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Wilson v. Integrated Medical Systems, Inc.

United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division

September 12, 2016

VIVIAN WILSON, Plaintiff,
v.
INTEGRATED MEDICAL SYSTEMS, INC., an Illinois corporation, INTEGRATED MEDICAL SYSTEMS INTERNATIONAL, INC., a Delaware corporation, and UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS HOSPITAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES SYSTEM, an Illinois municipal corporation, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          John Z. Lee United States District Judge.

         Plaintiff Vivian Wilson has sued Defendants Integrated Medical Systems, Inc., [1] Integrated Medical Systems International, Inc. (“IMS”), and the University of Illinois Hospital and Health Sciences System, [2] alleging that Defendants violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), 42 U.S.C. § 12132, and the Rehabilitation Act, 29 U.S.C. § 794(a). Specifically, Wilson alleges that Defendants discriminated and retaliated against her after she suffered injuries that required her to take a leave of absence from work. Each Defendant has moved for summary judgment. For the reasons stated herein, the Court grants both motions.

         Factual Background

         Plaintiff Vivian Wilson was hired by Defendant IMS in May 2012. Pl.'s Resp. IMS's SOF ¶¶ 1, 16, ECF No. 76. IMS employs individuals who perform sterile processing services on operating room equipment, typically in hospitals. Id. ¶ 6. Although these employees may work in hospitals in various locations around the country, they are paid by IMS, and IMS controls all benefits and scheduling. Id. ¶¶ 8, 14. In the course of her employment with IMS, Wilson was placed at the University of Illinois Medical Center, located in Chicago, Illinois. Id. ¶ 1.

         On September 2, 2012, Wilson was injured outside of work. Id. ¶ 22. She sustained injuries to both hands, as well as her right thigh, and was hospitalized until September 4. Id. ¶¶ 23-24. Wilson was away from work throughout the month of September, but she, her son, and her doctor were in contact with her supervisor at IMS. Id. ¶¶ 26-32.

         On September 26, 2012, Wilson's doctor informed IMS that Wilson would undergo surgery on her left hand on September 27. He also noted that Wilson would be subject to the following restrictions after the procedure: “no use of left hand for approx. 8 weeks. After 8 weeks, 5 lb limit x 2 weeks.” Id. ¶ 32.

         IMS terminated Wilson's employment effective October 1, 2012, and Wilson received notice on October 3. Id. ¶¶ 37-38. Despite the termination, Wilson's doctor continued to send updates to IMS about her condition and lifted all work restrictions on February 20, 2013. Id. ¶¶ 40, 44.

         Wilson filed a charge of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against Integrated Medical Systems, Inc. on November 16, 2012. Id. ¶ 45. This charge (“first charge”) alleged disability discrimination and stated the following:

I began my employment with Respondent on or around May 7, 2012. My most recent position was Sterile Processing Supervisor. Respondent was aware of my disability. I was denied reasonable accommodation. Subsequently, I was discharged. I believe that I have been discriminated against because of my disability, in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended.

IMS's SOF, Ex. 27, ECF No. 68. The first charge listed the last date of discrimination as October 3, 2012-the day Wilson received notice that she had been terminated.

         The EEOC issued Wilson a notice of right to sue on May 20, 2013. Pl.'s Resp. IMS's SOF ¶ 48. Subsequently, she filed a second charge of discrimination with the EEOC on July 29, 2013. Id. ¶ 49. This charge (“second charge”) added the University of Illinois Hospital and Health Sciences System as an employer. Id. The second charge stated the following:

I was placed by Respondent Integrated with Respondent University of Illinois Hospital on or around May 7, 2012, for a contract position as a Sterile Processing Supervisor. From September 3, 2012, through and including October 3, 2012, I, and people acting on my behalf, requested a reasonable accommodation of a medical leave to recover from surgery and severe injuries I had suffered. I was fired on October 3, 2012. I believe I have been discriminated against based on my disability and/or the perception of my disability and/or the record of my disability and/or retaliated against for having requested a reasonable accommodation and/or for otherwise having asserted my rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

IMS's SOF, Ex. 30. Unlike the first charge, in the second charge Wilson checked the “retaliation” box on the EEOC form. Id. The charge also listed the last date of discrimination as October 3, 2012. Pl.'s Resp. IMS's SOF ¶ 51. The EEOC issued Wilson a second notice of right to sue based on the second charge on April 25, 2014. Id. ¶ 52.

         Wilson initiated this lawsuit by filing a complaint on July 25, 2014. Id. ΒΆ 53 The complaint alleges discrimination and retaliation under both the ADA (Counts I and II) and the Rehabilitation Act ...


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