Pittman v. Safelite Glass Corporation
ORDER GRANTING 27 Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment, DENYING 31 Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment, and DENYING AS MOOT 33 Defendant's Motion to Amend. The clerk is directed to enter judgment accordingly and close this file. Signed by US District Judge Terrence W. Boyle on 10/9/2014. Copy mailed to pro se plaintiff, via US Mail, to 454 Nutstreet Road, Enfield, NC, 27823. (Fisher, M.)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF NORTH CAROLINA
WALLACE PITTMAN, SR.,
SAFELITE GLASS CORP.,
This matter is before the Court on the parties' cross motions for summary judgment [DE
27 & 31]. For the reasons stated herein, the defendant's motion for summary judgment is
GRANTED, and plaintiffs motion for summary judgment is DENIED.
Plaintiff alleges that he was terminated from his employment with Safelite Glass Corp.
("Safelite") on the basis of his heart condition and seizures. [DE 4 at 2-5]. Specifically, plaintiff
alleges that he should have been granted a vacation day for his absence on December 28, 2009,
and that Safelite's denial of his request and assessment of his sixth attendance point which
resulted in his termination, constitutes discrimination. 1
A motion for summary judgment cannot be granted unless there are no genuine issues of
material fact for trial. FED. R. CIV. P. 56; Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322-23 (1986).
The moving party must demonstrate the lack of genuine issue of fact for trial and if that burden is
While the complaint states that it is brought pursuant to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, it is clear from
the allegations contained in the complaint, as well as plaintiffs deposition testimony, that plaintiff is actually
asserting a disability discrimination claim under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
met, the party opposing the motion must "go beyond the pleadings" and come forward with
evidence of a genuine factual dispute. Celotex, 477 U.S. at 324. The Court must view the facts
and the inferences drawn from the facts in the light most favorable to the non-moving party.
Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587-88 (1986). Conclusory
allegations are insufficient to defeat a motion for summary judgment. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby,
Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 249 (1986) ("[T]he mere existence of some alleged factual dispute between
the parties will not defeat an otherwise properly supported motion for summary judgment.")
(emphasis in original).
In order to establish a prima facie case of wrongful discharge under the Americans with
Disabilities Act ("ADA"), plaintiff must demonstrate that; (1) he was a qualified individual
under the ADA; (2) he was discharged; (3) at the time of his discharge, he was performing the
job at a level that met Safelite's legitimate expectations; and (4) his discharge occurred under
circumstances that raise a reasonable inference of unlawful discrimination. Harris v. Reston
Hasp. Ctr., 523 Fed. App'x 938, 947 (4th Cir. 2013) (unpublished).
"[A] regular and reliable level of attendance is an essential function of one's job." Lamb
v. Qualex, Inc., 33 Fed. App'x 49, 56 (4th Cir. 2002) (unpublished). Consequently, "[a]n
employee who cannot meet the attendance requirements of the job at issue cannot be considered
a 'qualified' individual protected by the ADA." !d. at 56-57 (citing Tyndall v. Nat'l Educ. Ctrs.,
31 F.3d 209, 213 (4th Cir. 1994).
Here, plaintiff took leaves of absence each year during the last five years of his
employment and was absent approximately 12 months out of the last 18 months of his
employment. The record clearly shows that plaintiff had an attendance problem which resulted in
his termination under Safelite's attendance policy. Because plaintiff was unable to perform the
essential function of attending work in a regular manner, Safelite is entitled to summary
judgment on plaintiffs disability discrimination claim because plaintiff cannot establish that he
was a qualified individual under the ADA or that he was performing at a level meeting Safelite's
expectations. Accordingly, plaintiff cannot establish a prima facie case of wrongful discharge
under the ADA and Safelite is entitled to summary judgment.
As the Court has granted summary judgment in defendant's favor, plaintiffs motion for
summary judgment is denied. Further, defendant's motion to amend/correct the scheduling order
is denied as moot as this matter has now been resolved.
For the foregoing reasons, the defendant's motion for summary judgment is GRANTED
and plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment is DENIED. Defendant's motion to amend/correct
[DE 33] is DENIED AS MOOT. The Clerk is DIRECTED enter judgment accordingly and to
close the file.
day of October, 2014.
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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