United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
E. BUCKLO, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Jamie Duignan was working as a detective for the Chicago
Police Department (“CPD”) when, on approximately
March 17, 2013, she engaged in conduct that led the
Superintendent of Police to file charges against her before
the City's Police Board on August 26, 2014. In April of 2014
(i.e., after plaintiff's alleged misconduct, but before
the Superintendent filed charges), plaintiff was hospitalized
and provisionally diagnosed with acute psychosis delusional
disorder. She later tested positive for Huntington's
disease, which she states is “a terminal genetic
neurodegenerative disorder that is characterized by
progressively worsening motor, cognitive, behavioral, and
psychiatric symptoms.” Second Amended Complaint
(“SAC”) at ¶ 12. Plaintiff alleges that her
psychosis and Huntington's disease “were active for
about two or three years prior to April of 2014, ” and
that she was temporarily disabled from performing her duties
as a detective, but that “her condition was medically
resolved by September 29, 2014, ” at which time she
“experienced a total remission of her psychosis and no
longer exhibited any active signs of Huntington's
disease.” Id. at ¶¶ 13-15.
meantime, the Police Board held a hearing on the
Superintendent's charges against plaintiff on November 21
and 24, 2014. Plaintiff admitted to the conduct attributed to
her, but she presented unrebutted expert testimony that she
was suffering, at the time, from “acute psychosis
delusional disorder, secondary to a general medical
condition, Huntington's disease.” SAC at ¶ 20.
In a decision issued on February 19, 2015, the Police Board
found that plaintiff was not guilty of the alleged
violations, as her behavior was the result of a paranoid
delusional state that was substantially related to her
medical condition. Id. at 22. The Police Board
further concluded that the case involved “a medical
rather than disciplinary matter and should be handled by the
Department as such.” SAC, Exh. B at 11.
at defendant's direction, plaintiff underwent a
psychological evaluation at the Center for Applied Psychology
and Forensic Studies on March 6, 2015. The psychologist who
evaluated her concluded that plaintiff was unfit for duty as
a police detective. SAC, Exh. D. The decision states that it
is “based on the background information, current test
findings, observations, as well as interview data.”
Id. It goes on to elaborate, “[t]his decision
is based upon the progressive course of Huntington's
disease and the lack of an adequate departmental system to
continuously monitor medication compliance and the
Detective's psychological state.” Id.
Plaintiff grieved this determination on March 13, 2015.
March 27, 2015, the Superintendent filed an action in the
Circuit Court of Cook County seeking administrative review of
the Police Board's decision finding plaintiff not guilty
of misconduct. That action was dismissed, and the Police
Board's decision thus affirmed, on July 27, 2016. In the
meantime, plaintiff had been referred by her union for a
second psychological examination by a different provider. The
psychologist who examined her on April 7, 2015, found that
she was fit for duty. The complaint does not indicate whether
defendant is aware of the results of that examination.
Plaintiff has not been returned to work.
September 16, 2015, the Superintendent filed a second set of
charges with the Police Board (the “second
charges”), again seeking plaintiff's discharge from
the Chicago Police Department. Plaintiff does not describe
the second charges, the events that gave rise to them, or
when those events occurred. A hearing proceeded on the second
charges on June 29, 2016. So far as the record reveals, no
decision in that case has been rendered.
Count I of her complaint, plaintiff alleges that defendant
discriminated against and harassed her as a result of her
disability, and failed to accommodate her disability, in
violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act
(“ADA”). In Count II, she asserts claims under
the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act
(“GINA”), alleging that defendant wrongfully
requested her genetic information and wrongfully
discriminated against her on the basis of her genetic
has moved to dismiss both of plaintiff's claims, arguing
that she failed to exhaust her administrative remedies by
filing a timely charge with the EEOC. In defendant's
view, plaintiff's 300-day window to file an EEOC charge
opened on March 6, 2015, when she was found to be unfit for
duty. Defendant further argues that plaintiff has not stated
a claim for ADA discrimination because: 1) she does not
sufficiently allege that she is a qualified individual, and
2) she does not allege “but-for” causation.
Additionally, defendant argues that plaintiff's failure
to accommodate claim fails on the pleadings because she does
not allege that she ever requested an accommodation. Finally,
defendant argues that plaintiff pleads herself out of her
claims that defendant unlawfully requested her genetic
information, and took adverse action against her based on her
genetic information, in violation of GINA. For the following
reasons, I grant defendant's motion.
considering a motion to dismiss, I draw all reasonable
inferences in favor of the non-moving party, and I assume the
truth all well-pleaded allegations. See Killingsworth v.
HSBC Bank, 507 F.3d 614, 618 (7th Cir. 2007). To survive
a motion to dismiss, the complaint must set forth enough
facts that, if taken as true, “state a claim to relief
that is plausible on its face.” Bell Atlantic v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007).
a plaintiff need not anticipate and attempt to plead around
an affirmative defense such as noncompliance with the statute
of limitations. See, e.g., Gomez v. Toledo, 446 U.S.
635, 640 (1980); United States Gypsum Co. v. Indiana Gas
Co., 350 F.3d 623, 626 (7th Cir. 2003). But where the
complaint alleges facts that establish “everything
necessary to satisfy the affirmative defense, ”
dismissal on a Rule 12(b)(6) motion is appropriate. U.S.
v. Lewis, 411 F.3d 838, 842 (7th Cir. 2005).
Illinois, an employee alleging disability discrimination must
file an EEOC charge within 300 days of the allegedly
discriminatory act. Stepney v. Naperville School Dist.
203, 392 F.3d 236, 239 (7th Cir. 2004) (“Because
the ADA's enforcement provision expressly incorporates
§ 2000e-5 of Title VII, claims for discrimination under
the ADA also must be filed within 300 days.”). Here,
the complaint does not allege, nor does the unsigned, undated
version of the charge attached to the complaint reflect, the
date on which plaintiff filed her charge. In her opposition,
however, plaintiff acknowledges that the charge was filed on
February 12, 2016, the date that appears on the document
defendant attaches to its motion, and which appears to be the
version of the charge that plaintiff ultimately
filed.Accordingly, for her claims to be timely,
the complaint must allege discriminatory conduct within the
300-day window preceding that date, i.e., on or after April
argues that her claim accrued on September 16, 2015, the day
defendant filed the second charges. Resp. at 4. I agree with
defendant, however, that the filing of these charges does not
amount to an adverse employment action, and that the
complaint articulates no actionable discriminatory conduct
after March 6, 2015, the day the CPD-endorsed psychologist
determined that plaintiff was unfit for duty.
a discrimination case, a materially adverse employment action
is one which visits upon a plaintiff a significant change in
employment status.” Boss v. Castro, 816 F.3d
910, 917 (7th Cir. 2016) (internal quotations and citation
omitted). Examples of materially adverse actions include
changes involving “the employee's current wealth,
his career prospects, or changes to work conditions that
include humiliating, degrading, unsafe, unhealthy, or
otherwise significant negative alteration in the
workplace.” Id. According to the complaint, at
the time the second charges were filed, plaintiff had been on
medical leave since at least April of ...