therefore constituted a constructive discharge.
The defendant moves to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). As noted above, the allegations of the complaint as well as the reasonable inferences to be drawn from them are taken as true. Doe on behalf of Doe v. St. Joseph's Hospital, 788 F.2d 411 (7th Cir. 1986). However, the court need not strain to find inferences favorable to the plaintiff which are not apparent on the face of the complaint. Coates v. Illinois State Board of Education, 559 F.2d 445, 447 (7th Cir. 1977). The plaintiff need not set out in detail the facts upon which the claim is based, but must allege sufficient facts to outline the cause of action. Doe, 788 F.2d 411. The complaint must state either direct or inferential allegations concerning all of the material elements necessary for recovery under the relevant legal theory. Mescall v. Burrus, 603 F.2d 1266 (7th Cir. 1979). The court is not required to accept legal conclusions either alleged or inferred from pleaded facts. Carl Sandburg Village Condominium Ass'n No. 1 v. First Condominium Development Co., 758 F.2d 203, 207 (7th Cir. 1985). Dismissal under Rule 12(b)(6) is improper unless it appears beyond doubt that the plaintiff can prove no set of facts in support of his claim which would entitle him to relief. Papapetropoulous v. Milwaukee Transport Services, Inc., 795 F.2d 591, 594 (7th Cir. 1986).
Sec. 504(a) of the Rehabilitation Act, 29 U.S.C. § 794(a), provides that "no otherwise qualified individual with handicaps . . . shall, solely by reason of his or her handicap. . . be subjected to discrimination . . . under any program or activity conducted by any Executive agency . . ." (emphasis added). The "central purpose" of the statute "is to assure that handicapped individuals receive 'evenhanded treatment' in relation to handicapped individuals." Traynor v. Turnage, 485 U.S. 535, 548, 99 L. Ed. 2d 618, 108 S. Ct. 1372 (1988) (quoting Alexander v. Choate, 469 U.S. 287, 304, 83 L. Ed. 2d 661, 105 S. Ct. 712 (1985)). Unintentional, as well as purposeful, discrimination against the handicapped is barred, although not every sort of disparate impact is sufficient to fall within the statute's ambit. Choate, 469 U.S. at 297-99. A federal agency, like a federal grantee, is required to provide handicapped employees with "meaningful access" to benefits offered by the agency. Id. at 301. To that end, the agency must make "reasonable" efforts to accommodate handicapped employees, but need not "make 'fundamental' or 'substantial' modifications" in its programs. Id. at 300-01.
In this case, causal nexus between the alleged discrimination suffered by McWright and her inability to bear a child is too attenuated to meet the requirements of the Rehabilitation Act. McWright's difficulties stemmed from her decision to adopt a child -- a family decision involving matters outside the work place and not directly related to her employment. The accommodation requested by McWright was not related to any specific condition of her work; McWright merely sought access to her employer's maternity leave policy. Although McWright has alleged a causal nexus between her disability and her inability to bear children, she does not allege that she was treated any differently from non-handicapped workers who decided to adopt children. Thus, assuming arguendo that she was subjected to discrimination because of her decision to adopt a child, she was not subjected to discrimination "solely by reason of [her] handicap."
McWright argues persuasively that her personal family decision to adopt placed her in a difficult situation at her job -- a situation not shared by biological mothers. Because she was not able to identify in advance the period in which she desired to take her leave, she was not able to meet the requirements of her employer's maternity leave policy. Construing McWright's allegations in the light most favorable to her, OCR gave her what appears to have been a Hobson's choice: take immediate leave (which would do her little good without a baby for some or perhaps all of the period), specify a date certain to begin her leave (which was difficult by the nature of her adoption process), or take leave on short notice in the future on the condition that she finish all then-pending assignments. The situation in which McWright found herself was not one shared by biological mothers. Nevertheless, the issue relevant to this action is not whether McWright was in a worse position than biological mothers, but whether OCR failed to make reasonable exceptions to its policy to accommodate her handicap. Whether the arrangement offered to McWright was "reasonable" and whether it gave McWright "meaningful access" to the maternity leave policy are fact issues which may not be resolved either on a motion to dismiss or a motion for summary judgment. However, because the court finds the nexus issue dispositive, it need not address these subsequent fact issues.
In sum, the allegations in McWright's complaint, if proven, might arguably show that OCR treated her cold heartedly or that her employer's maternity leave policy had limitations and was not sensitive to employees, handicapped and not handicapped, who chose to adopt children. However, these allegations do not show that the OCR leave policy discriminated against McWright on the basis of her handicap. Any remedy which McWright may have against OCR for its treatment of her is not found within the congressional language of 29 U.S.C. § 794.
For the reasons stated above, the defendant's motion to dismiss the plaintiff's second amended complaint is granted.
IT IS SO ORDERED.