with Executive Director Servey, Business Manager Edmiaston, and the
clerical employees he supervised. He also would review and sign off on
all of the employees' timecards each day and personally authorize time
off for his subordinates depending on the work flow on that particular
An effective work atmosphere necessitates that such a person be present
during scheduled work hours in order to handle various daily tasks and
problems that may arise and to interact with others in the workplace.
Stubbs' noticeable absences for his rest periods during the middle of the
workday would have been inconvenient for his co-workers and his
employer. This case stands in sharp contrast to the lonely factory worker
described in the earlier hypothetical.
For similar reasons, Stubbs' second proposed accommodation to work from
home also is unreasonable. An employer is generally not required to
accommodate a disability by allowing a disabled worker to work at home.
Vande Zande, 44 F.3d at 544. This is because most jobs involve teamwork
without which their quality and productivity would be greatly reduced.
Id. at 544-45. Thus, it is only an extraordinary case in which working at
home would constitute a reasonable accommodation under the ADA. Id. at
545. This is not such a case.
As noted above, a good portion of Stubbs' job duties required him to
remain on the Center's premises most of the time. He had to meet with
various individual administrators and groups of administrators behind
closed doors, a task not easily accomplished over the telephone where the
materials might not have been immediately available to him and where
secrecy might not be as certain. Stubbs' job duties also required him to
solve the various crises which his staff might encounter each day.
Without having extensive experience at the Center, it would have been
exceedingly difficult to accomplish this task from home. What if he could
not be reached by phone or was engaged in one of his rest periods at such
a crucial time? There also would exist problems with sharing information
if Stubbs took certain documents home that his co-workers needed to use
on short notice. of course, they could run to his home three blocks
away, but this would not be a reasonable accommodation.
Even more telling is Plaintiff's own admission that the only tasks he
would have accomplished by working at home would have been "completing
his reading of Marc Center manuals and reviewing restrictions on funding
agencies and calculating numbers on populations generated for dollars on
the budget." Thus, by staying home, Plaintiff would not be able to
perform all of the essential duties of his position (i.e. those which
require personal interaction or physically being present at the
workplace). This is not enough to render him qualified for his position
under the ADA.
Finally, Stubbs' attempted accommodation to temporarily shift his
duties to his co-workers and subordinates is unreasonable as a matter of
law. See Cochrum v. Old Ben Coal Co., 102 F.3d 908, 912 (7th Cir. 1996)
("[H]iring a helper to perform the overhead work would mean the helper
would de facto perform Cochrum's job. We cannot agree that Cochrum would
be performing the essential functions of his job with a helper.");
Gilbert v. Frank, 949 F.2d 637, 644 (2d Cir. 1991) (assigning other
postal employees to do the plaintiff's heavy work not a reasonable
accommodation); Treadwell v. Alexander, 707 F.2d 473, 478 (11th Cir.
1983) (assigning other park technicians to perform the plaintiff's duties
would impose an undue hardship on employer); Reigel v. Kaiser Foundation
Health Plan of North Carolina, 859 F. Supp. 963, 973 (E.D.N.C. 1994).
Moreover, it is undisputed that Stubb's co-workers were all working
full-time and were very busy with their own work; thus, they had no
ability to assist Stubbs' in his own duties.
The Court finds that the Center acted reasonably when it terminated
Stubbs on October 31, 1994. At the time of his termination, and for
approximately three weeks afterward, Stubbs was not able to perform the
essential functions of his job. Moreover, given his medical
restrictions, it would have been virtually impossible for Stubbs to have
completed the budget in a timely manner. Like the Rehabilitation Act, the
ADA forbids discrimination based on stereotypes about a handicap, but it
does not forbid decisions
based on the actual attributes of the handicap. Anderson v. University of
Wisc., 841 F.2d 737, 740 (7th Cir. 1988). That is what occurred here.
Stubbs' argument that his replacement, Linda Tuttle, was not hired
until mid-December 1994 and the budget was not completed until mid-April
1995 does not change this conclusion?. This is an after-the-fact analysis
which does not bear upon whether Defendant intentionally discriminated
against Plaintiff at the time of the decision to terminate him on October
31, 1994. It is undisputed that Stubbs could not resume his essential job
duties "in the immediate future" period following his termination.
Myers, 50 F.3d at 283. Because of this fact, Stubbs was not a "qualified
individual with a disability" and was no longer protected by the ADA.
In summary, because Plaintiff could perform none of his essential job
functions for a period of two weeks after his operation, and thereafter
could not reasonably perform his essential functions with or without a
reasonable accommodation, the Court finds that Plaintiff is not a
"qualified individual with a disability" under the ADA.*fn10 Thus,
summary judgment is granted in favor of Defendant.
IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment
[Doc. #28] is GRANTED. The Clerk is ordered to TERMINATE this case.