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Sine v. Rockhill Mennonite Home

United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania

July 26, 2017

MICHELE SINE
v.
ROCKHILL MENNONITE HOME, d/b/a ROCKHILL MENNONITE COMMUNITY

          MEMORANDUM

          R. BARCLAY SURRICK, J.

         Presently before the Court is Defendant Rockhill Mennonite Home's (“Rockhill Mennonite”) Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff Michele Sine's First Amended Complaint. (ECF No. 12.) After review of Defendant's Motion and all documents submitted in support thereof and in opposition thereto, Defendant's Motion will be denied.

         I. BACKGROUND

         This action involves a claim for violations of the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”); the Pennsylvania Human Rights Act (“PHRA”); and the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”). Plaintiff alleges that Defendant interfered with her right to take FMLA leave, failed to meet her accommodation requests under the ADA and PHRA, and terminated her on the basis of her disability.

         A. Factual Background[1]

         Plaintiff's First Amended Complaint alleges that Defendant is a Pennsylvania nonprofit corporation, which operates as a continuing care retirement community. (First Amended Complaint (“FAC”) ¶ 3, ECF No. 11.) During both 2014 and 2015, Defendant employed at least fifty (50) individuals for at least twenty (20) workweeks. (Id. ¶ 4.) On June 12, 2014, Defendant hired Plaintiff as a floor technician. (Id. ¶ 12.) On January 16, 2015, Plaintiff was informed by her OB/GYN that she required a hysterectomy “in order to prevent her from developing cancer.” (Id. ¶ 13.) Plaintiff scheduled the surgery for February 12, 2015. (Id. ¶ 14.) On January 23, 2015, Plaintiff met with Sandy Fulmer, Defendant's Human Resources Representative, to inform her about the February 12th surgery, and that Plaintiff would require two to three weeks of medical leave. (Id. ¶ 18.) During this meeting, Fulmer informed Plaintiff that Plaintiff was ineligible for FMLA leave, since she had not yet completed one full year of work for Defendant. (Id. ¶ 20.) As a result Plaintiff cancelled the February 12th surgery. (Id. ¶ 21.) In late April 2015, Plaintiff once again informed Fulmer that based on her doctor's recommendation, she required a hysterectomy to prevent her from developing cancer, and that she would therefore require two to three weeks of FMLA leave. (Id. ¶ 22.) Plaintiff also requested information from Fulmer with regard to details for securing approval for FMLA leave. (Id. ¶ 23.) Plaintiff alleges that during this conversation, Fulmer denied that she was aware of Plaintiff's prior request for leave, and instructed Plaintiff to speak with Defendant's Vice President of Human Resources, Kristin Thim. (Id. ¶ 24.) Plaintiff spoke to Thim, and requested the necessary FMLA paperwork. (Id. ¶ 25.) Thim informed Plaintiff she would forward Plaintiff the necessary paperwork. (Id. ¶¶ 26-27.) She never did. (Id.) Plaintiff was terminated on May 27, 2015, approximately two weeks prior to her one-year anniversary of working for Defendant. (Id. ¶ 28.)

         Plaintiff's FAC asserts nine (9) counts against Defendant. The counts are as follows:

• FMLA Interference Under 29 U.S.C.A. § 2601 et seq. (Count I);
• Discrimination Under the FMLA (Count II);
• Retaliatory Termination in Violation of FMLA (Count III);
• Failure to Accommodate in Violation of the ADA, under 42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq. (Count IV);
• Failure to Accommodate in Violation of the PHRA, under 43 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. §§ 951-63 (Count V);
• Termination on the Basis of Disability in Violation of the ADA (Count VI);
• Termination on the Basis of Disability in Violation of the PHRA (Count VII);
• Retaliation for Seeking Accommodation of Disability in Violation of the ...

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