Tuesday, May 30, 2006

employment - ADA - reasonable accommodation - retaliation

Kauffman v. GMAC Mortgage Corp. - ED Pa. - May 17, 2006


Plaintiff's ADA claims against her employer dimissed on summary judgment motion.

Plaintiff had a severe allergy to perfumes -- a "disability" under the ADA, 42 USC 12101 et seq. The court held that plaintiff was not a "qualified individual" because she failed to sustain her burden of showing that a "reasonable accommodation, allowing her to perform the essential functions of her job, is possible." The evidence showed "many attempts" by the employer to alleviate plaintiff's problem. A completely scent-free environment was held to be "impractical....virtually impossible....unreasonable."

Plaintiff's retaliation claim was also rejected, because she did not meet the "burden of establishing a causal conection between her protected activity [an email to her employer complainting of harassment and unequal treatment] and her termination."

employment - discrimination - exhaustion of admin. remedies

EEOC v. Conectiv - ED Pa. - May 24, 2006


A plaintiff cannot file an individual employment discrimination action under Title VII, 42 USC 2000e et seq., for racial discrimination unless s/he has first filed charge with the EEOC or PHRC. The "single-filing rule" -- which allows a non-filing plaintiff to join a class action -- does not apply here, because plaintiff did not intervene, as of right or by permission, in the EEOC class action against the employer. Thus "failure to exhaust his administrative remedies is fatal to his individual Title VII action."

damages - calculation - flexibility

Dept. of General Services v. US Mineral Products Co. - Supreme Court - May 25, 2006


In the course of deciding the proper measure of damages concerning the chemical contamination of the former PennDOT building, the court said that it "has rejected fixed and formulaic rules when it is determined that they are not setting an appropriate, compensatory standard.....and there are many nuances and significant latitude associated with valuation for the purpose of calculating damages."