Argued June 5, 2015.
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division. No. 1:11-cv-4421 -- Joan B. Gottschall, Judge.
For Mark E. Swanson, Plaintiff - Appellant: Nicholas F. Esposito, Attorney, Esposito & Staubus, Burr Ridge, IL.
For Village of Flossmoor, Illinois, Defendant - Appellee: Yvette Heintzelman, Attorney, Clark Baird Smith Llp, Rosemont, IL; John F. O'Reilly, Attorney, Wheaton, IL.
Before WOOD, Chief Judge, and FLAUM and EASTERBROOK, Circuit Judges.
Flaum, Circuit Judge.
Mark Swanson resigned from the Village of Flossmoor's police department after suffering two strokes, six weeks apart, the second of which left him unable to perform his job as a detective. Swanson claims that the Village failed to reasonably accommodate him--in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act--upon his return to work from his first stroke by not permitting him to work exclusively at a desk. He also charges the Village with offending Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by discriminating against him on the basis of his race and national origin. He cites various instances in which Village employees made racially offensive comments to him during the course of his employment. He also complains that the Village excluded him from criminal investigations after his first stroke and then contemplated the possibility of moving him out of the investigations division entirely after his second stroke.
The district court granted summary judgment in favor of the Village. The court deemed Swanson's Title VII claims time-barred because Swanson failed to lodge a formal charge with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission within the requisite 300-day period following the alleged discrimination. And the court branded Swanson's ADA claim deficient in view of his doctor's recommendation that Swanson work " part-time" following his first stroke. We affirm.
Mark Swanson was hired as a patrol officer by the po-lice department of the Village of Flossmoor, Illinois in January 2000. On November 25, 2006, he was promoted to detective in the criminal investigations unit, where he worked under the supervision of Sergeant James Hundley and Deputy Police Chief Michael Pulec until his career was tragically cut short by two strokes that forced him to resign.
When Swanson suffered his first stroke on July 31, 2009, he took a leave of absence pursuant to the Family and Medical Leave Act until August 19, 2009. Swanson returned to work with a note from his doctor, which read: " part-time work suggested until patient seen by Neurologist on 9-18-09." To heed his doctor's advice, Swanson began using two days of his accrued medical leave each week, enabling him to receive a full paycheck while only working three-day weeks.
According to Swanson, upon his return to work, he was excluded from several investigations in which he should have been involved. He also says that at some point during the month of September he began experiencing headaches and lightheadedness, which prompted him to ask Pulec if he could be placed on " light duty" (or desk duty, as Swanson's counsel defined the term at oral argument). Swanson claims that Pulec told him that the police department had no light duty policy and denied the request. Swanson therefore continued to use his accrued medical leave to work a reduced schedule--a routine that satisfied his doctor's recommendation until September 30, when Swanson experienced another stroke.
Swanson's second stroke rendered him unable to work as a detective or patrol officer, and so Swanson's doctor excused him from work until further notice. By November 17, Swanson's status had not changed. He submitted paperwork certifying as much and requesting FMLA leave retroactively to September 30. The Village approved ...