Safelite Moves for Summary Judgment While Former Tech Asks for Partial Summary Judgment in FMLA Lawsuit

Safelite’s attorneys have asked the judge for a summary judgment, claiming, “There are no genuine issues of material fact as to any essential element of plaintiff’s claims” in the case brought by a former technician alleging violations to the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The former technician’s attorney has, in turn, requested a partial summary judgment, claiming Safelite “violated the Michigan Bullard-Plawecki Act” by refusing to turn over the plaintiff’s employment file after two requests until first interrogatories.

Ernest Bishop claims that in 2009 he was diagnosed with diabetes and later that year, he developed diabetic neuropathy. He claims he was discriminated against and eventually fired from Safelite due to his alleged disabilities. Bishop sued Safelite in March 2013.

“Bishop’s claims have no merit,” Safelite’s attorneys claim in the Eastern U.S. District Court of Michigan, Northern division. “First, it is undisputed that Safelite granted Bishop’s requests for accommodations. In fact, one of the accommodations Safelite provided to Bishop—assistance with lifting and extracting windows (which were essential functions of his job as a technician)—went above and beyond what is required by law. Because Bishop was provided accommodations, he cannot maintain his failure to accommodate claims.

“Ultimately, the job of a technician was too difficult for Bishop, even with the accommodations provided, and Bishop voluntarily pursued long-term disability. Because Bishop was unable to perform the job with or without accommodations, his remaining disability discrimination claims fail as a matter of law,” Safelite’s attorneys contend.

“Accordingly, defendant is entitled to summary judgment as a matter of law on all of plaintiff’s disability discrimination and FMLA claims,” Safelite’s attorneys claim.

On the other side of the courtroom, Bishop’s attorneys have asked for partial summary judgment claiming Safelite did not turn over his employment file as required by state law when it was requested.

“On May 10, 2012, Nanette L. Cortese [Bishop’s attorney] sent a letter to Ken W. Savage, human resources business partner of Safelite AutoGlass of Michigan Inc. This letter specifically stated, ‘I am consequently requesting that you produce Mr. Bishop’s personnel file as defined under the Bullard-Plawecki Act,” Bishop’s attorneys claim.

“The Cortese Law Firm PLC did not receive a response to this letter. On June 20, 2012, the Cortese Law Firm PLC sent a letter by certified mail, return receipt requested addressed to Shawn Reardon, general manager at Safelite AutoGlass at 31899 Glendale Road, Livonia, Mich. 48150. This letter was signed for by a representative of Safelite on June 21, 2012.

“As will be set forth in plaintiff’s brief in support of motion for summary judgment, on claims under the Bullard-Plawecki Act, there are no genuine issues of material fact that defendant violated the Bullard-Plawecki Act and judgment on Count III should be entered against defendant with the jury to determine the amount of damages to be awarded,” Bishop’s attorneys argue.

The judge has not issued any decision on these motions at press time.

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