“[Plaintiff] can establish the third prima facie element, that she was subjected to an adverse action based on her disability, because [employer] readily admits that [Plaintiff] was terminated because she was unable to return to work without lifting restrictions at the time her FMLA leave expired.” Molina, 840 F. Supp. 2d at 1004.
A function that the job “may occasionally” require is not an essential function.
“[T]he job description states that the supervisor ‘may perform manual labor’ . . . . Just because . . . the supervisor sometimes ‘may perform’ such labor does not override the consideration that the ability to perform physical labor is not an essential or even mandatory component of the supervisor’s job. Therefore, [Plaintiff]’s inability to…
If a requirement listed as an essential function in a job description rarely or never occurs in practice, a triable issue exists as to whether it is an essential function.
A job description listed essential functions as including “frequent lifting and carrying up to 20 lbs., occasionally lifting and carrying 20-35 lbs., and occasionally lifting up to 40 lbs.,” as well as “occasionally . . . up to 200 pounds with the assistance of co-workers or Hoyer lift.” Molina, 840 F. Supp. 2d at…
A jury could find a public employee qualified when she meets the state requirements for an essential function but not her office’s more stringent requirements.
“The City requires that the SRO position must be filled by a full-duty officer authorized to use a firearm. A General Order issued by the City of Royse requires officers to undergo firearms qualification twice each year. The State of Texas only requires officers to undergo firearms qualification once each year . . . .”…
If an employer changes its qualification standards after it learns that an employee meets the old standard, the court should apply the old standard.
“It was not until after [Plaintiff] . . . brought to [employer]’s attention that he had a Texas Teachers Certificate that [employer] reconsidered the propriety of qualifying an instructor based on a Texas Teachers Certificate. At that point, [employer] determined that a Texas Teachers Certificate is not the equivalent of a Bachelor’s degree. The issue…
Reinstatement of a required license re-qualifies a person for the position, assuming no other deficient qualifications.
“[O]nce Plaintiff’s license was reinstated . . . he again became qualified for his position.” Reid v. Aransas Cnty., 805 F. Supp. 2d 322, 332 (S.D. Tex. 2011).
Losing the ability to engage in a non-essential function due to disability does not render an employee unqualified, even if he voluntarily engaged in the activity before.
“[Plaintiff] stated that it was his custom as supervisor to perform manual labor alongside his employees. Further, as an example of the type of work the supervisor might perform, the job description states that the supervisor ‘may perform manual labor . . . . Just because [Plaintiff] routinely performed manual labor or that the supervisor…
An employee is not unqualified for a job that does not actually require the responsibilities cited by the employer.
“[Plaintiff] has provided ample conflicting evidence showing a genuine issue of material fact regarding whether the Operations Manager ever had responsibility for supervising Business Services.” Mercer, 2013 WL 164107 at *9. “[Plaintiff] has provided competent summary judgment evidence that she was qualified for the Operations Manager position . . . .” Id. at 10.
Poor performance does not make an employee unqualified.
“Defendants also contend that ‘given [Plaintiff]’s poor performance, he cannot show that he was qualified . . . . The Court disagrees. Performance and qualification are not identical concepts.” Glasmire v. Pub. Storage, CIV. A. 4:11-CV-748-Y, 2013 WL 1890363, at *5 (N.D. Tex. May 7, 2013).