Federal Employment Law Update (ADA Retaliation)

On Wednesdays, I will discuss a recent federal opinion on a key employment issue.

On Monday, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeal issued an opinion in the matter of Carson v. Ford Motor Co., 2011 WL 379190 (6th Cir. February 7, 2011).  In Carson, the 6th Circuit affirmed summary judgment for Ford on Plaintiff’s claim for retaliation under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

In 2005, Plaintiff Carson received a “reasonable cause” finding from the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission that Ford failed to provide him a reasonable accommodation for his colitis condition.  Two years later, while working as a cleaner for Ford, Carson was found inappropriately sifting through the desk drawers of a quality control director.  Carson was terminated after the incident was reported.

Carson filed a Charge of Discrimination, alleging that he was terminated in retaliation for his 2005 Charge of disability discrimination.  The trial court entered summary judgment for Ford.  Reviewing the trial court decision de novo, the 6th Circuit held that Carson failed to satisfy any of the 6th Circuit’s three criteria for finding that Ford’s employment action was pretextual — 1) that the employer’s stated reason for termination has no basis in fact; 2) that the proffered reason did not actually motivate the employment action; or 3) that the proffered reason was insufficient to warrant the employment action.  Ladd v. Grand Trunk W. R.R., Inc., 552 F. 3d 495 (6th Cir. 2009).

Carson did not articulate on which theory he attempted to prove pretext.  More importantly, he elicited no evidence supporting any theory, offering nothing more than his self-serving opinions.  Summary judgment was affirmed.


I will be on vacation from tomorrow through Monday, February 14th, after which I will be back updating the blog.  Have a great weekend!

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