From 2004 through 2007, attorney Victoria Anderson worked for Discovery Communications. She was commended for her strong technical, legal and drafting skills. Her annual reviews did note that she needed to improve her organizational and interpersonal skills. She needed to do better in getting along with others.
Acccording to an article in ”Virginia Lawyers Weekly” (Deborah Elkins), in October of 2006, Anderson took a leave of absence from her employer under the Family and Medical Leave Act. She was having difficulty sleeping.
Testing ruled out sleep apnea. Her physicians determined that she was suffering from fatique, sleep deprivation and insomnia and prescribed her Ambien, to help her sleep. Anderson then returned to her job in November. She came with a doctor’s note that advised that her daily work schedule had to be limited to eight hours. After two follow-up doctor appointments, in December she was then released without any work restrictions.
When Anderson returned to work, she advised her employers that she could only work between the hours of 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Her employers advised that they needed her to work a full 40-hour work week because their core business was during the hours of 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
In December of 2007, Her employer fired Anderson, claiming that she had entered inaccurate time entries for her work; refused to accept a performance plan, and had a ”combative, difficult, and manipulative” nature.
Anderson sued her employer. The case was styled Anderson v. Discovery Communications LLC. Her lawsuit was based on her claimed rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The Federal Court judge granted summary judgment for the employer. She appealed to the 4th Circuit. The 4th Circuit upheld the lower court’s dismissal; and the appellate panel, in an unpublished opinion, ruled that “sleep patterns vary between individuals and even during a person’s lifetime. On this record, Anderson simply failed to present evidence creating a genuine issue of material fact as to whether she was ‘substantially impaired’ in December 2006, as a result of her insomnia”.
Separately, Anderson had also brought an action for retaliation and an interference claim. That also was dismissed because she remained employed and was given full benefits until her termination. According to the Court, the employer had a legitimate reason to terminate her; based on her untrustworthiness in completing time sheets and poor communication skills.
In simple terms the Court was saying… The End.
And this pic o’ day just seemed topical!
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