United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Nashville Division
KELLEY H. ANDREWS, Plaintiff,
WASTE MANAGEMENT INC. OF TENNESSEE, Defendant.
WAVERLY D. CRENSHAW, JR.CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
H. Andrews filed this action against his former employer,
Waste Management Inc. of Tennessee (“WM”),
alleging that WM violated the Americans with Disabilities Act
Amendments Act (“ADAAA”). (Doc. No. 16.) Before
the Court is WM's Motion for Summary Judgment. (Doc. No.
25.) For the following reasons, the motion is granted in part
and denied in part.
began working at WM in 2013, where he, inter alia,
drove a box truck route at WM's Rivergate MRF Recycling
facility in Nashville (the “Route”). (Doc. No. 38
¶¶ 1-2.) For most of Andrews's employment, a
helper assisted him on the Route. (Id. ¶ 4.)
concerns with the Route's profitability, WM eliminated
some customers on the Route and shortened the time spent at
each stop in March 2014. (Id. ¶¶ 5-6.) The
next month, WM removed Andrews's helper from the Route,
and thereafter Andrews completed the Route alone.
(Id. ¶ 7.) WM also reduced the Route from
running five to three days per week, and Andrews worked at a
WM warehouse the days he did not drive the Route.
(Id. ¶ 9; Doc. No. 38-2, Sorensen Dep. at
October 2014, Andrews was diagnosed with prostate cancer and
required radiation treatments. (Doc. No. 38 ¶ 10.)
Andrews told his supervisor, Ron Sorensen, about his
diagnosis, and Sorensen was understanding of Andrews's
illness. (Id. ¶¶ 11-12.) WM granted
Andrews's request for intermittent FMLA leave through
December 31, 2014. (Id. ¶ 13.) During this
time, Andrews generally received radiation treatment in the
morning and then went to work. (Id. ¶ 14.) No.
one at WM made negative remarks about Andrews's need for
leave or indicated that his leave was problematic.
(Id. ¶ 15.) Andrews's last radiation
treatment was in December 2014, and he has since been
cancer-free. (Id. ¶ 16.)
January 2015, WM eliminated the Route and Andrews's
position, (Id. ¶¶ 18-19), allegedly due to
the Route's profitability. (Id. ¶¶
5-9, 17.) Another company, EarthSavers, took over the Route.
(See id.) Andrews's employment with WM ended on
February 13, 2015. (Id. ¶ 39.) Andrews's
position at WM does not exist and WM did not hire anyone to
replace him. (Id. ¶ 45.)
applied for three positions with WM but was not rehired.
(Id. ¶¶ 32, 34, 40.) On January 28, 2015,
Andrews applied for a Roll-Off Driver position, requisition
number 234208 (“Position 1”). (Id.
¶ 32.) On January 29, 2015, Andrews applied for a
Commercial Driver position, requisition number 239302
(“Position 2”). (Id. ¶ 34.) In
March 2015, Andrews applied for a Commercial Driver position,
requisition number 243017 (“Position 3”).
(Id. ¶ 40.) Position 3 was cancelled before it
was filled and no one was ever hired for it. (Id.
Standard of Review
judgment is appropriate where there is no genuine issue as to
any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a
matter of law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a); Pennington v. State
Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., 553 F.3d 447, 450 (6th Cir.
2009). The party bringing the summary judgment motion has the
initial burden of informing the Court of the basis for its
motion and identifying portions of the record that
demonstrate the absence of a genuine dispute over material
facts. Rodgers v. Banks, 344 F.3d 587, 595 (6th Cir.
2003). In deciding a motion for summary judgment, the Court
must review all the evidence, facts, and inferences in the
light most favorable to the nonmoving party. Van Gorder
v. Grand Trunk W. R.R., Inc., 509 F.3d 265, 268 (6th
Cir. 2007). The Court does not weigh the evidence, judge the
credibility of witnesses, or determine the truth of the
matter. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S.
242, 249, 106 S.Ct. 2505, 91 L.Ed.2d 202 (1986). The Court
determines whether sufficient evidence has been presented to
make the material issue of fact a proper jury question.
Id. The mere existence of a scintilla of evidence in
support of the nonmoving party's position is insufficient
to survive summary judgment; rather, there must be evidence
on which the jury could reasonably find for the nonmoving
party. Rodgers, 344 F.3d at 595.
brings claims for disability discrimination under the ADAAA
based on discriminatory termination and failure to hire.
(Doc. No. 16.) WM moves for summary judgment on both claims.
(Doc. No. 25.)
Discriminatory Termination Claim
discriminatory termination claim follows the familiar
burden-shifting analysis set forth in McDonnell Douglas
Corp. v. Green, 411 U.S. 792, 93 S.Ct. 1817, 36 L.Ed.2d
668 (1972). To establish a disability discrimination claim
using indirect evidence, a plaintiff must first establish a
prima facie case of discrimination by showing: (1)
he is disabled; (2) he is otherwise qualified for the
position, with or without reasonable accommodation; (3) he
suffered an adverse employment decision; (4) the employer
knew or had reason to know of the plaintiff's disability;
and (5) the position ...