefits
and could not work more than 20 hours. Id. at 137-8.
He testified at his deposition: “She was like, Oh, my
God. I didn't know. I would have approached you much more
differently.” Id. at 138.
maintains that, after his conversation with Rowe, she came
out of her office and told him he would have to improve his
performance. Id. at 138. He then went into
Rowe's office for a second time, and said: “Jasmine
[sic] ... due to my disability, I may take a little
bit longer for things to register.” Id.
Scannapieco, Trihop's Director of Operations, testified
at his deposition that Ms. Rowe told him that, “in
their initial conversation Ricky explained to Jazmine that he
had some limitations .. that he may be a little slow in
grasping it all.” Scannapieco Deposition, attached to
Response at Exhibit I, at 64-5. Ms. Rowe, however, testified
at her deposition that Ramdeen never told her that he had a
disability or that it took him longer to process information.
Deposition of Jazmin Rowe, attached to Motion for Summary
Judgment as Exhibit C at 47-8.
alleges that, as he was traveling home from his second day of
training, he received a phone call from Jeannette Chapman, of
Trihop, terminating his employment. Ramdeen Deposition at
127. He filed charges with the Equal Employment Opportunity
Commission on September 8, 2015. Id. at 154-5. He
then filed this case after receiving a Right to Sue letter
from that agency. Second Amended Complaint at ¶5.
Motion for Summary Judgment, Trihop argues that Ramdeen has
not shown that he was disabled, as defined in the ADA, or
that Trihop regarded him as disabled. Trihop also argues
that, even if Ramdeen is found to have shown disability, his
claim for failure to accommodate must be dismissed because he
has not shown that he requested accommodation. Further,
Trihop argues that Ramdeen has not shown a prima facie case
of retaliation, and that he has not shown a basis for seeking
Summary Judgment Standard
judgment is warranted where the pleadings and discovery, as
well as any affidavits, show that there is no genuine issue
as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled
to judgment as a matter of law. Fed. R. Civ. Pr. 56. The
moving party has the burden of demonstrating the absence of
any genuine issue of material fact. Celotex Corp. v.
Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). In response, the
non-moving party must adduce more than a mere scintilla of
evidence in its favor, and cannot simply reassert factually
unsupported allegations contained in its pleadings.
Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 249
(1986); Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, supra at
325; Williams v. Borough of West Chester, 891 F.2d
458, 460 (3d Cir. 1989).
deciding a motion for summary judgment, the court must
determine the relevant set of facts and draw all inferences
in favor of the nonmoving party to the extent supportable by
the record. Scott v. Harris, 550 U.S. 372 (2007).
Nevertheless, Rule 56 Amandates the entry of summary judgment
... against a party who fails to make a showing sufficient to
establish the existence of an element essential to that