United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
OPINION AND ORDER
an action under Title I of the Americans with Disabilities
Act, 42 U.S.C. §12111, et seq., (“the
ADA”). The court has jurisdiction of the action and the
parties pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-5 and 28 U.S.C.
§§ 1331, 1337, and 1343.
the court are plaintiff's motion to amend the pleadings
by adding class action allegations as set forth in a First
Amended Class Action Complaint and defendant's motion to
compel plaintiff to supply additional information and
documents in response to interrogatories and requests for the
production of documents.
Tonia Tate (“Tate”) was employed by defendant
United Airlines, Inc. from 1998 until November 12, 2012 as a
flight attendant. She has been diagnosed as having Type I
diabetes which she alleges substantially limits one or more
of her major life activities. It is further alleged that her
physical impairment was increased by being subjected to long
periods of standing while working as a flight attendant.
alleged that UAL has a policy and practice of treating
Tate's condition as a common illness without
accommodation of medical restrictions and terminating
employees for missing work when absent from work as a result
of such disability. Plaintiff alleges that she was so
terminated for being absent from work after being subjected
to a hostile work environment.
seeks to bring this action on behalf of herself and other UAL
similarly situated employees pursuant to F.R.C.P. Rule
23(b)(3). She alleges the following class definition.
All persons who were employed by the Defendant, its
subsidiaries and affiliated companies, as Flight Attendants
or similarly situated employees, in the United States at any
time during the relevant statute of limitations period,
individuals with disabilities, absent from work because of
their disability, and discharged under the attendance policy
used by Defendant.
alleges numerosity, common questions of law and fact,
typicality, adequacy and the superiority of a class, factors
which must be considered before a class can be certified.
is not seeking class certification at this time. However,
defendant attacks the proposed class allegations of the
complaint. An order denying amendment to allege class action
allegations or to strike class action allegations is
functionally equivalent to an order denying class
certification. In re Bemis Co., 279
F.3d 419, 421 (7th Cir. 2002).
position, that the proposed class action complaint asserting
that ADA complaints of the kind alleged are not conducive to
class actions, is contrary to the holdings in
Hendrix-Robinson v Excel Corp., 154 F.3d 685
(7thCir. 1998) in which the court considered an
employer's lay-off policy in an ADA class action context
and ordered a trial of such issues.
is taken of the ADA consent decree entered by this court in
the case of Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v.
United Airlines, Inc., 10 C 1699, on June 8, 2015. In
that proceeding UAL consented to an injunction requiring it
to provide reasonable accommodation to disabled employees and
required to it modify its assessment, training and notice
practices. Although that case was not a class action, it
provides background information and the facts may be of
relevance in an ADA class action if one is certified. For
present purposes, it supports the plausibility of
plaintiff's class action complaint. Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009); Bell v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 556 (2007). The motion to file an
amended complaint will be granted and time will be allowed
for class action discovery and the filing of a motion to
certify a class.
contends that the plaintiff's answers to interrogatories
and response to the request for documents is incomplete. The
information sought is incomplete. However, some or all of the
information may be provided when plaintiff gives a
deposition. Plaintiff also states that some information will
be provided as required by F.R.C.P. Rule 26. Accordingly,
ruling on defendant's motion will be reserved until ...