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Hansen v. Central Management Services

United States District Court, C.D. Illinois, Springfield Division

June 12, 2018

STEWART HANSEN, Plaintiff,
v.
CENTRAL MANAGEMENT SERVICES, BRYON MEUNCH, and DEB HARVEY, Defendants.

          OPINION

          TOM SCHANZLE-HASKINS, U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         This matter comes before the Court on Defendants' Central Management Services (CMS), Bryon Meunch, and Deb Harvey's Motion to Dismiss (d/e 10) (Motion). The parties consented to proceed before this Court. Consent to the Exercise of Jurisdiction by a United States Magistrate Judge and Reference Order entered May 25, 2018 (d/e 16). For the reasons set forth below, the Motion is ALLOWED in part and DENIED in part.

         Plaintiff Stewart Hansen alleges that Defendants discriminated against him and retaliated against him in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Complaint (d/e 1); 29 U.S.C. § 2615 (FMLA); 42 U.S.C. § 12112 (ADA). Defendants move to dismiss for failure to state a claim under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). For purposes of the Motion, the Court assumes well-pleaded allegations in the Complaint to be true and draws all inferences in favor of Hansen. See Franzoni v. Hartmax Corp., 300 F.3d 767, 771 (7th Cir. 2002). The exhibits attached to the Complaint are part of the Complaint for all purposes. Fed.R.Civ.P. 10(c). The Complaint alleges the following.

         STATEMENT OF FACTS

         Hansen worked for CMS from January 1, 1990 to October 14, 2016. From January 1, 2016 until September 12, 2016, he worked as a systems analyst in its Department of Innovation and Technology (Department). CMS is an agency of the State of Illinois. Hansen suffers from bipolar disorder, depression, and anxiety. Defendant Meunch was Hansen's supervisor in the Department, and Defendant Harvey was Meunch's supervisor. In late April or early May 2016, Hansen filed FMLA requests for accommodations due to his mental disorders. Hansen requested permission to be tardy or absent from work due to his condition and necessary appointments to treat his condition. CMS approved his requests for accommodation. Hansen alleges that he was able to perform his job satisfactorily with these accommodations. See Complaint, at 4 and Collective Exhibit to the Complaint (Collective Exhibit) at 6-13. 18.[1]

         When Hansen filed the requests, Meunch “stepped out of his office to the central work area of my unit and to the other employees loudly cursed at me and proceeded to reprimand me throughout the day.” Complaint, at 4. Hansen complained to his union representative, and Meunch was disciplined for his behavior. Thereafter, Meunch held Hansen to a higher standard than his co-workers and “aggressively continued his harassment” of Hansen. Id.

         Hansen was tardy on April 14 and 15, 2016 due to his medical conditions. The tardy arrivals on those two days were approved as part of his accommodation. Defendants, however, subjected Hansen to progressive discipline for these two tardy arrivals. Hansen does not allege the result of the disciplinary proceeding. Complaint, Collective Exhibit at 14-20.

         Hansen alleges that Meunch and Harvey continued to harass him on a daily basis. Complaint, Collective Exhibit, at 22-23.

         On or before August 11, 2016, Hansen's girlfriend dropped him off at work in a car that Hansen rented. The police stopped the car and searched the girlfriend's backpack. The officers found illegal drugs and drug paraphernalia. The officers also found an empty container for prescription medication with Hansen's name on it. Complaint, Collective Exhibit, at 28 of 33.

         Officers of the Illinois State Police then came to Hansen's workplace. Defendant Harvey directed Hansen to talk to Officers of the Illinois State Police. The Police Officers found nothing on his person, and questioned him. When Hansen said he wanted to speak with an attorney, the officers arrested him and took him to the Sangamon County, Illinois, jail. Hansen was charged with possession of illegal drugs and drug paraphernalia. Complaint, Collective Exhibit, at 28 of 33.

         CMS suspended Hansen indefinitely on September 12, 2016, for violation of CMS rules and policies because he possessed illegal drugs and drug paraphernalia. The suspension was a discharge under Illinois unemployment law. Complaint, Collective Exhibit, at 28 of 33. Hansen alleges that Meunch and Harvey concocted the story of drug possession to harass Hansen because he asserted his rights under the ADA and FMLA. Complaint, at 5 and Collective Exhibit, at 3. Hansen also alleges that he left “voluntarily due to the on-going harassment and hostile work environment, and the loss of wages that were held back from me for several months.” Complaint, at 5.

         On January 5, 2017, the Sangamon County, Illinois, State's Attorney dropped all charges against Hansen. Complaint, Collective Exhibit at 28 of 33.

         After his indefinite suspension, Hansen filed for unemployment benefits. Representatives of CMS opposed his application for unemployment benefits. CMS took the position in the unemployment proceedings that Hansen was fired for cause. CMS contended that Hansen violated its rules and policies by possessing illegal drugs and drug paraphernalia. Complaint, at 6, and Collective Exhibit, at 28 of 33. On May 2, 2017, an Illinois Administrative Law Judge determined that ...


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